B Vitamins Benefit Women Over 65
If you’re over 65 and female, be sure to keep up with your B vitamins. It seems that folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 may help to protect you from invasive cancers and breast cancer.
Researchers studied over 5,000 women for the effects of these B vitamins on cancer risk. While the study showed neither harm nor benefit for younger women, those over 65 reduced their risk of breast cancer by 38% and their risk of other invasive cancers by 25%.
The women were studied for just over seven years. Half received the following daily supplements: 250 mcg of folic acid, 50 mg of B6 and 100 mcg of B12. The other half took a placebo. Since women in the 65 plus age bracket are at high risk for cancer, this apparent reduction is significant, according to study author Shumin Zhang of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
Folic acid, B6 and B12 are thought to aid cancer prevention because they are known to help preserve the integrity of DNA and regulate gene expression, which are important to maintaining healthy cells.
The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: If you are a woman over the age of 65, your risk for cancer is significantly higher than your younger counterparts, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to reduce your risk! Make sure you are getting adequate levels of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 to keep your risk for cancer as low as possible.
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Article updated on: April 16th, 2009