Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for September 03, 2006

This study shows the connection between lowering birth defects and the importance of taking prenatal vitamins. I think it also shows how malnourished people are from the fast food lifestyle and how bad our diet has become in today’s society.

Personally, I don’t think it’s normal for a person to be taking vitamins.

Prenatal vitamins cut birth defects: review

All women of childbearing age should consider taking a prenatal multivitamin to reduce the risk of serious birth defects such as heart malfunctions, a Canadian researcher says.

As many as one out of every 33 children born in Canada has a serious birth defect, according to the Motherrisk Program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Gideon Koren, the program’s director, reviewed the findings of 41 studies on the effects of multivitamin supplements before conception and during the first trimester.

The prenatal vitamins differed from traditional vitamins because they contain a combination of vitamin A, all the B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, D, E and more iron and folic acid.

“It’s not a single element, but rather a mixture of different things that mom and baby might need,” Koren told CBC Newsworld.

The benefits of folic acid have been known for 15 years, but the review shows the prenatal vitamins can have a protective effect for other serious birth defects that cost lives and have huge effects on quality of life.

In Thursday’s issue of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada, the researchers reported taking a daily prenatal vitamin resulted in a:

48 per cent reduction in neural-tube defects.
39 per cent drop in cardiovascular defects.
47 per cent lower rate of limb deformities.
58 per cent reduction in cases of cleft palate.
52 per cent decrease in urinary-tract defects.
63 per cent drop in hydrocephalus. A dangerous build-up of fluid on the brain.

Can offer concrete advice 

“This study fills a gap in that we can now offer women some concrete advice,” said Dr. Donald Davis, president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, or SOGS. “We can say, ‘Look, this is one way you can help prevent these.'”

The Motherrisk program already advises women in their reproductive years who are sexually active and plan to start a family to take prenatal vitamins.

About half of Canadian women do not plan a pregnancy, which means they may not start taking the vitamins early enough, Koren said.

“There is no downside, really,” Koren said, adding it is up to medical groups such as obstetricians and gynecologists to formally make the recommendation.

The study did not find links between the multivitamins and prevention of Down’s syndrome, undescended testis, hypospadias (an inherited defect of the urinary opening on the penis), and pyloric stenosis (a narrowing of the sphincter that can block the flow of partially digested food into the small intestine).

If more research shows other vitamins beside folic acid can also prevent birth defects it may have implications for Canada’s food fortification program, the society said.

Flour and breads have been enriched with folic acid to help prevent neural tube birth defects since 1988.


September 3, 2006 - Posted by | Health | , ,

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