Tags: vitamin | deficient | brain | fetal

Vitamin C Tied to Fetal Health

Monday, 03 Dec 2012 11:27 AM


Children born to women who don’t get enough vitamin C during pregnancy are far more likely to have brain damage that can’t be corrected after birth, new research shows.
The findings, reported by University of Copenhagen scientists in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE, underscore the importance of prenatal vitamins for fetal health. The study noted past research has suggested up to 20 percent of all adults in the world suffer from vitamin C deficiency.
"Even marginal vitamin C deficiency in the mother stunts the fetal hippocampus, the important memory center, by 10-15 percent, preventing the brain from optimal development," said Jens Lykkesfeldt, who headed the research, which involved studies of guinea pigs. Like humans, guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C themselves, which is why they were chosen for the study.
"We used to think that the mother could protect the baby. Ordinarily there is a selective transport from mother to fetus of the substances the baby needs during pregnancy. However, it now appears that the transport is not sufficient in the case of vitamin C deficiency. Therefore it is extremely important to draw attention to this problem, which potentially can have serious consequences for the children affected," said Lykkesfeldt.
The new results emphasize the importance of a mother's lifestyle and nutritional status during pregnancy. There are some women who are particularly vulnerable to vitamin C deficiency — including low-income individuals, smokers, and those whose diets are poor.
The scientific team is now working to determine how early in pregnancy vitamin C deficiency can affect fetal health.


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Vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy may increase the risk of permanent fetal brain damage.
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2012-27-03
Monday, 03 Dec 2012 11:27 AM
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