HEALTH BEAT 11-1-1998

Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts November 1998 Current Issue
November 1998
AppleShort Cuts:

Did Darryl take his vitamins? Colon cancer is making headlines of late, with New York Yankees' outfielder Darryl Strawberry undergoing treatment last month. At the same time, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggested that prevention can be as simple as taking multivitamins containing folic acid.

A study by Harvard Medical School in Boston tracked nearly 90,000 female nurses who were free of cancer in 1980. Over the next 14 years, 442 of the nurses were diagnosed with colon cancer.

When researchers looked specifically at the use of multivitamins containing folic acid, a B vitamin found in leafy greens, beans and nuts, they found a reduction in colon cancer risk among longtime vitamin-takers. Those who had taken folic acid for five years showed a 20 percent reduction in risk. Among those who had taken folic acid for at least 15 years, the risk dropped by a dramatic 75 percent.

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