CIRCLE director, Dr. Catherine Metayer, demonstrated that the use of prenatal vitamins and folic acid reduced the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia among participants in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium.

What is folate?

Folate (or its synthetic form called folic acid) is a vitamin that is important to the healthy growth and development of a baby, and intake of folate or folic acid through food or vitamins is recommended before and during pregnancy. It is also believed that folate intake during pregnancy can affect DNA and the expression of genes, which are important for the development of healthy cells.

Folate in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium

Research from the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium found that children of mothers who eat foods or take vitamin supplements with a lot of folate and other B vitamins before and during pregnancy have a lower risk of developing leukemia (the full article is available here). Because poor nutrition during pregnancy can disrupt fetal development and the formation of the immune system, it may also contribute to an increased risk of childhood leukemia. The good news is that healthy diet during pregnancy and vitamin supplementation can help prevent the disease.

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Prenatal folic acid can reduce risk for childhood leukemia.

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CIRCLE leukemia risk factors at home

Fact Sheets

Still have questions? Link to other helpful sources of information on childhood leukemia and its risk factors.


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