Washington, May 27: A new study has found offspring of rats, who were given folic acid supplements during pregnancy and while breast-feeding, have reduced rate of colon cancer as low as 64 percent than other rats who were not given the supplements.
The research, led by Young-in Kim, a gastroenterologist at St. Michael’s Hospital, is the first to find that folic acid supplements at the level ingested by North American women of childbearing age “significantly protects against the development of colorectal cancer in the offspring.”
“It appears that giving folic acid during pregnancy and lactation reduces DNA damage and suppresses the proliferation of cells in the colon,” Kim said.
“It actually increases the stability of the DNA and this might be one of the mechanisms of how folic acid in utero may protect against colon cancer,” he said.
Natural folate is found in grains and dark, leafy vegetables.
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.
The study was published in Gut, a leading international journal in gastroenterology. (ANI)