People with high blood levels of vitamin B6 and an amino acid known as methionine may have a lower risk of developing lung cancer than individuals who have insufficient levels of the nutrients, a new study has found.
For the trial, a research team from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, recruited 899 lung cancer patients and 1,770 control participants of a similar age, date of birth and date of blood collection.
After adjusting for several risk factors, lead author Paul Brennan and his colleagues found that those with the highest blood levels of vitamin B6 had a lower incidence rate of lung cancer than those with the least adequate levels. The risk of being diagnosed with the disease fell even lower if a participant also had elevated serum levels of methionine, an amino acid found in most protein.
"Our results suggest that above-median serum measures of both B6 and methionine, assessed on average five years prior to disease onset, are associated with a reduction of at least 50 percent on the risk of developing lung cancer," wrote the authors.
"An additional association for serum levels of folate was present, that when combined with B6 and methionine, was associated with a two-thirds lower risk of lung cancer," they added.