Navigation Links
Offspring of female rats given folic acid supplements develop more breast cancer
Date:2/11/2011

TORONTO, Ont., Feb. 11, 2011 -- The daughters of rats who took folic acid supplements before conception, during pregnancy and while breast-feeding have breast cancer rates twice as high as other rats, according to a new study.

They also had more tumours and developed them at a faster rate, according to the study led by Dr. Young-in Kim, a gastroenterologist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto.

Kim stressed more research needs to be done to determine whether the findings also apply to humans. While there are similarities in breast cancer in rats and humans, there are differences in how rats and human metabolize folic acid. "We don't want pregnant women to panic," he said.

The amount of folic acid to which fetuses are exposed has increased dramatically in North America in the past decade. Women are routinely advised to take folic acid supplements before becoming pregnant and while pregnant to prevent neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida. Since 1998, the Canadian and U.S. governments have required food manufacturers to add folic acid to white flour, enriched pasta and cornmeal products as a way of ensuring women receive enough of the B vitamin. In addition, up to 40 per cent of North Americans take folic acid supplements for possible but as yet unproven health benefits.

A diet rich in natural folate, found in grains and dark, leafy vegetables, may help prevent cancer. But Kim's study, published in the February issue of the journal Cancer Research, adds to a growing body of evidence that high folate intake through supplements may promote some cancersand prevent others.

In Kim's animal study, half the rats were given folic acid supplements -- equivalent to what pregnant women in North America take in addition to the mandatory fortification in some foods three weeks before mating and throughout the pregnancy and lactation. After weaning, half the female pups received the same amount of folic acid supplement as the pregnant rats.

Both the rats whose mothers took folic acid supplements and those who ate a folic acid supplemented diet had a twofold increase in rates of mammary tumours than the control groups. They also had more tumors and faster-growing tumors.

The folic acid supplements given to pregnant rats seemed to have a more profound tumour-producing effect than the supplements given to infant rats, suggesting that folic acid has more impact on a developing fetus than babies, Kim said.

Folate helps to make DNA and help it replicate. Kim said the folic acid supplements appear to decrease DNA methylation how genes are turned on and off and this likely plays a role in promoting tumors.

Previous studies have shown that folic acid supplements taken before conception can either increase or decrease certain pediatric cancers in offspring. Some of these small, observational studies have linked folic acid to a decrease in neuroblastomas, leukemia and some brain tumours, but others have shown an increase in brain tumours. Kim presented research last year showing maternal folic acid supplements decreased colon cancer in offspring by about 65 per cent.

"This means the impact of folic acid supplements may be organ-specific," Kim said. "It may decrease some cancers but promote others."


'/>"/>

Contact: Leslie Shepherd
shepherdl@smh.ca
416-864-6094
St. Michael's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. How immune response in pregnancy may lead to brain dysfunction in offspring
2. Study finds monarch butterflies use medicinal plants to treat offspring for disease
3. Immune responses during pregnancy linked to schizophrenia among offspring
4. Rapid growth in adolescence leads to fewer offspring, UC Riverside biologists find
5. Do eggs matured in the laboratory result in babies with Large Offspring syndrome?
6. Study: Darwin was right to worry that marriage to his cousin affected his offspring
7. Stress during pregnancy may increase offsprings risk of asthma
8. Beewolves protect their offspring with antibiotics
9. Study of shark virgin birth shows offspring can survive long term
10. Superior offspring without genetic modification
11. Female choice benefits mothers more than offspring
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2016)... 2016   EyeLock LLC , a market leader ... of an IoT Center of Excellence in ... development of embedded iris biometric applications. EyeLock,s ... and security with unmatched biometric accuracy, making it the ... DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses video technology to deliver a ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... 9, 2016 Elevay is currently ... expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking travel ... globally connected world, there is still no substitute for ... duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. This ... taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like those ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, ... partnership that will provide end customers with a more ... payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) ... financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part in ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel ... clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module ... circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The ... cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will ... levels correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients ... will then be employed to support the design ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled a ... susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous recombination ... The new test has already been incorporated into ... cancer types. Over 230 clinical trials ... pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and WEE-1. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, ... second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical ... eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: