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Researchers probe risks, benefits of folic acid fortification

acilitated the transformation of benign growths into cancers, or small cancers into larger ones, he says. Second, the fact that a synthetic form of folate is used for fortification may be important, suggests Mason. As the total amount of folic acid ingested increases, the mechanism that converts folic acid to methyltetrahydrofolate can become saturated. The leftover folic acid in the circulation might have detrimental effects, as it is not a natural form of the vitamin.

At a time when many countries are debating whether or not to institute or enhance folic acid fortification, Mason and colleagues urge caution and debate. We must examine the effects of folic acid fortification on the population as a whole, which includes better defining the nature of the relationship between folic acid fortification and colorectal cancer, says Mason. Improved monitoring and further research in this field is important to our understanding of the long-term public health effects of fortification.


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Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
siobhan.gallagher@tufts.edu
617-636-6586
Tufts University, Health Sciences
10-Jul-2007


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