Navigation Links
Folic Acid and Other B Vitamins Won't Help Prevent Cancer
Date:11/4/2008

Seven-year study of supplements found no change in disease risk,,,,

TUESDAY, Nov. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Taking folic acid or other B vitamin supplements won't lower your risk of cancer, new research shows.

However, the good news is that it won't increase your risk either, according to the study, which was published in the Nov. 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"In women at risk of cardiovascular disease, we found that folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 had no beneficial or harmful effects on the risk of invasive cancer or breast cancer," said study author Dr. Shumin Zhang, an associate professor of medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in Boston.

Because adequate levels of folic acid in women have been proven to prevent serious birth defects, the government has mandated that folic acid be added to cereals and breads since January 1998, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Additionally, about one-third of U.S. adults take a daily multi-vitamin that contains folic acid, B6 and B12, according to the study. Some studies have suggested that supplements of these nutrients might be protective against cancer, though results have been inconsistent, according to background information in the study.

One study even suggested that such supplements might raise the risk of cancer.

To address these concerns, Zhang and colleagues reviewed data on 5,442 women who participated in the Women's Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study. All of the women were over 42 years old, and had either preexisting cardiac disease or three or more risk factors for heart disease.

The study participants were randomly assigned to receive either a supplement containing 2.5 milligrams (mg) of folic acid, 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 1 mg of vitamin B12, or a placebo. The study lasted 7.3 years, from April 1998 through July 2005.

During that time, 379 women developed invasive cancer -- 187 in the active treatment group and 192 in the placebo group. Of the women who developed cancer, 154 developed breast cancer -- 70 in the active treatment group and 84 in the placebo group. None of these differences were statistically significant.

However, when the researchers broke the data down by age, they did note what appeared to be a protective effect from the supplement treatment in women over 65. Zhang said this might be because older women generally have a higher need for these nutrients. But she also said these results should be "interpreted with caution," because the study wasn't designed to look at age differences. "It's something that needs further study," she added.

Victoria Stevens, strategic director of laboratory services for the American Cancer Society, agreed. "There was a suggestion of a protective effect in older women that I think is worth following-up," Stevens said.

The bottom line, according to Stevens, is that "supplements aren't a magic bullet" for cancer prevention.

"There are really good reasons for women to take folic acid, especially if they're planning on having a baby, because there's really conclusive evidence that it can reduce birth defects. But, for the average woman in terms of cancer risk, folic acid and B vitamins don't seem to increase or reduce risk," Zhang said.

More information

For more on cancer prevention and nutrition, visit the American Cancer Society.



SOURCES: Shumin Zhang, M.D., Sc.D., associate professor, medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston; Victoria Stevens, Ph.D., strategic director, laboratory services, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; Nov. 5, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Womens Folic Acid Levels Improving
2. Folic Acid May Help Prevent Premature Birth
3. Folic Acid in the Food Supply Reduces Birth Defects, but May Cause Extra Cancers, Reports the Harvard Womens Health Watch
4. Folic Acid Doesnt Help the Heart
5. Another Reason Not to Smoke While Pregnant: Birth Defects
6. FDA Warns of Codeine Risk for Some Nursing Mothers
7. More than two-thirds of sexually active NYC youth use condoms, but other forms of birth control lag
8. One Species Genome Found Within Another
9. Claim Filed Against the Company and Nine Other Defendants in the Haifa Magistrates Court
10. Family-based treatment more effective than supportive psychotherapy in treating bulimia
11. Mother and Daughter Create Lead-Free/Safe Bibs and Solve Messy Mealtime Problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Folic Acid and Other B Vitamins Won't Help Prevent Cancer
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the Law ... organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel helps our ... a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. , ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run ... This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed ... geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The ... identity. “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. ... great-grandchildren. As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... IsoComforter, Inc. ( https://isocomforter.com ), one of ... innovative new design of the shoulder pad. The shoulder pad provides optimal support ... your pain while using cold therapy. By utilizing ice and water that is circulated ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events and ... Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the Eddie ... annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. This ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/5/2017)... , Oct. 5, 2017  In response to ... Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations ... to be used as a first-line therapy to ... Recognizing the value ... White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute and Postoperative Pain ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  According to the Centers for Disease Control ... of October . PhysicianOne Urgent Care is helping communities across ... NY , by offering no-cost* flu shots through the end of ... by certain health insurance regulations. ... best time to get a flu shot is by the end of ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: ... and Consulting, LLC , and named its founder as ... in Tennessee , will operate under ... EnvoyHealth,s service offerings for health care partners to include ... "In an interoperable world, technology delivers ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: