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Ask the experts: Folic acid and cancer

Ask the experts: Folic acid and cancer

Q: "I've heard that too much folic acid can cause cancer. What do the experts say about that?"

A: Experts say there is no convincing evidence this is true.

Dr Murray Skeaff, Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Otago, attended a conference in Prague recently where the results of an analysis of all the randomised control trials of folic acid to date were revealed. He says, "This analysis combines the results from around 35,000 individuals who participated in studies of high dosage folic acid supplementation in countries around the world. It is the best evidence we have so far, and it shows there is no increase in cancer risk with [a] high dose [of] folic acid. These trials used high dosage folic acid, ranging from 800mcg to about 2500mcg a day."

To give this context, the level of fortification of bread we were going to have in New Zealand aimed to provide women an extra 140mcg per day.




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