Thursday, February 22, 2007

Kid's Cancer Rates Halved by Taking Vitamins: Study

An articled published in the Toronto Star reported that multivitamins and folic acid taken during pregnancy can help mother reduce a baby's risk of cancer.

Simply taking multivitamins and folic acid during pregnancy can help a mother reduce her baby's risk of developing the most common childhood cancers by up to one half, a new study out of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children says.

While it has long been known that Folic acid can dramatically reduce the rate of Spina Bifida, it was not previosly known that folic acid and mutlivitamins can impact the occurrence of cancer.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, the study found that multivitamins fortified with folic acid could lower the chances of contracting brain tumours by 27 per cent, leukemia by 39 per cent and neuroblastoma by 49 per cent.

The study also concluded that doctors should recommend folic acid and multivitamins to all of their female patients who are pregnant.

To read the entire article, click here.


FOLIC ACID FACTS

Folic acid is a water-soluble member of the B complex. It is also known as folate and folacin. This vitamin is needed for energy production, cell replication and the formation of red and white blood cells. It plays an important role in the conversion of homocysteine into harmless substances. Homocysteine damages the inner lining of arteries and high levels of homocysteine are correlated to an increased risk of atherosclerosis. Folic acid is especially needed in areas where there is high cell turnover. Therefore it is an essential component of normal fetal development, especially in the first trimester when most of the neural network is laid down.
It is commonly recommended by natural health care practitioners for a variety of different therapeutic applications including: cervical dysplasia, depression, anxiety, anemia and atherosclerosis.

All of the B vitamins work together and are best used by the body in a B complex, which is why many B complex supplements include a small dose of folic acid in them. If additional supplementation of folic acid is needed it should be taken in addition to a good B complex. Most B vitamins are water-soluble and any extra from large doses is flushed out of the body easily, therefore it's best to take lower dosages of the B complex several times a day than one larger dose. Spray or sublingual forms of B vitamins are easily absorbed, as are capsules - if your digestion is healthy, then the tablet form is usually suitable for most people.

Folic acid is depleted by oral contraceptives and many other types of medication. Alcohol blocks the absorption of folic acid. High doses of folic acid can also change the way your body uses certain medications. Check with your health practitioner before taking large doses of folic acid. Cooking or microwaving destroys folic acid. Pregnant women should begin supplementation before they become pregnant because folic acid is most needed during the first six weeks of fetal life. This is often when a woman does not know she is pregnant.

To shop for folic acid supplements, click here.

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