Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vitamin B6 and methionine slash lung cancer risk by 50 percent

Lung cancer, which usually develops in the cells lining air passages, will be diagnosed in about 222,520 Americans this year, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In addition, the NCI says nearly half that many people -- about 157,300 -- will die from the disease in 2010.

Although lung cancer is notoriously difficult to treat successfully, French scientists have discovered several natural substances that offer substantial protection from the malignancy. In a huge study of almost 400,000 participants, those who had higher blood levels of vitamin B6 and the essential amino acid methionine (found in many forms of protein) had the lowest risk of lung cancer -- even those who were former or current smokers.

For the study, which was just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Paul Brennan, Ph.D., of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France, and colleagues documented B vitamins and methionine levels based on serum samples from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort study. In all, they investigated 385,747 research subjects from 10 European countries. By 2006, 899 had been diagnosed with lung cancer; they were compared to 1,770 control participants and all were individually matched by country, sex, date of birth, and date of blood collection. Read more...

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