Folate-Rich Foods May Reduce Colon Cancer

Medically reviewed in April 2020

A leafy salad loaded with broccoli never looked so good. Just see it through the eyes of a recent study. It will start to look like a delicious green cancer fighter.

In the observational study, having high blood levels of folate was associated with a lower risk of colon cancer. And leafy greens and broccoli are two great sources of this super nutrient. So if you're over 40, load up on folate-rich foods. Colon cancer risk rises the older you get.

Food Folate or Fake Folate?
One key difference between this study and previous studies on folate and colon cancer is that the investigators performed separate assessments of both natural folate and the synthetic form used in food fortification and in dietary supplements -- called folic acid. All forms and sources of folate were counted, and more importantly, they all did their part in helping to reduce the risk of colon cancer, just so long as people got plenty of them.

Need more reasons to eat folate-rich foods? Try these two on for size:

  • Your heart loves folate. Elevated blood levels of homocysteine have been linked to heart attack and stroke. But a folate-rich diet can help keep homocysteine in check. (Related: Find out more about folate's powers over homocysteine.)
  • Your ears love folate. Research shows that age-related hearing loss could be related to low folate intake.

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