Findings published in the British Medical Journal suggest that folic acid has the ability to reduce the adverse effects of alcohol consumption on breast cancer risk.
To determine the link between folate and its effect on breast cancer risk associated with alcohol consumption, researchers from the Cancer Council and the University of Melbourne assessed the alcohol consumption and folate intake of over 17,000 women between the ages of 40 and 69 years old through interviews and food frequency questionnaires. At the end of the study period, (which lasted until diagnosis of breast cancer, death or December 31, 2003, whichever came first) researchers found that women who had a high alcohol consumption and low intake of folate had an increased risk of breast cancer. Those who had a high alcohol consumption and moderate to high levels of folate intake had no increased risk.
However, researchers do warn that a high intake of folate should not be used to offset the negative health effects of binge drinking.
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