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How Excess Of Folic Acid Promotes Breast Cancer


How Excess Of Folic Acid Promotes Breast Cancer


The phase of pregnancy is as frustrating as it is blissful. Everybody telling you to deep breathe and making you eat as much as you can, well, I’d rather say they can. Doctors prescribing you medicines and pills so you give birth to a healthy, cheerful baby while taking care of your health too.

Folic Acid or vitamin B, as every pregnant woman knows is something that docs press you to take more and more. After all, it is highly essential for boosting cellular development and protects the baby against Spinal bifida (Know what Wiki has to say) and other kinds of congenital (birth) defects and lower the risk of miscarriage. (Read more about Vitamin B here) Evidently, its something one must take in abundance.

But, as they say, “Excess of everything is bad”.

So, is excess of Folic Acid bad for a pregnant lady?

Well, the latest research does suggest so. Dr. Young-In Kim, an oncology scientist has recently found out that eating excess of Folic Acid can promote pre-cancerous or cancerous cells in mammary glands (breasts).[1]

Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and fruits. They are also prescribed as dietary supplements to boost a healthy growth of fetus. For a normal woman, it should be 400 mcg according to the dietary guidelines of CDC. But, if this amount is consumed in multiples of 2 or 4, then it poses a serious risk of breast cancer in later stages of a woman’s life.

Now, a worth noting fact here is, that the research comes in light of the recent trend of ‘folic acid fortification’ in food items in America and Canada, a move intended to compulsorily include vitamins in diet. So, if you do not consume such food items, you need not worry. All you need is to keep track of the amount of folic acid you consume in your diet and as supplement.

In other cases, talk to your doctor about this to know your way around it. Also, keep a monthly check in and around your breast area for any painless lump or knot. If you witness any abnormal breast discharge or change in nipple orientation, get your physician run some tests on you. (Know more signs and symptoms of Breast Cancer here.)

Remember the term, Mammogram, a scan of your breasts (Mammographywiki), its painful, but you must get it done. Further, if you are in or approaching your 40s, get a mammogram done every year, without fail.


[1] Kotsopoulos J, Kim YI, Narod SA. Folate and breast cancer: what about high-risk women? Cancer Causes Control. 2012 Sep;23(9):1405-20. doi: 10.1007/s10552-012-0022-y. Epub 2012 Jul 6. Review. PubMed PMID: 22767328.
[2] Received Inputs from UK's Leading Breast Surgeon - Mr Guy D. Sterne.

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