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Supplements: The vitamin that may ‘significantly’ raise cancer risk when taken ‘long term’

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Heart patients in Norway who took folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements were found to have a slightly increased risk for cancer and death from all causes, compared to heart patients who did not take the supplements.

Study researcher Marta Ebbing, MD, of Norway’s Haukeland University Hospital and colleagues analysed data from two studies that included almost 7,000 heart patients treated with B vitamin supplements or placebo for an average of three and one-half years between 1998 and 2005.

The original intent of the studies was to determine if taking vitamin B supplements improved cardiovascular outcomes, which it didn’t do.

During treatment, blood folate levels among patients who took 0.8 milligrams a day of folic acid plus 0.4 milligrams a day of vitamin B12 increased more than sixfold.

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