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Natural Dietary Folate Decreases Colorectal Cancer Risks Synthetic Folic Acid Increases Colorectal Cancer Risks

Keith D. Bishop, Clinical Nutritionist, B.Sc. Pharmacy - July 9, 2009

Increased intake of natural folate from the diet appears to decrease a woman’s risk of colorectal cancer by 64 per cent.

Alternative Colorectal Cancer Treatment Strategy: Increase Dietary FolateThe highest intake of natural dietary folate (not synthetic folic acid) in women decreased the risk of colon cancer by 66 percent and rectal cancer by 70 percent. Men did not appear to benefit from high intakes of dietary folate.

The study from Korea and published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition did not evaluate dietary supplementation (vitamin supplements) of folate or folic acid.

The researchers studied 596 men and women with colorectal cancer ( colon cancer and/or rectal cancer ) and compared their data with 509 people without cancer. All participants in this study were between the age of 30 and 79.

Women with the highest dietary folate intake had a 64 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer, 66 percent reduced risk of colon cancer and 70 per cent reduced risk of rectal cancer. The men in the study did not appear to benefit from high intake of dietary folate.

Over 30 medical research studies support the statics that natural Folate reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. Additional studies do show a concern that synthetic Folic acid supplementation through dietary supplements and food supplementation may increase the risk of colon cancer.

Folic acid has had some health benefits. The synthetic version of folate does reduce the risk of Spina Bifida and other Neural Tube Defects (NTD). In 1998 the U.S. and Canada started supplementing grain products, including bread and cereals, with folic acid. The synthetic folic acid grain supplementation in North America has decreased the risk of Spina Bifida and other NTD by 15 to 50 per cent.

Adequate folate intake appears to protect against most cancers and most particularly colon cancer and rectal cancer. If an individual has a pre-cancerous or cancerous tumor and consumes too much folic acid, the additional amount of folic acid may help the cancer to grow.

Click here to see what type of multiple vitamin does NOT have synthetic folic acid.
Research is continuing on the risks of folic acid and the benefits of folate.

Reference Sources
1. J. Kim, D.H. Kim, B.H. Lee, S.H. Kang, H.J. Lee, S.Y. Lim, Y.K. Sun, Y.O. Ahn, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Published on line doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.37, Folate intake and the risk of colorectal cancer in a Korean population.
2. G.M. Lindzon, A. Medline, K.-J. Sohn, F. Depeint, R. Croxford, Y.-I. Kim, "Effect of folic acid supplementation on the progression of colorectal aberrant crypt foci", Carcinogenesis, June 18, 2009.

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Natural Colorectal Cancer Treatment Pearl

Folic acid is a synthetic supplement found in less expensive vitamins or in products from companies maximizing their profits. Avoid supplements and processed foods (i.e. cereals and breads) that contain folic acid. Read your supplement label and take supplements that contain Folate or folinic acid. You may have to read the fine print on the ingredient list.

Consume a diet high in foods that contain folate. Beans, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, beets, wheat germ, and meat are good sources of folate.

About the Author:

Keith D. Bishop, Clinical Nutritionist, B.Sc. Pharmacy helps his clients improve their health by using natural products, tests and self care. He writes special reports on natural product, diet and lifestyle effects on cancer. You may schedule an appointment for customized natural cancer recommendations by calling 405.919.1982. Click here to learn more about Alternative Cancer Treatment Appointments.


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