Tags: vitamin | c | tobacco | risk | pregnancy

Vitamin C Cuts Tobacco Harm

Friday, 25 May 2012 01:28 PM

Pregnant women are advised not to smoke because of the potential health risks to their unborn babies. But new research has found women who can’t quit during pregnancy can significantly improve the lung function of their newborns by taking vitamin C daily.
The study, conducted at Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital, suggests the vitamin offers “a simple, safe, and inexpensive treatment” that can boost a newborn’s health.
"Smoking during pregnancy is known to adversely affect the lung development of the developing baby, causing lifelong decreased lung function and an increased risk of asthma," said Dr. Cindy McEvoy, lead researcher of the study, presented at the American Thoracic Society’s 2012 International Conference in San Francisco this week. "We found that babies born to pregnant smoking women who took 500 milligrams of vitamin C daily during their pregnancy had significantly improved pulmonary function tests measured at about 48 hours after delivery."
For the study, McEvoy and her colleagues divided 159 pregnant women who were unable to quit smoking into two groups – one of which received daily vitamin C supplements and the other a placebo. A group of nonsmoking pregnant women also was studied as a reference group.
The researchers then measured the lung function of the women’s newborns 48 hours after birth. They found the children born to smoking women who received vitamin C supplementation had significantly improved lung function compared with the newborns of smoking women who received a placebo.
"Getting women to quit smoking during pregnancy has to be priority one, but this study provides a way to potentially help the infants born to the 50 percent of women who cannot quit smoking when pregnant," said McEvoy. "Vitamin C supplementation may block some of the in-utero effects of smoking on fetal lung development."
The study was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

© HealthDay

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Pregnant women who can’t quit smoking can improve the lung function of their newborns by taking vitamin C.
Friday, 25 May 2012 01:28 PM
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