What Foods are Recommended for Cancer?
is a very common question. Personalized Nutrition Plans are foods and supplements which are personalized to a cancer indication, genes, any treatments and lifestyle conditions.

Can Vitamin B12 intake increase the risk of cancer?

Aug 6, 2021

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Home » Blogs » Can Vitamin B12 intake increase the risk of cancer?


Vitamin-B12 is an essential nutrient for making DNA and keeping the nerve and blood cells healthy. However, different studies suggest that long term use of high dose Vitamin-B12 can be harmful and can increase the risk of certain cancers like lung cancer and colorectal/colon cancer.

Vitamin B12 and its Health Benefits

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin commonly found in fish, animal products like milk, meat and eggs, and in some plants and plant products like fermented soy products and seaweeds. Vitamin B12 helps in keeping the nerve and blood cells healthy and is necessary for making DNA. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 is known to cause anemia, weakness and fatigue and hence we try to include foods containing Vitamin B12 in our daily diet or alternatively use Vitamin B12 supplements. However, there are rising concerns on long term use of high dose Vitamin B12 and its association with the risk of cancer.

Vitamin-B12 & Lung/Colorectal Cancer Risk

Foods to Eat After Cancer Diagnosis!

No two cancers are the same. Go beyond the common nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions about food and supplements with confidence.

Studies on Vitamin B12 & Cancer Risk

Different studies and analysis were carried out to investigate the impact of Vitamin B12 intake on cancer risk.

Vitamin B12 and Colorectal Cancer Risk

In a clinical trial study, named the B-PROOF (B Vitamins for the Prevention of Osteoporotic Fractures) trial, done in Netherlands, the researchers assessed the effect of daily supplementation with vitamin B12 (500 μg) and folic acid (400 μg), for 2 to 3 years, on fracture incidence. Data from this clinical trial was used by researchers to further investigate the impact of long term supplementation of Vitamin B12 on cancer risk. The analysis included data from 2524 participants of the B-PROOF trial and was found that long term folic acid and vitamin-B12 supplementation was associated with a high risk of overall cancer and a significantly higher risk of colorectal cancer. However, the researchers suggest confirming this finding in larger studies, in order to decide whether Vitamin B12 supplementation should be restricted to only those with a known B12 deficiency (Oliai Araghi S et al, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev., 2019).

We Offer Individualized Nutrition Solutions | Scientifically Right Nutrition for Cancer

Vitamin B12 and Lung Cancer Risk

In another international study published recently, the researchers analyzed the results from 20 population based studies and data from 5,183 lung cancer cases and their matched 5,183 controls, to evaluate the impact of high vitamin B12 concentration on cancer risk via direct measurements of circulating vitamin B12 in pre-diagnostic blood samples. Basically, the idea was to check whether high Vitamin B12 status was an indication of increased risk of lung cancer. Based on their analysis, they concluded that higher vitamin B12 concentrations are associated with increased risk of lung cancer and for every doubling levels of Vitamin B12, the risk increased by ~15% (Fanidi A et al, Int J Cancer., 2019).


Vitamin B12 as part of natural foods in our diet is needed for our health and well being. Key findings from all these studies suggest a positive association of long term use of high dose Vitamin B12 and the increased risk of cancers like colorectal/colon cancer and lung cancer. While this does not mean we completely remove Vitamin B12 from our diets, one needs to be educated on taking the right amounts of Vitamin B12 as part of normal diet or while having a deficiency, to avoid the negative impacts that unwanted or extra vitamin-B12 supplementation (beyond the adequate level) can have on us, such as increasing the risk of different cancers such as lung cancer and colorectal/colon cancer.

What food you eat and which supplements you take is a decision you make. Your decision should include consideration of the cancer gene mutations, which cancer, ongoing treatments and supplements, any allergies, lifestyle information, weight, height and habits.

The nutrition planning for cancer from addon is not based on internet searches. It automates the decision making for you based on molecular science implemented by our scientists and software engineers. Irrespective of whether you care to understand the underlying biochemical molecular pathways or not - for nutrition planning for cancer that understanding is needed.

Get started NOW with your nutrition planning by answering questions on the name of cancer, genetic mutations, ongoing treatments and supplements, any allergies, habits, lifestyle, age group and gender.


Personalized Nutrition for Cancer!

Cancer changes with time. Customize and modify your nutrition based on cancer indication, treatments, lifestyle, food preferences, allergies and other factors.

Cancer patients often have to deal with different chemotherapy side effects which affect their quality of life and look out for alternative therapies for cancer. Taking the right nutrition and supplements based on scientific considerations (avoiding guesswork and random selection) is the best natural remedy for cancer and treatment related side-effects.

Scientifically Reviewed by: Dr. Cogle

Christopher R. Cogle, M.D. is a tenured professor at the University of Florida, Chief Medical Officer of Florida Medicaid, and Director of the Florida Health Policy Leadership Academy at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service.

You can also read this in

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.2 / 5. Vote count: 189

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?