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Dr. Fuhrman warns: DO NOT take multivitamins or prenatal vitamins that contain folic acid

Posted Dec 01 2009 10:00pm

Folic acid supplementation is dangerous – especially for pregnant women

In a 10-year study, 1,2 scientists found that women who take multivitamins containing folic acid increase their breast cancer risk by 20-30%.

Even more alarming are the associations between supplemental folic acid during pregnancy and death from breast cancer,17 and asthma and respiratory tract infections in children. 5-6

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broccoli

Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin, which is abundant in green vegetables. Folate protects against birth defects known as neural tube defects (NTDs). Pregnant women could safely increase their folate status and prevent NTDs by eating green vegetables, but instead they are instructed to take folic acid supplements, putting them and their children at risk. Folic acid supplements are not a substitute for folate-containing green vegetables – there are inverse associations between maternal vegetable intake and childhood cancers. 12-13

Unlike synthetic folic acid, folate obtained from food sources – especially green vegetables – protects against breast and prostate cancer.

There is inverse relationship between dietary folate intake and breast and prostate cancer. 4,3  Chemical differences between folate and folic acid translate into differences in uptake and processing of these two substances by the cells in the intestinal wall – excess folic acid in the circulation can occur. Luckily, folate from food comes naturally packaged in balance with other micronutrients and the body regulates its absorption. 9

Rich sources of food folate

As a reference point, the U.S. RDA for folate is 400μg. Below is the approximate folate content for a 100-calorie serving. 8

Spinach, raw

843 μg

Romaine lettuce

800 μg

Asparagus, cooked

750 μg

Mustard greens, raw

700 μg

Collards, raw

550 μg

Broccoli, cooked

300 μg

Edamame

225 μg

Chickpeas

150 μg

Papaya

90 μg

Orange

70 μg

Blackberries

55 μg

Avocado

50 μg

Sunflower seeds

40 μg

Quinoa, cooked

35 μg

Additional foods listed in full article

Clearly, we do not need synthetic folic acid supplements to meet our daily folate requirements.

Dr. Fuhrman’s Gentle Care FormulaMultivitamin does not contain folic acid

Supplemental folic acid has also been linked to prostate cancer3, colorectal cancer4, and overall cancer mortality.7 Because folate is abundant in the nutritarian diet, and synthetic folic acid is so potentially dangerous, folic acid is not included in Dr. Fuhrman’s Gentle Caremultivitamin.

Dr. Fuhrman does not recommend prenatal vitamins because of the potentially harmful ingredients, such as folic acid.

Dr. Fuhrman’s special recommendations for pregnant women:

(See full article for references)

 

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