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Folic acid may lower certain types of childhood cancer

In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated food manufacturers to fortify foods with folic acid due to strong evidence it reduced neural tube defects in babies. In this new, largest study to date, doctors found folic acid may also lower certain types of childhood cancer.

Researchers compared cancer diagnoses in 8,829 children, aged four and under, over 22 years, both before and after the FDA mandate. Rates of Wilm’s tumor, a kidney cancer, and PNET, a type of brain tumor, decreased significantly after folic acid fortification.

Folate and folic acid are both forms of the water soluble B vitamin. Good sources include cereals, leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli and lettuce, and bananas, lemons, melons, legumes, yeast, and organ meats.

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