Do you take folic acid supplements? If you’re a man, you may want to re-think that. New research suggests taking this may be put you at significantly greater risk for developing prostate cancer. The findings add to a growing body of evidence that too much folic acid may not protect against certain types of cancer.
The study followed nearly 650 men for 10 years. It found those who took folic acid supplements had double the risk of developing prostate cancer than those who took placebos.
Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine were surprised because they expected to find the supplements helpful, not harmful. They figure it’s a matter of degree. While a little folic acid is good, too much of it — particularly more than one milligram a day — may do more harm than good.
You have to be careful because folic acid is added to many food products, in addition to occuring naturally in many foods. But the researchers stress this doesn’t mean it’s bad. They found those men who didn’t take folic acid supplements, but had small amounts of naturally occurring in their blood, seemed to have a decreased incidence of prostate cancer.