Study: More Vitamin B in Mother’s Diet Reduces Risk of Colon Cancer in Offspring

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on
mother and daughter preparing food

Few experts question the influence a mother’s diet can have on her children’s long term physical health. Yet, many believe this effect is mostly sociological, limited to positive or negative role modeling, and the development of general dietary habits later in life. However, new research suggests that the foods moms eat could impact the health of their children much more directly.

Scientists at Tufts University’s USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA), near Boston, have recently published findings of a new study which shows a strong connection between the quantity of B vitamins pregnant mice consume and the likelihood of their offspring developing colorectal cancer as adults [1].

Breaking Down The Study

Three test groups of pregnant and nursing mice, which were genetically engineered to be predisposed to develop colorectal cancer, were fed diets with either higher than normal, adequate, or slightly deficient amounts of folate and vitamins B2, B6, and B12. Once fully weened, all newborn mice were fed identical, nutritionally balanced diets through adulthood.

The occurrence of tumor development appeared similar between both the adequate and B vitamin deficient groups, with about 60 percent of the mice in each of these two groups eventually developing colon cancer. In comparison, less than 20 percent of the mice in the group that was given larger than normal servings of B vitamins were found to have malignant growths.

While these figures are impressive, the researchers caution that the study itself is only a preliminary investigation, and additional studies will be needed to further assess the correlation between maternal vitamin B consumption and reduced risk of cancer in humans.

Dr. Jimmy Crott, PhD, lead author of the HNRCA study:

“We saw, by far, the fewest intestinal tumors in the offspring of mothers consuming the supplemented diet. Although the tumor incidence was similar between offspring of deficient and adequate mothers, 54% of tumors in the deficient offspring were advanced and had invaded surrounding tissue while only 18% of tumors in the offspring of adequate mothers displayed these aggressive properties.”

Most healthcare providers already recommend higher than normal intake of folate and other essential B vitamins during pregnancy and while nursing as part of routine prenatal care. And accordingly, most popular brands of prenatal vitamins> contain significantly larger than normal serving of all four B vitamins as compared to regular multivitamins. The standard reasons for this, however, have nothing to do with with the prevention of colon cancer.

In addition to their potential for the risk of colorectal cancer, Vitamin B – folate, more specifically – has long been known to play an important role in the prevention of spina bifida and related defects of the neural tube (a sort of embryonic forerunner of the central nervous system) during fetal gestation. It’s also believed to have a strong influence on proper neurological development in very young children.

References (1)
  1. Andrea Grossman. B Vitamins in mother's diet reduce colorectal cancer risk in offspring. Turfts Now. 20011 June 9.

†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Global Healing Center does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Global Healing Center are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.

  • Sierra Goldstien

    Interesting. You may find the documentary Food Matters to you liking. Talks a lot about vitamins and diseases.

  • Stephanie

    What is the difference between methylcobalamin instead of cyanocobalamin, and why is methylcobalamin recommended over the other?

  • ghc_health

    Stephanie,
    Thank you for your post! Mike Addams has a really good article about this very concern, it suggest the following:

    Cyanocobalamin is a cheap, synthetic chemical made in a laboratory. It’s virtually impossible for you to find this form in nature. Low-end vitamin manufacturers use it because it can be bought in bulk and added to products with claims that they “contain vitamin B-12!” What they don’t tell you is that the vitamin is bound to a toxic, poisonous cyanide molecule that must then be removed from your body by your liver. Cyanocobalamin is also up to 100 times cheaper than the higher quality methylcobalamin

    The proper form of vitamin B-12 to supplement is called methylcobalamin. This is the form that exists in nature, and it is pre-methylated, meaning it’s ready for your biochemistry to put to immediate use. Methylcobalamin has several key advantages over cyanocobalamin:

    * Increased absorption
    * Better retention in tissues
    * Contains no toxic cyanide
    * Supports production of SAMe

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032766_cyanocobalamin_vitamin_B-12.html#ixzz21lAz7j6f

    I hope that this helps you, take care and be well!


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