Mice born to mothers who are fed a diet supplemented with B vitamins are less likely to develop intestinal tumors, report scientists at Tufts University.
Mothers were fed diets containing supplemental, adequate or mildly deficient quantities of vitamins B2, B6, B12 and folate prior to conception through weaning, after which all of the offspring received the same adequate diet.
“We saw, by far, the fewest intestinal tumors in the offspring of mothers consuming the supplemented diet,” says Jimmy Crott, PhD, senior author. “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.”
“Aside from the known protective effect of maternal folate against neural tube defects such as spina bifida, our results suggest that mothers consuming supplemental quantities of these B vitamins may also be protecting her children against colorectal cancer.”
Gut – June 9, 2011;Epub