Taking B vitamins may reduce epigenetic effects of air pollution

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 are 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 “The molecular foundations of air pollution’s health effects are not fully understood, and the lack of individual-level preventative options represented a critical knowledge gap,” said Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, professor and chair of Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School. “Our study launches a line of research for developing preventive interventions to minimize the adverse effects of air pollution on potential mechanistic markers. Because of the central role of epigenetic modifications in mediating environmental effects, our findings could very possibly be extended to other toxicants and environmental diseases.”

The WHO estimates that 92 percent of the world’s population currentlylives in places where air quality levels exceed the WHO limits of 10 μg/m3.

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Source: Medical Xpress

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