April 18, 2014
Folate, Alcohol and Breast Cancer

Folate, Alcohol and Breast Cancer

by Berkeley Wellness  |  

Woman who drink should be sure to consume enough folate, one of the B vitamins. Studies suggest that an adequate folate intake reduces the increased risk of breast cancer associated with alcohol. Alcohol impairs folate absorption in the body and increases its excretion, and folate deficiency is linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer. Thus, female drinkers with low folate intake, in particular, may be at increased risk for breast cancer.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folate is 400 micrograms a day. Leafy greens and citrus fruit are good sources; many grain products are fortified with folic acid (the form of folate used for fortification and in supplements). A basic multivitamin provides the RDA. Higher-dose supplements are not necessary or recommended.

Exception: Women who may become pregnant should take 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid a day to help prevent birth defects.