In a move to help prevent certain type of birth defects known as neural tube defects, many products have been fortified with folic acid, a B vitamins that are crucial for women’s health throughout their childbearing years.
While this has helped lower the incidence of these types of birth defects, this practice could be increasing the risk of colon cancer.
The new research study looked at levels of various diseases both before and after the implementation of folic acid fortification of breakfast cereals. Only two diseases showed a significant increase: breast cancer and colon cancer.
Researchers believe that the increased rates of breast cancer were due to new programs that had been implemented to diagnose breast cancer at earlier stages.
It is unknown yet whether there is a causal link between folic acid fortified foods and colon cancer; further studies are required to fully understand what is happening.
Until then, keep eating your whole grain breakfast cereals in moderation and talk with your doctor about your risks for colon cancer.
Since folic acid supplementation was initiated, it is estimated that more than 1,000 babies have been born healthy who would have otherwise had neural tube birth defects.