Folic acid is in the news lately. Folic acid is a type of vitamin B and an important nutrient for all of us, but especially for pregnant women.
According to WebMD, foods that are naturally high in folic acid include leafy vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, and lettuce), okra, asparagus, fruits (such as bananas, melons, and lemons) beans, yeast, mushrooms, organ meats, orange and tomato juice.
So why the news coverage? Researchers in England recently published data that proves folic acid is not a carcinogen. Why this is newsworthy, I’m not sure. But here’s a short, helpful article about it I found on NetDoctor.com from the UK:
Folic acid supplements ‘unlikely to raise cancer risk’
January 25, 2013
Short-term use of folic acid supplements is unlikely to increase people’s risk of developing cancer, new research has shown.
Scientists at the University of Oxford looked at previous trials of folic acid supplementation, involving almost 50,000 people.
Overall, they found that people who took daily folic acid supplements for five years or less – up to around 40mg per day – did not have a significant increase in their risk of developing cancer, compared with those who took a placebo (dummy treatment).
There was also no significant increase in the risk of specific forms of the disease, including bowel, lung, breast and prostate cancers.
Lead author Dr Robert Clarke, whose findings are published in the Lancet medical journal, said: ‘The study provides reassurance about the safety of folic acid intake, either from supplements or through fortification, when taken for up to five years.’
However, longer studies are needed to shed light on the effects of longer-term supplementation.
Folic acid supplements are recommended for women who are trying to conceive and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Good to know it’s safe to keep pounding folic acid rich vegetables and fruit. Not sure about liver, kidney and other organ meats…
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat