A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that very high folate intake may be protective against breast cancer. The trial included 35,023 women aged 50-76 years who participated in the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) cohort study. It was determined that between the years 2000 to 2006 a total of 743 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. The researchers found that women who consumed 1,272 or more dietary folate equivalents (DFE)/day of total folate over an average 10-year period had a 22 percent decrease in breast cancer risk compared with women consuming 345 DFE/day or less. It was also discovered that the effect of very high folate intake was more pronounced when focusing on estrogen receptor (ER)-negative tumors alone, which is particularly important since ER-negative breast cancers generally have a poorer prognosis than their ER-positive counterparts. This research appears to indicate that high intakes of folate may actually be protective against breast cancer, especially ER-negative tumors.1

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