The most common cause of cancer death in the world is lung cancer. New studies suggest that patients with higher blood levels of vitamin B6 and methionine, an essential amino acid, may decrease their risk of developing this disease.
Paul Brennan, Ph.D., and his colleagues analyzed the results of their study that consisted of approximately four hundred thousand participants, of whom some were former and current smokers. They discovered that participants with higher levels of vitamin B6 and methionine had a lower risk of lung cancer than those who had lower levels. “Similar and consistent decreases in risk were observed in never, former, and current smokers,” the researchers claimed. “Our results suggest that above-median serum measures of both B6 and methionine, assessed on average 5 years prior to disease onset, are associated with a reduction of at least 50 percent on the risk of developing lung cancer.”
The findings of this study are significant because the study applies to both former and current smokers. Given the lack of extremely effective treatment options for lung cancer patients, vitamin B6 now becomes a good supplement for these patients. It is needed for many enzymes involved in protein metabolism and the nervous and immune systems to function efficiently. Methionine has also been shown to improve a patient’s health. This essential amino acid assists in the breakdown of fats and prevents the build-up of fat in the arteries. By producing cysteine and taurine, it helps construct healthy body tissue. Food sources for vitamin B6 include potatoes, bananas, and garbanzo beans. Egg whites, Parmesan cheese, and fish are great sources for methionine.
However, while vitamin B6 and methionine can have many health benefits, ingesting large amounts of either the vitamin or the amino acid can be dangerous to people. Excess vitamin B6 can lead to nerve damage in the arms and legs. Diets high in methionine may increase a person’s risk of developi