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Diet helps cut leukemia in newborns

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BERKELEY, Calif., Sep 08, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- New U.S. research has found that eating more vegetables, fruit and

protein before pregnancy may cut the risk of having a child who develops leukemia.

The study, conducted by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, and summarized in the latest issue of the journal Cancer Causes and Control.

"This is the first time researchers have conducted a systematic survey of a woman's diet and linked it to the risk of childhood leukemia," said Dr. Kenneth Olden, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the federal agency that funded the study.

Researchers compared 138 women who each had a child diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a control group of 138 women 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.

One of the more "surprising" results of the study is the emergence of protein sources as able to lower childhood leukemia risk, Olden said.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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