NaturalNews) 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."