Researchers say a daily intake of B Vitamins may help reduce the consequences of air pollution on the epigenome, which consists of a group of chemical changes to the DNA of an organism and can alter gene expression and are hereditary. The modification of DNA can occur as a natural process of tissue differentiation and development or can be changed as a response to environmental exposures.
A small group of individuals participated in this trial and randomly received a B vitamin supplement, containing 1 mg of Vitamin B12, 50 mg of Vitamin B6 and 2.5 mg of Folic Acid, or a placebo. Blood levels were taken at the onset of the study. Participants were than exposed to a totally encompassing amount of pollution containing a particulate matter less than PM2.5, an air pollutant that when levels in the air are high is a concern for people’s health. PM2.5 are tiny particles in the air reducing visibility and causing the air to be hazy. The group supplementing with the B Vitamin supplement did not see the “epigenetic changes which included an alteration to methylation of genes involved in mitochondrial oxidative energy metabolism” which was seen in the group given the placebo.
Researchers believe further studies focusing on heavily polluted environments are critical to confirm the outcomes seen in the study.
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