Folic Acid and Colon Cancer

Published Online: Monday, April 1, 2002

Taking a multivitamin that includes folic acid (a B vitamin) every day can virtually eliminate the increased cancer risk for women who have a parent or sibling with colon cancer. According to Charles Fuchs, MD, of Harvard?s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, women with a family history of colon cancer face double the risk of developing the disease, but this increased risk can be largely negated by taking more than 400 mcg of folic acid per day (Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, March 2002). Folic acid is so important to everyone?s health that in 1998, the Dietary Reference Intake was raised to 400 mcg, and the government began requiring that flour be fortified with folic acid.

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