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Associations of dietary folate, Vitamins B6 and B12 and methionine intake with risk of breast cancer among African American and European American women.

African American (EA) women are more likely than European American (EA) women to be diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age and to develop tumours with a poor prognosis, with this racial difference largely unexplained. While nutrients involved in the methylation cycle have been linked with breast cancer, Gong et al (2014) studied these associations specifically in AA women to further under their disease development. Dietary intake of methylation related nutrients (including folate) were measured against overall breast cancer risk, menopausal states and oestrogen receptor status (OR). 1582 AA women (749 cases) and 1434 EA women (744 cases) were studied.  Results showed an inverse relationship between natural folate intake and breast cancer risk, something that may be modulated by race, menopausal status and OP status. An increased risk of breast cancer was found amongst EA women who took synthetic folic acid, a hugely interesting result from our perspective, and something that warrants further investigation.

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Carolyn Ledowsky

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