BY  Michelle Schoffro Cook

The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine has been surrounded by controversy  since it was first commercialized. This could be partly due to the fact that it  has had no long term testing, is injected into female children, and there have  been serious side effects and even deaths linked to its use. So when I came  across a study that shows two vitamins may help prevent the HPV virus from  spreading, I wanted to share this exciting research.

A team of scientists led by C. J. Piyathilake at the Department of Nutrition  Sciences, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, attempted to determine  whether supplementation with folate (vitamin B9) and vitamin B12 would have an  effect on the human papilloma virus (HPV) and cervical cancer linked to this  virus among women.

They attempted to identify any associations between serum concentrations of  folate and vitamin B12 and high risk HPV infections by evaluating 724 women in a  screening study in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India.

They found that women with the highest concentrations of serum folate and  vitamin B12 had the lowest risk of being positive for high risk HPV compared to  those with lower levels of serum folate and serum vitamin B12.

The scientists published their results in The International Journal of  Women’s Health, and concluded that: “These results demonstrated that  improving folate and vitamin B12 status in Indian women may have a beneficial  impact on the prevention of cervical cancer. Micronutrient based  interventions for control of high-risk HPV infections may represent feasible  alternatives to vaccine based approaches to HPV disease  prevention…”

Considering the controversy surrounding HPV vaccines and the likelihood that  their results with Indian women are applicable to other women, the results  suggest that supplementation with folate and vitamin B12 (or a single B-complex  vitamin that includes both of folate and B12) may help prevent HPV and cervical  cancer.

B-vitamins are essential nutrients that are involved in countless biochemical  processes in the body.  Without sufficient amounts we become more  susceptible to stress, depression, anxiety, or irritability.  B-complex  vitamins are necessary for adequate energy, learning capacity, growth, immunity,  reproduction, pain reduction or proper pain signals, wound healing, memory, and  glandular or nervous system functions.

These nutrients are found in brown rice, root vegetables, pumpkin seeds,  citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe, kale, green vegetables, and beans. A  typical supplementary dose is between 50 to 100 mcg of folate and B-12.