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AN EXCESS OF THIS VITAMIN INCREASES BREAST CANCER

24 Nov

A recent published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that high intake of folate and other one-carbon metabolism related nutrients could potentially increase the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. Folate is a vitamin that is often added to flours to help prevent birth defects.  This current study led by Victoria L Stevens and colleagues from the Epidemiology Research American Cancer Society Atlanta Georgia shows high intake of folate was associated with significantly increased risk of breast cancer.

In this study, Stevens et al. examined the association of dietary and total folate, vitaminB6, vitamin B12, methionine and alcohol intakes with breast cancer risk in 70,656 postmenopausal women  whose dietary information was collected at baseline in 1992. During the follow-up between 1992 and June 2005, 3,898 women developed breast cancer.

Researchers found postmenopausal women with the highest quintile of dietary folate intake was correlated with a 12 percent increased risk of breast cancer. The elevated risk was not modified by other nutrients or alcohol. But no dose-response trend was observed. The other vitamins were not found to be associated with breast cancer risk and methione was inversely related to breast cancer risk. Foods high in methionine include eggs, cheese, seaweed, seeds, nuts, fish, mollusks, soy protein, and butter. Methionine helps the body to detoxify toxins through the liver. It acts to bind or methylate toxins and such and releases them from the body. The researchers did not know why high dietary folate was linked with high breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.  All the folate-rich foods listed seem to be healthy foods or supplements. It could be the folate that is added to foods that is the problem but not the one’s that they are naturally found in. Researchers do not know, however, naturally high folate containing foods are very healthy. They acknowledged that more research is needed.

 
 

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