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Folic acid during pregnancy may reduce baby's cancer risk

Folic acid during pregnancy may reduce baby's cancer risk

The importance of maintaining high intake levels of folic acid during pregnancy
has been established by numerous scientific studies, all of which verify that
the vitamin directly affects the intelligence and physical health of the child
later in life. And now a new study adds to this body of evidence, showing a 64
percent reduction in colon cancer rates among children whose mothers
supplemented with folic acid during pregnancy.

Published in the journal
Gut, the new study exhibits positive benefits to taking folic acid, a B-vitamin
which is found naturally in leafy-green vegetables, lentils, and beans. Besides
helping to prevent birth defects, folate is known to make and
help replicate DNA, as well as
aid in the production of new blood cells.

"It appears that giving folic
acid during pregnancy
and lactation reduces DNA damage and suppresses the proliferation of cells in
the colon," said Dr.
Young-in Kim, gastroenterologist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and author
of the study. "It actually increases the stability of the DNA and this might be
one of the mechanisms of how folic acid in utero may protect against colon cancer."

2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association
found that folic acid supplementation during pregnancy aids in producing children with improved brain
development and better motor skills ( And in 2006, a study
published in the peer-reviewed journal CANCER found that folic acid helps
to prevent and treat cancer
in general (

"Folic acid
... is essential in DNA synthesis and in the way in which genes are expressed,"
writes James Scala, PhD, in his book 20 Natural Ways to Reduce the Risk of Prostate Cancer: A
Mind-Body Approach to Health and Well-Being
. "Data ... indicates folic
acid shortfalls predispose people to cancer."

Sources for this story

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Tags: Folic, acid, baby's, cancer, during, may, pregnancy, reduce, risk


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