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Research & Development In Brief

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

Prenatal MVMs reduce cancer risk: Prenatal multivitamins fortified with folic acid reduce the risk of childhood leukemia, brain tumors and neuroblastoma, according to a study published Feb. 21 in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. Gideon Koren, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Toronto, et al., conducted a meta-analysis of seven studies. The researchers found taking a prenatal multivitamin with folic acid reduced the risk of brain tumors by 18%, neuroblastoma by 47% and leukemia by 36%. "Based on these data, one can estimate that maternal multivitamin supplementation may prevent 900 cases of pediatric leukemia and 300-400 cases of pediatric brain tumors annually in the United States," the researchers state. Koren et al. say the "most apparent limitation" of the studies included in the meta-analysis is their retrospective design. The researchers also say a limitation of the meta-analysis is the variation in the composition of the multivitamins. "As different brands of multivitamins contain different amounts of vitamins and minerals, it is difficult to ascertain which component is responsible for the protective effect," Koren et al. say...
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