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Tristan Manalac, 5 days ago
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Folic acid, vitamin B12 supplementation may increase colorectal cancer risk

18 Feb 2019

Supplementation with folic acid and vitamin B12 potentially contributes to an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC), according to data from the B Vitamins for the Prevention of Osteoporotic Fractures (B-PROOF) trial.

B-PROOF included 2,524 individuals (mean age 74 years) randomized to receive 2–3 years daily supplementation with folic acid 400 μg plus vitamin B12 500 μg (n=1,257) vs placebo (control; n=1,267) on fracture incidence. Researchers obtained data on cancer incidence from the Netherlands cancer registry.

A total of 314 individuals were diagnosed with any cancer (13.6 percent in the intervention group vs 11.3 percent in the control group), while 68 developed CRC (3.4 percent in the intervention group vs 2.0 percent in the control group) during a median follow up of 78 months.

Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models showed that compared with placebo, folic acid plus vitamin B12 supplementation was associated with a tendency toward a higher risk of any cancer (hazard ratio [HR], 1.25; 95 percent CI, 1.00–1.57) and a significantly elevated risk of CRC (HR, 1.77; 1.08–2.90).

Exploratory analysis stratified by duration of the treatment (2 vs 3 years) revealed that the risk estimate for CRC was slightly weaker, although still significant, in participants with 2 years of folic acid plus vitamin B12 supplementation (HR, 1.72; 1.03–2.88).

The present data indicate that older adults receiving supplementation with combined folic acid and vitamin B12 have a slight excess risk of developing any cancer but a significantly elevated risk of developing CRC, researchers said, adding that the effect on CRC risk is even more pronounced in compliant individuals.

However, additional investigation is needed to ascertain whether the increased cancer risk is due to an individual effect of folic acid or vitamin-B12, or an interactive effect of both supplements combined, they said.

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Most Read Articles
Tristan Manalac, 5 days ago
Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) can reverse pulmonary hypertension secondary to left heart disease regardless of baseline pulmonary vascular resistance, according to a new study.
11 May 2019
Acute kidney injury (AKI) commonly occurs within a year after cancer diagnosis in paediatric patients and is tied to long-term deteriorations in renal function, a recent study has found.
11 May 2019
Women practicing exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months achieve greater postpartum weight loss compared with those exclusively breastfeeding for a shorter duration, according to data from the MILK* study.
Pearl Toh, 13 May 2019
The selective cap-dependent endonuclease inhibitor baloxavir marboxil (hereafter baloxavir) effectively improves influenza symptoms in adolescent patients and those at high risk for influenza complications, according to two subanalyses of the CAPSTONE studies presented at ECCMID 2019.