Too Much Folic Acid May Help Cause Cancer

Wonder vitamin added to many foods could be giving us an overdose
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2009 10:49 AM CDT
Orange juice is one of the sources of naturally occurring folate, or vitamin B9.   (©Paul.Carroll)
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(Newser) – Folic acid: You’ve probably heard that pregnant women are urged to take it, and you might know that lots of common staples—from flour to cereals—are fortified with it. But new research indicates that folic acid may have a complicated relationship to cancer—even perhaps accelerating it. Studies show some protective effects, but dangers as well, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“Too little folic acid we know is not good, and too much folic acid is probably not good,” says a genetics counselor. Although the vitamin can help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer by up to 60%, once cancer cells exist, it might actually help them grow. And newer research indicates that folic acid might help cause cancer after all.