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:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on ... article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo ... such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of ... verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. ... throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... is now offering micro-osteoperforation for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience ... Damon brackets , AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening ... Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to ... at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Nevada (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Vegas client, The Grove Investment Group (TGIG), has initiated cultivation and processing operations ... in Las Vegas and Pahrump, Nevada. , Puradigm is the manufacturer of a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... DUBLIN , June 27, 2016 Jazz ... the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act ... proposed acquisition of Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: ... 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). As previously ... entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Jazz ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... HILL, N.C. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... healthcare decisions and regulators/payers have placed more emphasis ... new environment, patient support programs in the pharmaceutical ... for patients, medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are focusing ... ensure they are providing products and services that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016   Bay Area ... Network,s Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness ... and Rehabilitation, MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, ... today announced the five finalists of Lyme ... disease.  More than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: