Avogadro's Avocados - A Huge Number Of Conflicting Folate Stories

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Talk about mixed messages. Vitamin B9, (aka, folic acid or folate) has been atop the "Bipolar News Nielsens" for the past two weeks. And it's all because of a silly scare about formaldehyde. I'll explain this later, but first, take a look at these headlines!

There are SO many stories about avocados (let's call this phenomenon "Avogadro's Number of Avocados")  because they are rich in folic acid, which is either good for you, bad for you, or neither, depending on what you read. Good luck sorting this out.

  1. Women with the faulty ‘Angelina Jolie’ breast cancer gene should cut back on trendy avocado breakfasts to lower their risk. (Daily Mail) (8/17)

This is both crazy and potentially harmful. It implies that dietary folic acid will give women, who are unfortunate enough to have either of the BRCA mutations, cancers, which are likely to develop anyhow. Please. Women who have either of these mutations have a 45-65% chance of developing breast cancer by age 70, compared to 12% of women who don't. Furthermore, the chances that they will develop ovarian cancer are 11-17% vs. 1.3%. These are enormously high relative risk factors. 

Women who are born with these mutations will carry with them substantial and serious health risks throughout their lives, which is why Angelina Jolie chose to have a prophylactic double mastectomy. This surgery reduces the chance of breast cancer by 90-95%.

The reason that the avocado nonsense is so nonsensical is that, in the absence of prophylactic mastectomies, women born with BRCA mutations are frighteningly likely to develop breast cancer no matter what they eat. And this big stink about nothing may very well increase the chances that some women who may normally shy away from "Western medicine" will forgo it entirely and instead try to manage their cancer risk by diet. This premise is not so unreasonable, given the current obsession with eating healthy food. (See my colleague Dr. Ruth Kava's article Newest Diet Obsession — Orthorexia — a Preoccupation With 'Clean' Food). 

Then there's this:

New Avocado Research Makes Superfruit Even More Desirable (Scoop Health) (8/11)

Apparently, the folks over at Scoop Health disagree with their British brethren, which is not terribly surprising since the article was released by the group New Zealand Avocado, which may or may not have anything to do with selling avocados from New Zealand. 

Speaking of bias and avocados, the imbecile below is biased and an avocado. Virtually everything that comes out of his mouth is dead wrong. And he may have some personal hygiene issues too. 

David "Avocado" Wolfe. Please lend him some shampoo


Then we have this paradigm of prose :

Is your fruit and veg safe to eat? (Virtual College) (8/21)

Virtual College must be teaching virtual English. I don't care what they have to say. Ignore it. Don't attention them to pay.


Don't worry. Medical Daily addresses the previous question. Yes, your veg safe am to eat.

The Avocado Seed You Trash May Be The Most Useful Part (Medical Daily) (8/21)

"It could very well be that avocado seed husks, which most people consider as the waste of wastes, are actually the gem of gems because the medicinal compounds within them could eventually be used to treat cancer, heart disease, and other conditions... As for the fruit of the avocado, we already know it has a wealth of health benefits. Just a single 100-gram serving has vitamin K, folate, vitamin C..."

OK, so within 11 days, we have heard that avocados both cause and prevent cancer. Who to believe? That's why the American Council is your buddy! We figure out impossible stuff and give you answers. 

Lastly, cancer isn't the only malady to be impacted by folate:

10 nutrients that will prevent hair loss during MENOPAUSE

"Folic acid, a type of folate, plays a crucial role in helping hair tissues grow by stimulating hair rebuilding mechanism of the follicle cells. Additionally, it also helps prevent greys!"

What the hell is going on here??? Did some anti-grammar plague hit the earth and if so, is the CDC doing hiding it? Or did they leave it in the coat closet with live small pox virus? Again. (See: Smallpox In A Big Box With No Locks)

CDC Headquarters  No one home. They're too busy making sure grandma doesn't get an aspirin. 


Until the CDC figures out the etiology of this anti-grammar pathogen, you might want to get you hands on one of these. 

Next: The science behind the folate scares - endogenous formaldehyde. And guess what? You need it to live.