online_survey_icon_or_logo1Public outreach is a vital part of the mission of the Linus Pauling Institute. Please help us improve our efforts by taking this short online survey.

It should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete. As a way to say thank-you, we’ll be doing a drawing among survey participants for 2 $50 Amazon gift cards as well as 10 copies of the following Linus Pauling Institute publications: An Evidence-based Approach to Vitamins and Minerals: Health Benefits and Intake Recommendations and An Evidence-based Approach to Phytochemicals and Other Dietary Factors. 

Thank you for your participation!

Recent headlines linking folic acid and autism are misleading and potentially dangerous. Photo credit: Tatiana Vdb // Flickr
Recent headlines linking folic acid and autism are misleading and potentially dangerous. Photo credit: Tatiana Vdb // Flickr

Last week, many in the nutrition and medical fields let out a collective sigh. That’s because there is good quality nutrition research, from actual humans in randomized control trials, showing the importance of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy. Taking a multivitamin with 400 mcg of folic acid (the form of folate found in most supplements) can prevent birth defects associated with the brain and spinal cord. And organizations like the March of Dimes have done a good job getting the word out about folic acid to women of childbearing age. The FDA even just announced it would allow corn flour to be fortified with folic acid, in order to prevent birth defects among women who eat corn as a staple in their diet.

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Smoking is a leading cause of cancer


Forget smoking, sunburns, infections, and bad diet: two-thirds of cancers are due to “bad luck.”  That was the takeaway—and subsequent media headlines—from an article published in Science last year by researchers at Johns Hopkins Unversity.

Fast forward several months and another study looking at the same question came out in Nature with the opposite conclusion: lifestyle and other external factors account for over 70% of most cancers.

Two big name journals.  Two different conclusions.  So which is right?  What should be the new takeaway?

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Fish oil - a source of omega-3

Stories from various news outlets (and even from different researchers at Oregon State University) have said:

This is confusing and frustrating for all of us. As is the case with most headlines, when you look more closely at the study details, explanations emerge.

We have been gathering information on omega-3 fatty acids for decades and slowly learning about the many, varied, and complex effects of omega-3 fatty acids on health.

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