Did you know that if you have a family history of colorectal
cancer, you're twice as likely as the average person to suffer
from the condition? You may be able to reduce your chances
for colorectal cancer by moderating your alcohol intake and
eating foods high in folate, according to a recent study in
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.
The authors studied the diets of close to 90,000 30- to 55-year-old
women, using a food-frequency questionnaire. Diets were examined
for consumption of folate, multivitamins, alcohol, and methionine
(an essential amino acid). The women were followed for 16
years to determine cases of colon cancer.
Women with a family history of colorectal cancer who consumed
at least the U.S. recommended daily allowance (RDA) of folate
each day, or took a multivitamin supplement daily for at least
five years, were approximately 50% less likely to suffer from
colon cancer than those who consumed less than half the RDA
for folate. Those without a family history of colorectal cancer
also showed a decrease in colon-cancer risk when taking the
RDA of folate. Moderate-to-heavy alcohol intake increased
risk for colon cancer in those with family history by nearly
four times, though.
RDA for folate is 400 micrograms, which is about the amount
found in 3-4 servings of foods high in folate, such as leafy
greens, citrus fruits, asparagus, beans, chicken, and whole
grains. As this study suggests, necessary folate can also
be obtained from vitamin supplements.
Fuchs CS, Willett WC, Colditz GA, et al. The influence of
folate and multivitamin use on the familial risk of colon
cancer in women. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention
2002:11, pp. 227-234.
Check out http://www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/nutrition
for more studies on the benefits of good nutrition.