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How what and how much we eat (and drink) affects our risk of cancer
Date:4/13/2008

n utero could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in the offspring.

Researchers placed female rats on a control diet or folic acid supplemented diet three weeks prior to breeding, and they stayed on this diet throughout pregnancy and lactation. The male pups from each group were then fed a control or folic acid supplemented diet at weaning.

At five to six weeks, the pups were injected with a colorectal cancer causing chemical, and, at 34 weeks, researchers measured tumor incidence, multiplicity and burden as well as plasma folate, homocysteine and liver folate concentrations.

Pups from mothers on the control diet had a nearly three-fold increased risk of developing colorectal cancer compared with those from rats on folic acid supplementation. Maternal folic acid supplementation significantly decreased the risk of offspring developing colorectal cancer while postnatal folic acid supplementation had no significant effect on the incidence of tumor development.

Even though folic acid has been successful in reducing neural tube defect rates and is beneficial against some childhood cancers, the potential long term benefits and adverse effects of the drastically increased folate status in the North American population needs to be closely monitored, said Sie. With the continuing debate and controversy surrounding mandatory folic acid fortification and supplementation, it is critical to determine safe and effective doses and timing of folic acid intervention for colorectal cancer prevention.


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Contact: Staci Vernick Goldberg
Staci.goldberg@aacr.org
267-646-0616
American Association for Cancer Research
Source:Eurekalert

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