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Vitamins prevent brain tumors in children

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. Dr. Susan Preston-Martin of the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center reports that women who take vitamin-A, vitamin-C, vitamin-E and folic acid (folate) during pregnancy reduce their risk of having a child who develops a brain tumor before the age of five years. Dr. Preston-Martin presented her findings at a recent conference on preventable causes of cancer in children. She studied 377 children with brain tumors and 576 matched controls and found that the longer the women took the supplements the greater the protection appeared to be. Taking supplements was also found to be protective against brain tumors caused by a diet high in nitrites from cured meats. Women who consumed such a diet increased their risk of having a child who developed a brain tumor by a factor of 2.6. In comparison, women who took vitamins during pregnancy had only a 1.8-fold increase in the risk with a high-nitrite diet. Dr. Preston-Martin speculates that part of the protective effect may be due to the antioxidant effects of vitamins C and E which prevent the formation of carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds in the body.
McNeil, Caroline. Vitamins during pregnancy linked to lower risk of childhood brain tumors. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 89, October 15, 1997, pp. 1481-82

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