Prenatal Vitamins save Children from Brain Tumor Risk
“The chances of brain tumor development in child can be reduced by taking multivitamins in the early stages of pregnancy”, says a latest research study. By taking multivitamins pregnant women can save children from dangerous diseases like medulloblastoma.
Many public health agencies emphasize to take multivitamins rich in folic acid during early stages of pregnancy as it reduces the risk of neural tube defect like spina bifida development in the fetus. Multivitamins are also effective in reducing the risk of tumor development in the fetus.
According to research leader Greta R. Bunin, Ph.D., The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, “This current study suggests another possible protective effect for the vitamins.” She also added that “Children whose mothers took multivitamins close to the time of conception seemed less likely to suffer medulloblastoma and primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the brain.”
Medulloblastoma, a childhood brain tumor although rare but it is 2nd most common occurring brain tumor among children. Approximately 1 child out of 20,000 children is affected by medulloblastoma under the age of 6. This tumor basically affects the cerebellum and the portion of brain which organizes body movements.
The research team selected randomly 315 healthy children and compared them with 315 children who were diagnosed with tumor before age 6. The tumor diagnosed children were registered under Children’s Oncology Group a multicenter working in collaboration with pediatric cancer programs of USA and Canada.
Researchers conducted a telephonic survey and the study was published in September issue of
Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention Journal
. Although the defensive effect of multivitamins during early stages of pregnancy was slightly significant but statistically strongly significant as compared to the early findings of the team.
Researchers also found that multivitamins taken in later stages of pregnancy did not have significant protective effect against medulloblastoma and PNET. According to Dr. Bunin time close to conception is a critical period for the development of these tumors. But maximum women don’t come to know about their pregnancy at the early stage. Hence it is generally advised to women to take multivitamins from their reproductive age even if they are not pregnant.
Dr. Bunin finally concluded that “Taking multivitamins in the first few weeks of pregnancy definitely helps prevent neural tube defects. While more research remains to be done, our findings suggest that multivitamins may prevent some brain tumors as well.”