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B vitamins in mother's diet reduce colorectal cancer risk in offspring
Date:6/9/2011

in gene expression to epigenetics, modifications of DNA which are sensitive to environmental factors such as diet," Ciappio continues. "In this case, changing maternal B vitamin intake had lasting epigenetic effects in offspring and may explain the differences in tumor incidence and aggressiveness we observed".

It remains unclear whether maternal consumption of the four B vitamins could impact tumor development in humans. ""While evidence is beginning to accumulate to suggest that maternal consumption of supplements containing folate may afford some protection against childhood cancers in offspring, we don't yet have the ability to determine whether the same holds true for cancers that normally present in the mid to late decades of life," explains Crott, who is also an assistant professor at the Friedman School.

Crott adds, "Aside from the known protective effect of maternal folate against neural tube defects such as spina bifida, our results suggest that mothers consuming supplemental quantities of these B vitamins may also be protecting her children against colorectal cancer."


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Contact: Andrea Grossman
617-636-3728
Tufts University, Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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