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).

Related Articles


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 November 26, 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 November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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