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พุธ, 03 ธันวาคม 2008
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November 4, 2008 — Folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 — all of which are thought to play a role in cancer prevention and are common ingredients in multivitamin supplements — have no significant effect on cancer risk in women.

This conclusion comes from the Women's Antioxidant and Folic Acid Cardiovascular Study (WAFACS), a randomized trial of 5442 female health professionals in the United States who had an average age of 62.8 years at baseline and who were observed for an average of 7.3 years. 

"Our trial says that this [using the 3 nutritional supplements daily] does not appear to be an effective approach to preventing cancer in women. We know that there are other things that women can do that help prevent cancer, such as stopping smoking and exercising," said lead author Shumin M. Zhang, MD, ScD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, in an interview with Medscape Oncology.

"There is very good biology behind the hypothesis that they [the 3 nutritional supplements] could play a role in cancer prevention," she added. Approximately one third of adults in the United States take multivitamin supplements containing folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12, according the authors of the study, which appears in the in the November 5 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.Despite its main conclusion, the study reveals that 1 treatment subgroup received some benefit: women aged 65 years or older at study entrance had a significantly reduced risk for overall cancer and breast cancer. "This effect in older women may be due to chance," said Dr. Zhang, who said the finding needs to be further substantiated.The study also serves as further evidence that folic acid (the synthetic form of folate) does not appear to increase cancer occurrences when taken as a daily supplement.



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