Keeping a proper and balanced diet during pregnancy is important for the healthy development of the child, but researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham have discovered that it might play an even bigger role than previously thought.
The study was focused on epigenetics (changes in organisms due to alterations in gene expression rather than modification of the genetic code) and ways to possibly avoid future fatal diseases as early as possible. It found that plant-based diets were showing significantly better results when it came to preventing breast cancer incidence, especially with mothers that consumed broccoli while pregnant.
Yuanyuan Li, assistant professor of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology revealed that “Bioactive dietary components that are found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli sprouts, cabbage and kale have been shown to reduce the risk of developing many common cancers through regulation of epigenetic mechanisms.”
It is estimated that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. At the moment, it is the most common type of cancer, with more than 260.000 new cases in 2018 alone, and it is expected to cause 41.000 deaths.
Individual genetic background is a crucial risk factor for breast cancer, and changes during embryogenesis and fetal development in utero have maximal preventive effects in inhibiting its occurrence.
Postnatal trials using these diets also highlighted positive results, but were not as effective as prenatal treatments. Adult tests were even less efficient.
Doctors hope that the breast cancer chemopreventive potential of using key dietary components would translate into more targeted forms of treatment and better cancer prevention for the near future.
It might not improve the taste, but knowing that it could save your child from possibly developing cancer will definitely make it more appealing.