How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jef Burk Your Own Question
Jef Burk
Jef Burk, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2639
Experience:  MBBS. I've been teaching,practicing and learning since 1985.
Type Your Medical Question Here...
Jef Burk is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

The April, 2010, issue of Readers Degest published an article

This answer was rated:

The April, 2010, issue of Reader's Degest published an article titled "The Vitamin Scam" The author, Christie Aschwanden stated that (1) High doses of Folic Acid "could" raise the risk of colon cancer. However, I take 800 mcg of folic acid and it DID bring down my homocysgteine from 17.5 to 10.1! I thought that a high level of homocysteine was a cardo risk? (I do have harding of the arteries at age 74) Question: What is he "safe" level to take as a supplement? (2) She also stated that Vitamin's C, E, beta-carotene, vitamins B6, B12 and folate did NOT break down the amino acid homocysteine.

Question: I take a multi-vitamin, 800 mcg of folic acid and a little extra B-6, B-12, B-2 (none in excess) Should I continue with this dosage?



Much as I respect the Readers Digest as an excellent publication it is not an authoritative medical text.


In fact there is some evidence to suggest that folic acid may have a role in preventing bowel cancer - although this link has not been proven.


"Dietary factors are the subject of intense and ongoing investigations. Epidemiological studies have linked increased risk of colorectal cancer with a diet high in red meat and animal fat, low-fiber diet, and low overall intake of fruits and vegetables. Factors associated with lower risk include folate intake, calcium intake, and estrogen replacement therapy. However, most of these studies were retrospective epidemiological studies and have yet to be validated in prospective, placebo-controlled, interventional trials."


There is certainly no evidence , whatsoever , that changing your intake of folic acid would increase your risk of bowel cancer.


Dr Jef

Customer: replied 6 years ago.


Thank you for your answer - I will continue to take my 800 mcg of Folic Acid - in addition to that I receive in food.


I also asked about the B vitamins, Vit. C,E and beta-carotene What are the "safe" upper limits of taking these vit. I do not take Mega doses of any.



To be honest I am unsure of the exact upper limits of dosing for these vitamins.


However - if you do not exceed the dosage stated on the packaging you should be fine.


I should point out that I would only advise vitamin supplementation if you had a proven deficiency.


Dr Jef

Jef Burk and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

Related Medical Questions