Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Increased consumption of folic acid can reduce birth defects but may also be associated with colorectal cancer

Date:
December 14, 2010
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
Folic acid can reduce birth defects including neural tube defects, congenital heart disease and oral clefts but some speculate high intakes of folic acid may be associated with adverse events such as colorectal cancer.

Folic acid can reduce birth defects including neural tube defects, congenital heart disease and oral clefts but some speculate high intakes of folic acid may be associated with adverse events such as colorectal cancer, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

This study, conducted by researchers at Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and The Hospital for Sick Children, is the first of its kind in more than three decades, to examine the folate status of Canadians including a subset of women of childbearing age. Red blood cell folate concentrations were examined in 5248 Canadians aged 6 to 79 years based on survey data representing around 96% of the Canadian population. After adjusting for age, sex and socio-economic status, the study found that less than 1% of Canadians showed folate deficiencies and 40% showed high folate concentrations. However, in the subset of women of childbearing age, 22% were below the concentration considered safe to guard against neural tube defects.

"Some medical practitioners argue that many women of childbearing age need high-dose folic acid supplements and that doubling the level of folic acid fortification in the food supply should be considered," writes Cynthia Colapinto, CHEO Research Institute, Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group, Ottawa, Ontario and coauthors. "This argument has sparked considerable debate because folic acid fortification targets women of childbearing age by exposing the entire population to high levels of folic acid. Given the absence of folate deficiency in the general population and the apparent shift toward Canadians having high serum folate concentrations, there appears to be little rationale for doubling folic acid levels in the Canadian food supply."

Folate deficiency is almost completely absent in the Canadian population, though high folate concentrations exist.

"Correction of folate deficiency and improved folate status, in part through fortification, has been associated with positive health outcomes such as the dramatic reduction in neural tube defects," write the authors. "However, given speculations about the possible adverse effects associated with high levels of folic acid, including increased risk of certain cancers in those with pre-existing neoplasms, further attempts to improve the folate status of Canadian women of childbearing age by increasing fortification levels should be approached cautiously."

The authors conclude that although folic acid is beneficial for women of childbearing age, some people may have undesirable results so ongoing monitoring of the folate status of Canadians and the relationship between folic acid and health outcomes is needed.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cynthia K. Colapinto, Deborah L. O'Connor and Mark S. Tremblay. Folate status of the population in the Canadian Health Measures Survey. CMAJ, 2010 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.100568

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Increased consumption of folic acid can reduce birth defects but may also be associated with colorectal cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213121656.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2010, December 14). Increased consumption of folic acid can reduce birth defects but may also be associated with colorectal cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213121656.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Increased consumption of folic acid can reduce birth defects but may also be associated with colorectal cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213121656.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins