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Taking B vitamins reduces epigenetic effects of air pollution

By Chukwuma Muanya, Assistant Editor   |   20 March 2017   |   3:00 am

B Vitamins. PHOTO: Dr. Whitaker

*High folic acid level in pregnancy decreases high blood pressure in children
A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health showed that B vitamins may play a critical role in reducing the impact of air pollution on the epigenome, further demonstrating the epigenetic effects of air pollution on health. This is the first study to detail a course of research for developing interventions that prevent or minimize the adverse effects of air pollution on potential automatic markers. The results will be published online in the journal PNAS.

The study, conducted with colleagues at Harvard’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health, in Sweden, China, Singapore, Mexico and Canada, reveals how individual-level prevention may be used to control the potential pathways underlying adverse effects of the particles PM2.5, particles with an aerodynamic diameter of

From a life course perspective, childhood high blood pressure can predict higher blood pressure values later in life, and people with higher blood pressure are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular, metabolic and kidney disease and stroke. Research has also shown that maternal cardiometabolic risk factors during pregnancy – including hypertensive disorders, diabetes, and obesity – are associated with higher offspring blood pressure.

Because controlling hypertension and cardiovascular disease in adults is difficult and expensive, identifying early-life factors for the prevention of high blood pressure may be an important and cost effective public health strategy.

There is growing evidence that maternal nutrition during pregnancy, throughSickle cell trait tied to higher kidney failure risk for Africans its impact on the fetal intrauterine environment, may influence offspring cardiometabolic health. Folate, which is involved in nucleic acid synthesis, gene expression, and cellular growth, is particularly important.

In young adults, higher folic acid intake has been associated with a lower incidence of hypertension later in life. Citrus juices and dark green vegetables are good sources of folic acid.

However, the role of maternal folate levels, alone or in combination with maternal cardiometabolic risk factors on child blood pressure has not been examined in a prospective birth cohort.


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Air PollutionB vitamins


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