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Prenatal nutrition

Prenatal vitamins shown to reduce children's risk of cancer

Sunday, March 04, 2007 by: M. T. Whitney
Tags: prenatal nutrition, prenatal vitamins, expectant mothers


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(NewsTarget) Taking folic acid and multivitamins while pregnant can nearly halve the chance of a child getting a common cancer before the age of 18, new evidence from a Toronto children's hospital shows. The study, from Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, was pursued when officials at the hospital noticed a drop in neuroblastomas five years ago, after the Canadian government started requiring flour manufacturers to add folic acid to their product in 1998.

Jump directly to: conventional view | alternative view | resources | bottom line

What you need to know - Conventional View


• Folic acid and multivitamins were shown to lower the chance of leukemia in children by 39 percent.

• The same one-two punch can lower the risk of a child developing a brain tumor by 27 percent.

• The risk of a child getting a neuroblastoma, which attacks the nervous system, was lowered by 49 percent.

• For spina bifida, a spinal condition, the risk is lowered by 80 percent with folic acid supplements.

• Most folic acid supplements will give you between 600 and 1,000 milligrams for the day, more than the government-recommended 400 milligrams.

• Only 40 percent of Canadian mothers take the right amount of folic acid supplements during pregnancy, Dr. Gideon Koren, the study's principal investigator, told The Toronto Star.

• The study was published Feb. 21 in the journal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

• "To our amazement and surprise, all available studies today from different parts of the world ... showed a similar trend (to the one in Ontario)," Koren told the Toronto Star.

What you need to know - Alternative View

Statements and opinions by Mike Adams

• Most birth defects can be prevented by a program of wholesome prenatal nutrition. Folic acid is only one of a long list of nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids that reduce birth defects and boost the health of newborns.

• Conventional medicine's knowledge about prenatal nutrition is seriously limited. Most doctors still don't warn pregnant women to avoid hydrogenated oils, MSG and artificial sweeteners. There seems to be almost no interest from the health care industry in preventing birth defects with nutrients other than folic acid.

• The vast majority of expectant mothers are chronically deficient in vitamin D, zinc and magnesium, too. This causes low birth weight babies and severe problems with diabetes and heart disease that appear later in the life of the child.

Bottom line


• Mothers who take folic acid and prenatal vitamins may reduce risk of cancer in their children.

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