Top Health Tools
Top Health Tools
Top Reports
Top Reports
Top Articles
Top Articles
Top Reviews
Top Reviews
   
 

Share/Bookmark
...............................................................................................................

Jan 27, 2014 by MAE CHAN
If You Take Folic Acid Supplements, Avoid High Doses


Folic acid is not found in natural foods, only folate. However, there are protective effects for heart disease and neural tube defects indicated in research for those supplementing with folic acid. In responsible dosages, folic acid from a high quality source can be beneficial, but according to new research published in PloS One, high-dose folic acid supplements may promote the growth of existing pre-cancerous an cancerous cells in breast tissue, according to new research in rats.



Folic acid has been associated with numerous benefits including boosting sperm count, heart health and even preventing migraines, however dosage may be more important than previously indicated.

The study, published in PloS One, investigated whether folic acid supplementation are linked to an increased risk for the progression of established mammary tumours using a rat model after previous research suggested a link between high intakes of the B vitamin and breast cancer risk.

"Folic acid supplementation may prevent the development of cancer in normal tissues but may promote the progression of established (pre)neoplastic lesions. However, whether or not folic acid supplementation can promote the progression of established (pre)neoplastic mammary lesions is unknown," explained the research team - led by Professor Young-In Kim of St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto, Canada.

"This is a critically important issue because breast cancer patients and survivors...are likely exposed to high levels of folic acid owing to folic acid fortification and widespread supplemental use after cancer diagnosis," the team noted.

Kim and his team compared cancer outcomes in rats randomised to receive between 2.5 and 5 times the daily requirement of folic acid or a control diet - finding that the high level of folic acid 'significantly' promoted growth in both existing pre-cancerous or cancerous cells.

"Although no clear dose-response relationship was observed, folic acid supplementation significantly promoted the progression of the sentinel mammary tumours and was associated with significantly higher sentinel mammary tumour weight and volume compared with the control diet," revealed the team. "Furthermore, folic acid supplementation was associated with significantly higher weight and volume of all mammary tumours."

Study details

The team investigated whether folic acid supplementation was associated with the promotion and progression of established mammary tumours. in female Sprague-Dawley rats.

The rats were placed on a control diet before mammary tumours were initiated using 7,12-dimethylbenza[a]anthracene at puberty.

"When the sentinel tumor reached a predefined size, rats were randomized to receive a diet containing the control, 2.5x, 4x, or 5x supplemental levels of folic acid for up to 12 weeks," explained the team.

Although no clear dose-response relationship was observed, folic acid supplementation was found to significantly promote the progression of the sentinel mammary tumours and was associated with significantly higher sentinel mammary tumour weight and volume compared with the control diet.

Furthermore, folic acid supplementation was associated with significantly higher weight and volume of all mammary tumours, said the team.

"The most significant and consistent mammary tumour-promoting effect was observed with the 2.5x supplemental level of folic acid," they revealed. "Folic acid supplementation was also associated with an increased expression of BAX, PARP, and HER2."

"The potential tumour-promoting effect of folic acid supplementation in breast cancer patients and survivors needs further clarification," they said.

Source:
PLoS One

Mae Chan holds degrees in both physiology and nutritional sciences. She is also blogger and and technology enthusiast with a passion for disseminating information about health.

This site is owned and operated by PreventDisease.com 1999-2017. All Rights Reserved. All content on this site may be copied, without permission, whether reproduced digitally or in print, provided copyright, reference and source information are intact and use is strictly for not-for-profit purposes. Please review our copyright policy for full details.
aaa
Interact
volunteerDonateWrite For Us
Stay Connected With Our Newsletter