Life Extension Update Exclusive
Higher folate and B12 intake associated with reduced breast cancer risk
The March 2006 issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention published a report by Mexican researchers that women whose intake of folate, the dietary form of the B vitamin folic acid, and vitamin B12 was high had a lower risk of breast cancer than that experienced by women whose intake was low.
Four hundred seventy-five Mexican women aged 23 to 87 diagnosed with breast cancer were compared with 1,391 women without the disease for the current study. Dietary questionnaires completed by the participants were analyzed for folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 content.
Adjusted analyses determined a lower risk of breast cancer associated with higher folate and B12 intake, however no association with vitamin B6 was found. The inverse association was greater among postmenopausal subjects. Women whose folate was in the top 25 percent of participants experienced a 36 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those whose intake was in the lowest quarter. This inverse association was stronger in women whose diets provided relatively high levels of vitamin B12. For vitamin B12, women in the top fourth had a 78 percent lower risk compared to the lowest quarter.
In their discussion of a possible mechanism for the vitamins in breast cancer protection, the authors observed that folate is a precursor of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), which is necessary for methylation reactions and for the synthesis of a compound called thymidilate, needed for DNA replication and repair. Vitamin B12 participates in folate metabolism, and low levels also affect DNA methylation.
In their introduction, the authors write, “In contrast with most known risk factors for breast cancer, dietary factors are potentially modifiable, making their identification essential.” They conclude, “Vitamin deficiency is a potentially modifiable risk factor which can be addressed by health education and expansion of fortification programs.” Further evaluation of the relation between vitamin intake and breast cancer in this population is recommended.
The following supplementation regimen is suggested. Please read the entire protocol before considering this regimen because there are certain cautions to consider. As always, consult your physician before beginning any nutritional supplementation regimen.
- Indole-3-carbinol with Standarized Broccoli (I3C), one capsule per day for individuals weighing up to 179 pounds. Those weighing over 239 pounds, take two capsules per day. Indole-3-Carbinol with Standardized Broccoli also comes in a 300 mg dose for those weighing 180-239 pounds and only requires one capsule per day. Caution: Pregnant women should not take indole-3-carbinol because of its modulation of estrogen.
- Curcumin, four 900 mg capsules, 3 times daily on an empty stomach for a total of 10.8 g per day. Note the caution earlier in this protocol.
- Lightly caffeinated green tea extract, three 725 mg capsules, two times a day with meals. Use decaffeinated green tea extract if you are sensitive to caffeine or want to use the less-stimulating version with the evening dosage.
- CLA or CLA with Guarana, 3000 to 4000 mg daily of CLA and about 300 mg of guarana, early in the day.
- Melatonin, 3 to 50 mg at bedtime.
- PhytoFood Powder (broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables that provide sulphoraphane and other cancer-fighting plant extracts), 1-2 tbsp daily.
- Se-methylselenocysteine, 200 to 400 mcg daily.
- CoQ10, three 100 mg softgels in divided doses. Note the caution stated in this protocol.
- Super EPA/DHA w/Sesame Lignans, 8 softgels daily, in divided doses. Take with nonfiber meals.
- Vitamin D3, 4000 to 6000 IU taken daily with monthly blood testing to monitor for toxicity. Reduce dosage at 6 months.
- Water-soluble vitamin A, 100,000 to 300,000 IU daily with monthly blood testing to monitor for toxicity. Reduce dosage at 6 months (refer to vitamin A precautions in Appendix A).
- Vitamin E succinate (tocopheryl succinate), 1200 IU daily.
- Gamma E Tocopherol w/Sesame Lignans, 1 capsule daily.
- Vitamin C, 4000 to 12,000 mg throughout the day.
- Gamma linolenic acid, 4 capsules of Mega GLA w/Sesame Lignans.
- Whey protein concentrate-isolate, 30 to 60 grams daily in divided doses.
- Bone Restore provides calcium, magnesium, and bone-protecting nutrients. Take 5 capsules at bedtime.
- Vitamin K, 10 mg daily.
- Silicon, 6 mg daily. (Jarrow's Biosil is recommended.)
- Life Extension Mix without Copper (multinutrient formula), 3 tablets 3 times daily.
Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 Capsules
Folic acid (folate) is a member of the B-complex family. It is found in abundance in leafy green vegetables, but is often deficient in the standard American diet. Folic acid participates in a coenzyme reaction that synthesizes DNA needed for cell growth and new cell formation and helps convert vitamin B12 to one of its coenzyme forms.
Complete B Complex
Most B-complex products contain the same amount of each B vitamin. On the other hand, studies have shown that pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) has an ideal daily dose of over 700 mg. Complete B-complex contains potent, but safe, and different amounts of the B-vitamins.
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