An area of cancer research at the University of Kentucky is focusing on exercise for mothers during pregnancy to help prevent cancer in their children.
Second year grad student Alyssa Jarrel is involved in conducting the study. She says the research has focused so far on mice, but could very well have implications for humans.
"Pregnancy is such a short term intervention and it can have long term benefits for the offspring. So, we're talking nine months for an intervention for the mom to have lifetime benefits for the child," Jarrel said. She adds the benefits could be seen with moderate exercise three to four times a week in a reduced risk for a high Body Mass Index, reduced risk for cardio-vascular disease and reduced risk for the development of types one or two diabetes.
Jarrel says the research has focused on skin cancer but investigators believe it can translate to a reduced risk of cancer in general. She says researchers are seeing reduced inflammation and increased anti-oxidant response in the offspring.
The researcher says a long term grant proposal would follow mother from pre-conception through pregnancy and then monitor the children for several years.