Folic acid reduces effects of alcohol use?

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Question from Annemarie: I've heard that folic acid can help further reduce the effects of alcohol use and possible increased risk, any comments?
Answers - Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. The data do show that women who have an adequate folic acid intake do not have the same increased risk associated with alcohol. It's not clearly understood why that is, but it does appear that there is a different mechanism of action for how the folic acid prevents the alcohol from initiating the cancer. There may be ways that the folic acid, alcohol, and estrogen are interacting that eliminates the initiation of breast cancer.

Editor's Update: While early research suggested that alcohol raised breast cancer risk by lowering folate levels in the body, we now know that even with adequate folate levels, alcohol appears to increase breast cancer risk. A 2006 study showed that while folate is important for many body processes, folate supplements do not lower breast cancer risk.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Eating and Drinking Through the Holidays featured Diana Dyer, M.S., R.D. and moderator Jennifer Sabol, M.D. answering your questions about how to stay healthy during the most hectic, high-calorie time of year.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in November 2006.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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