Too little folate may risk colon cancer

Nov 03, 2006

Canadian scientists say a mouse-based study suggests too little folate in the diet might increase the risk of colon cancer.

The McGill University researchers found a diet low in folic acid -- a B vitamin -- apparently increased the animal subject's risk of colorectal cancer. Scientists posit a similar deficiency might play a role in the human form of the disease.

"We found tumors in the mice that were on the low-folate diet and no tumors in mice that were on the regular diet," said geneticist Rima Rozen, scientific director of the Montreal Children's Hospital and the study's lead investigator.

Rozen said several large human-population studies have also suggested low intake of folic acid, which is found in leafy green vegetables and citrus fruits, might be associated with an increased risk of colon cancer.

The scientists said they used mice so as to carefully control possible contributing factors, including environment and diet.

Rozen suggests people be certain to get the recommended daily allowance of 400 micrograms of folic acid by eating foods such as broccoli, spinach and orange juice or by taking a multivitamin.

The study appears in the current issue of Cancer Research.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Prion trials and tribulations: Finding the right tools and experimental models

Related Stories

Scientists find key to vitamin A metabolism

Dec 10, 2014

Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have uncovered the mechanism that enables the enzyme Lecithin: retinol acyltransferase (LRAT) to store vitamin A—a process that is indispensable ...

Cell powerhouses shape risk of heart disease

Sep 29, 2013

(Phys.org) —Genes in mitochondria, the "powerhouses" that turn sugar into energy in human cells, shape each person's risk for heart disease and diabetes, according to a study published recently by researchers ...

Recommended for you

Researchers reveal a genetic blueprint for cartilage

6 hours ago

Cartilage does a lot more than determine the shapes of people's ears and noses. It also enables people to breathe and to form healthy bones—two processes essential to life. In a study published in Cell Re ...

Latent virus and life expectancy

9 hours ago

The telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at each end of our chromosomes. Studies show that in every cell division, the telomere is shortened. As a result, the telomere limits the cell to a fixed number of divisions and ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.