More Veggies, Fruit, Protein Lower Leukemia Risks in Newborns

It's hard for me to go for very long on this blog without reminding you how much a nutritious diet based on your personal nutritional type affects your overall health, and that goes double for women carrying their unborn child who eat for two.

That's why I was excited to read about a new study that suggests women who eat more vegetables, fruit and protein before pregnancy may lower the risk of having a child who develops leukemia, the nation's most common childhood cancer.

Researchers compared 138 women who each had a child diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) with a control group of equal numbers whose children did not have cancer. The children of all the women in the study were matched by sex, age, race and county of residence at birth.

After comparing the women's diets in the 12 months prior to pregnancy, researchers found that the higher the intake of vegetables, fruit and foods in the protein group, the lower the risk of having a child with leukemia.

Although I'm not at all surprised by this, some researchers didn't anticipate one important food source -- protein-- as a beneficial food group in lowering childhood leukemia risk. After more research, scientists found glutathione was the nutrient in the protein group with a strong link to lower cancer risk. Glutathione, an antioxidant found in both meat and legumes, plays a role in the synthesis and repair of DNA, as well as the detoxification of certain harmful compounds.

EurekAlert September 8, 2004

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