Tag Archives: Cancer

Vitamin B Supplement Linked to Cancer in Men – New Discovery

A group of researchers examined the association between long-term use of supplemental B vitamins and lung cancer risk. They discovered that vitamin B supplements are not chemopreventive for lung cancer and may be harmful. This was published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism. These vitamins ( thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B-6, biotin, B-12 and folate or folic acid.) are chemically distinct vitamins that often coexist in the same foods.

Dietary supplements (multivitamins) containing all eight are referred to as a vitamin B complex. These multivitamins are used to give vitamins that are not taken in through the diet. Multivitamins are also used to treat vitamin deficiencies (lack of vitamins) caused by illness, pregnancy, poor nutrition, digestive disorders, and many other conditions.

As important as B vitamins to human health, this is not the first time they have been associated with cancer. In 2009, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that treatment with folic acid plus vitamin B12 was associated with increased cancer outcomes in Norway.

Read: Chemical In Car Tyre, Condom, Hand Glove, Baby Pacifier Can Cause Cancer – WHO

In the recent study, the B vitamin-cancer connection was related to vitamin source and user’s gender. The researchers studied a total of 77,118 participants of the VITAL cohort ranging from 50 to 76 years of age, which were recruited between October 2000 and December 2002. The 10-year average daily dose from individual and multivitamin supplements were the exposures of primary interest.

The researchers reported that the use of supplemental vitamins B6, folate, and B12 though not associated with lung cancer risk among women, the use of vitamin B6 and B12 from individual supplement sources (not from multivitamins) is associated with a 30% to 40% increase in lung cancer risk among men, which is even higher among men who are smoking at baseline.


Archives Reveal Why Africa Should not Depend on Monsanto for GMOs

New innovations in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry must pass through trials to find out the effectiveness and side effects. The innovation is given a Go, if the benefits way outweighs the side effects, if not it is taken back to the lab for more research.

While Food biotechnology may be the solution to food insecurity in Africa through GMOs, Africa must research, develop, produce the GMOs themselves. African nations must understand the innovation enough to be able to decide whether it should be adopted or modified to benefit  their citizens.

Read: Biotechnology – Solving Nigeria’s Food Insecurity Challenges

The health and well-being of Africans cannot be left in the hands of profit-at-all-cost multinationals who may want to use Africans as guinea pigs for new innovations. As much as trials are a big part of research and development (R&D), African countries must carry it out themselves for themselves.

Read: Genome Editing – An Opportunity for Crop Improvement in Africa

It is time for African countries to build their own biotech industry, not only because the future will depend on it, but mainly because multinationals like  Monsanto cannot be trusted as  investigation has shown that the food biotech company based in the United State has endangered people’s health just for profit. The Guardian reported that Monsanto sold banned chemicals for years despite known health risks, archives reveal.

Read: Africa Must Produce its Own Technology

It was reported that Monsanto continued to produce and sell toxic industrial chemicals known as PCBs for eight years after learning that they posed hazards to public health and the environment, according to legal analysis of documents put online in a vast searchable archive.

According to The Guardian, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are long-lived pollutants that were mass-produced by Monsanto between 1935 and 1977 for use as coolants and lubricators in electrical equipment such as transformers and capacitors.

By 1979, they had been completely banned in the US and elsewhere, after a weight of evidence linking them to health ailments that ranged from chloracne and Yusho (rice oil disease) to cancer, and to environmental harm.

Yet a decade earlier, one Monsanto pollution abatement plan in the archive from October 1969, singled out by Sherman, suggests that Monsanto was even then aware of the risks posed by PCB use.

More than 20,000 internal memos, minuted meetings, letters and other documents have been published in the new archive revealed, many for the first time.

Read: Is Genetically Engineered Food Good For You

Most were obtained from legal discovery and access to documents requests digitized by the Poison Papers Project, which was launched by the Bioscience Resource Project and the Center for Media and Democracy. Chiron Return contributed some documents to the library.

Bill Sherman, the assistant attorney general for the US state of Washington – which is suing Monsanto for PCB clean-up costs potentially worth billions of dollars – said the archive contained damning evidence the state had previously been unaware of.

He told the Guardian: “If authentic, these records confirm that Monsanto knew that their PCBs were harmful and pervasive in the environment, and kept selling them in spite of that fact. They knew the dangers, but hid them from the public in order to profit.”

Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy, Scott Partridge, did not dispute the authenticity of the documents revealed in the online cache but denied any impropriety.

He told the Guardian: “More than 40 years ago, the former Monsanto voluntarily stopped production and sale of PCBs prior to any federal requirement to do so. At the time Monsanto manufactured PCBs, they were a legal and approved product used in many useful applications. Monsanto has no liability for pollution caused by those who used or discharged PCBs into the environment.”

Nigerian who Needed Stem Cell Treatment Dies after Sister was Refused UK Visa

May Brown, whose sister from Nigeria was refused entry to the UK to give her a stem cell transplant has died from leukaemia.

Mrs Brown, 24,  who had a three-year-old daughter, Selina died with loved ones including her husband, Mike, by her side last Friday 14 Jul 2017 at King’s College Hospital.

May Brown’s story, hit the headlines last year after pleading with the Home Office to allow her sister into the UK.

According to her family, the UK Home Office said it was ‘not satisfied’ that her sister, Martha, from Nigeria, would be a genuine visitor or had the funds to cover the costs of the trip.

May, Mike and Selina. She with her husband, at her side on Friday (Picture: ACLT)

According to Cancer Research UK, a stem cell transplant, also called a peripheral blood stem cell transplant is a method aimed to try to cure some types of blood cancer such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

When treating cancer, patients normally get very high doses of chemotherapy, sometimes with whole body radiotherapy. This has a good chance of killing the cancer cells but also kills the stem cells in the bone marrow.

Stem cells are very early blood cells in the bone marrow that develop into red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

So to go through cancer treatment, patients undergoing chemotherapy need stem cells to survive. Stem cells are collected from a matching donor. After high dose treatment,  the stem cells are administered into a vein through a drip to replace those that the cancer treatment has killed.

This is why Martha, Mays sister in Nigeria had to come over to the UK to help save the life of her sister. This decision by the Home Office, not to allow entry for Martha caused a protest and a social media campaign hashtag: and 

That decision was later overturned after the campaign and the stem cell transplant was performed at King’s College Hospital in London in January this year.

The transplant appeared to have been successful, but Mrs Brown relapsed in April. She and her family were told by her consultants last week there was nothing more that doctors could do for her.

As a result of the #SaveMayBrown campaign, thousands more people were added to the stem cell register in the UK and Nigeria.