Do you want to reduce your chances for colon cancer? New research suggests you can significantly reduce your risk simply by getting plenty of B vitamins. The study found that folate is especially important. But vitamins B2, B6, and B12 are also important.

A folate deficiency alone increases the risk of breaks in your DNA. But combined with deficiencies of the other B vitamins, your risk is far worse.

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Folate and B12 team up to methylate your genes. That provides optimum protection and performance. But deficiencies of these vitamins suppress apoptosis in mouse colon cells. Apoptosis is the natural cell suicide for abnormal cells. Cancer cells lose this ability to die.

There's little doubt that this information pertains to humans as well. I've discussed methylation and the enzyme MTHFR, which governs methylation, in the past. It's a vital process for the health of your genes. And these vitamins are an integral part of this enzyme system.

Furthermore, a very large percentage of the general population is deficient in this enzyme. So it's really important to get lots of these nutrients. The best way is by consuming living fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

MTHFR is real easy to check. Just ask your integrative physician. If you're positive, you might benefit from special supplemental folic-acid derivatives, which bypass the defect. (FolaPro by Metagenics is one of my favorites - it's available on the Internet). A family history of colon cancer also suggests such a defect. I definitely recommend this supplement if that describes you. Please see your integrative physician for specifics.

Ref: "Mild depletion of dietary folate combined with other B vitamins alters multiple components of the Wnt pathway in mouse colon," Liu Z, Choi SW, et al, J Nutr, 2007; 137(12): 2701-8.

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