Specific Vitamins & Minerals Continue To Be Studied For Cancer Risk Reduction And Supporting Optimum Health…
Increased intakes of folate (folic acid) may reduce the risk of breast cancer, but the benefits may be linked to a woman’s menopausal state, suggests a new study.
Pre-menopausal women with the highest average intakes of folate from the diet are at a 40 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer, according to new findings published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
The study was conducted with women in China where there’s no mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid, during the course of the study. In the US, grain products have been fortified with folic acid since 1998.
As a result, only 13 percent of the Chinese women had folate levels that matched or exceeded the US recommended dietary allowance, wrote researchers from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and the Shanghai Cancer Institute.
“Thus, it is possible that the relation with folate intake among pre- menopausal women may be due to a difference in folate insufficiency versus sufficiency.
“In support of this possibility, the present study appeared to have a threshold effect for folate intake that was achieved between the first and second quintiles of intake, with no added benefit beyond that level, ” the researchers explained.
Over one million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, with the highest incidences in the US and the Netherlands. China has the lowest incidence and mortality rate of the disease.
Hormone-sensitive estrogen-receptor (ER) positive and progesterone-receptor (PR) positive tumors are said to be the most common type diagnosed among breast cancer patients in the US. These tumors are stimulated to grow by the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Data from Shanghai Women’s Health Study (1997-2008) for 72,861 participants aged between 40 and 70 was used to assess potential relationships between intakes of folate, niacin, and vitamin B6 and B12 and incidence of breast cancer.
During the course of the study 718 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed. After analyzing the numbers, the researchers report no link between vitamin B6 and B12 intakes and the risk of breast cancer in both pre- and post-menopausal women.
Only folate intake was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer and this was limited to premenopausal women. Specifically, average intakes of 404 micrograms per day were associated with a 42 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer, compared with average intakes of 194 micrograms per day.
Source: American Journal of Epidemiology
2011, Volume 173, Issue 10 (Pages 1171-1182)
“Dietary B Vitamin and Methionine Intakes and Breast Cancer Risk Among Chinese Women”
This article is for informational and educational purposes only, and is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional consultation.