corn tortillas cause cancer??? nope birth defects!
Too many corn tortillas may cause birth defect
Susan Carroll Republic Tucson Bureau Mar. 3, 2006 12:00 AM
Researchers have a new dietary warning for pregnant women: Don't eat too many corn tortillas.
A study led by a Harvard researcher published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found a link between neural-tube defects, which are often debilitating and sometimes fatal for babies, and the diets of pregnant women who ate large amounts of corn tortillas in the Rio Grande Valley, a mostly Latino area of southern Texas.
The study pointed to a fungal toxin called fumonsin, often found in corn, as a possible culprit for a series of babies born with incompletely formed brains in the early 1990s. The results affirm research that indicates fumonsin can inhibit the absorption of folic acid, known to prevent neural-tube defects.
Allison Varga of the Arizona Department of Health Services said Arizona's rate of neural-tube defects is in line with the national average, with more than 60 cases a year, or about seven of every 10,000 births. Neural-tube defects occur when a baby's spinal cord or brain form improperly early on.
Ron Riley, a U.S. Department of Agriculture toxicologist, said there are "reasons to be concerned" but added that more study is needed. "Personally, I don't have a problem with my daughter eating corn chips," Riley said. "But I am concerned about people eating 400 grams of corn a day."