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Individuals who are worried about their risk of receiving a positive colon cancer test may benefit from getting a little more folate in their diets, as a new study published in the journal Gastroenterology has found that the nutrient may significantly cut the risk of colon cancer.
Researchers from the American Cancer Society surveyed nearly 10,000 individuals between 1999 and 2007 about their nutrient intake while reviewing participants' medical records for indications of colon cancer. The results showed that individuals who had the highest folate intake were the least likely to develop the disease.
"We found that all forms and sources of folate were associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer," said Victoria Stevens, who led the investigation.
Furthermore, there has been some concern in the medical community recently that excessively high levels of folate may actually increase a person's risk of certain cancers. However, the present study showed that there was no increased risk, even among those who consumed the most folate.
The researchers added that their findings make sense because folate is involved in normal cell growth and DNA synthesis, two processes that go haywire in the development of most cancers.
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