This Vitamin Proven to Reduce Colon Cancer Risk
A new study has found that folate -- a vital B-vitamin -- may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer. This natural supplement has been the subject of much research over the decades, to the point where it "enriches" many foods in the grocery store. It is certainly a powerful component of alternative medicine and an important source of your natural health.
Folate is a water-soluble B-vitamin that occurs naturally in food. The new study found that all forms and sources of folate were linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. The strongest association came via total folate -- a measurement that includes naturally occurring food folate and folic acid added to fortified foods and in supplements.
The study included 99,523 participants in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort. Just over 1,000 were diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1999 and 2007, a period after the folate fortification began. In the first two years, there was no change in risk. But there was a major form of protection seen in the subsequent five years, from 2002 to 2007.
This adds to the weight of evidence that high folate intake could reduce colorectal cancer incidence. This study was different than others in finding that it didn't matter where you got the B-vitamin -- natural foods, fortified foods, supplements -- it still worked to lower the risk.
The study also addressed concerns that the high levels of folate frequently consumed in the U.S. may actually increase risk of cancer. They found no increased risk of colorectal cancer for the highest intake levels. So that idea appears not to be correct.
Folate is an essential nutrient needed to make components used for functions required for normal cell growth, including DNA synthesis and repair. Because these processes are critical for cell growth and differentiation, the relationship between folate intake and cancer development has been investigated in several cancers, and most extensively in colorectal cancer.
About the author
Dr. Victor Marchione received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years.
Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The Food Doctor newsletter.
Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).