Habib and I were at lunch with Dr. Fuhrman recently. Blake Kassel, who runs Bodylastics, was also there and he asked Dr. Fuhrman a question that he had been asked about folic acid and pregnancy. The answer stunned us, and gave us the idea to come back the next day with a video camera and get some of this information out there, because it is not in any of his books right now.
- Nobody should be taking folic acid, they should instead focus on folate. Green vegetables in particular have a lot of folate in them.
- Food does not have folic acid in it, it has folate
- Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a member of the family of B vitamins that is involved in regulating DNA synthesis and gene expression. Because of these crucial functions, folate plays an important role in fetal development - folate is essential during pregnancy, especially early on in pregnancy, for the prevention of neural tube defects. Folate is abundant in green vegetables like spinach, collards, bok choy, artichokes, and broccoli. Even black beans are high in folate.
- Women who followed the typical recommendations to take folic acid during pregnancy and were followed by researchers for thirty years were twice as likely to die from breast cancer. Another study following women for ten years concluded that those who took multivitamins containing folic acid increased their breast cancer risk by 20-30%. Folic acid in supplement form may contribute to producing a cancer-promoting environment in the body – in addition to breast cancer, synthetic folic acid has been linked to dramatic increases in prostate and colorectal cancers, as well as overall cancer incidence. The studies that Dr. Fuhrman references are listed at the bottom of this blog post.
- Folate has the opposite effect. High folate intake is associated with dramatic decrease in cancer.
- Even if a supplement has the word "Folate" it is probabaly folic acid. You can watch the video to learn more: