Pregnant women’s wine intake could cause pancreatic problems in infants


A study has warned against use of Resveratrol supplements, which is a plant compound found in the skin of red grapes and in peanuts and berries, among other plants by pregnant women.

The study revealed that a widely available dietary supplement that had been considered safe – and that some claim provides anti-ageing and other health benefits – caused significant developmental abnormalities in the pancreas of offspring of pregnant monkeys who were given the supplement.

The supplement form of the compound has been available in pharmacies and health food stores for years, with claims that it has a wide range of health benefits.

The compound is thought to be an anti-oxidant and an anti-inflammatory, and some animal studies do confirm some benefits. All previous studies had found it to be safe in humans.

Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University’s Oregon National Primate Research Center and the University of Colorado-Denver were focusing on some of those potential benefits when they began studying the compound in monkeys.

The research indicated that resveratrol did provide some real benefits in the pregnant monkeys, including improved blood flow through the placenta to the fetus. Placental abnormalities contribute to many of the pregnancy complications and health issues with babies of obese women who eat an unhealthy Western diet.

But the researchers also found an effect that surprised them – resveratrol had a significantly negative effect on the development of the pancreas in the monkey fetus. The pancreas is critical for the body’s regulation of blood glucose.

The study has been published in the FASEB Journal.
Source: zee news

Lower IQ in kids linked to mom’s exposure to flame retardants in pregnancy

Lower IQ in kids linked to mom's exposure to flame retardants in pregnancy

Debates over the toxicity of chemicals like lead and mercury have long been extinguished, but mounting research into flame retardant has ignited a deeper probe of man-made chemicals.

Learning deficits and decreased IQ in children has been linked to synthetic chemicals once commonly used in household items to prevent fire, according to a new study out of British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University.

The study, published online Wednesday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found a 4.5 drop in IQ and greater hyperactivity in five-year-olds was associated with their mother’s exposure to flame retardants during early pregnancy and after the babies were born.
The research joins five other international studies highlighting the potential dangers of polybrominated diphenyl ethers, known as PDBEs, which were once widely used in products like couches, carpets and car seats.

“Now we’ve seen this pattern of toxicity with low level environmental chemicals — lead, mercury, now fire retardants — let’s not do it again,” said SFU health sciences Prof. Bruce Lanphear, one of the study’s authors.

“Let’s set a regulatory framework in place to make sure these products, these chemicals, are safe before they’re marketed to children and pregnant women.”

The study started 10 years ago as realization donned that chemical compounds throughout the consumer market had little research answering questions about their safety. The researchers tested blood, urine and hair samples of 309 women and their children in Cincinnati, Ohio, starting from 16 weeks of pregnancy and until their children were five.

In 2004, manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada began voluntarily withdrawing PBDEs from their formulas, while further concerns over harmful effects on wildlife and mammals prompted a United Nations body to ban two of three commercial PBDEs in 2009.

Two problems, however, still persist. Many household goods produced over the past three decades remain in homes and offices with potential to leach toxins, while the industry is replacing the old synthetics with new without accompanying research.

“It’s not simply about the flame retardants,” Lanphear said. “If we replace them with a chemical that hasn’t been sufficiently studied and it turns out to be toxic, have we really solved the problem?”

But as the trend away from chemicals continues to grow in popularity, especially on the West Coast, the industry points out that safety was the original intention behind their inclusion in manufactured products.

“Flame retardants currently in commerce help save lives and provide an important layer of fire protection to families,” said Bryan Goodman, with the North American Flame Retardant Alliance, based in Washington, D.C.
He said in a statement that flame retardants, like all chemicals, are subject to review by the Environment Protection Agency and other regulatory agencies in the United States and around the world.

“It is still important to view the study with caution and consider the limitations of the research conducted when evaluating its conclusions,” he added.

Precaution is warranted, Lanphear said. Policy-makers should start by assuming chemicals have the potential to be toxic, and move to implement a system that scientifically examines their potential for consequence before manufacturer’s clearance, he advised.

In the short-term, expectant mothers and parents would be prudent to toss old furniture and tear up carpets in favour of wood surfaces that can easily be cleaned, he said. At least one new chemical is currently being used in the market to safeguard against flames, he noted.

The federal government has regulations in place aimed at insulating the country’s environment from risks associated with PBDEs, preventing their manufacture and restricting their use in Canada.

“These actions … will contribute to ensuring that the Canadian environment is protected and that Canadians’ exposure to these substances is minimized,” reads a statement on Environment Canada’s website.

Source: Ctv news

Iodine deficiency common in pregnancy, pediatricians warn

Iodine deficiency common in pregnancy, pediatricians warnMany pregnant and breast-feeding women are deficient in iodine and should take a daily supplement containing iodide, according to a leading group of pediatricians.

Iodine, generally obtained from iodized salt, produces thyroid hormone, an essential component for normal brain development in the developing baby.

But as consumption of processed foods has increased, so has iodine deficiency because the salt in processed foods is not iodized, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“This is the first time that the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a statement on iodine,” said Dr. Jerome Paulson, medical director for national and global affairs at the Children’s National Health System and chair of the academy’s Council on Environmental Health.

About one-third of pregnant women in the United States are iodine-deficient, according to background information in the article published online May 26 and in the June print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Currently, only about 15 percent of pregnant and breast-feeding women take supplements containing iodide, the researchers said. Supplemental iodine is usually in the form of potassium iodide or sodium iodide, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Severe iodine deficiency is associated with stunted physical and mental growth, and even marginal iodine deficiency can decrease brain functioning, the report said.

Pregnant and breast-feeding women should take a supplement that includes at least 150 micrograms of iodide, and use iodized table salt, the academy said. Combined intake from food and supplements should be 290 to 1,100 micrograms a day. Potassium iodide is the preferred form, the doctors said.

Besides boosting brain development, iodine also appears to help protect babies from certain environmental harms.
The policy statement includes a recommendation to shield newborns from well water containing excessive nitrates and from cigarette smoke, both of which can harm the thyroid.

Why so few women take iodide supplements isn’t clear, Paulson said. “It may be that most people don’t appreciate the importance of adequate iodine in the diet for normal fetal development and that the women with marginal levels have no indication of their iodine status,” he said. Iodine deficiency displays no symptoms.

Women thinking of getting pregnant can ask their doctor about iodide supplements, Paulson said. According to the report, a woman who is vegan or doesn’t eat fish or dairy — two food sources of iodine — can ask about having a urine test to check for iodine deficiency.

Warning that supplement labels are misleading, the academy says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration should ensure that makers of prenatal vitamins use only potassium iodide and correct inconsistent labeling so that women understand what they are buying.

Women don’t usually think about iodine deficiency, agreed Erin Corrigan, clinical nutrition manager at Miami Children’s Hospital, who was not involved in the study. “I don’t think it’s on the top of the list for women for nutrients,” she said. “We keep in mind folic, calcium and vitamin D.”

Her patients are told to make sure their prenatal vitamin contains sufficient iodide and to continue taking it while they breast-feed.

Source: news day

Exercise During Pregnancy Benefits Mom—And Baby, Too


Exercise During Pregnancy Benefits Mom—And Baby, Too
When Linda May went in to see her obstetrician during her first pregnancy, he told her she probably shouldn’t jump, run, or even walk. But May, an exercise physiologist who studies pregnant women and their babies, knew a thing or two about the positive ways that being active can help a mom-to-be’s health. Women who exercise with baby on board have been known to have, among other things, lower risks of gestational diabetes and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure than those who don’t.

Since then, May and other researchers have discovered even more ways that prenatal exercise benefits not only an expectant mother, but her growing baby, too—sometimes for years into the future—as attendees learned at last week’s Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego.

Past Thinking

Decades ago, many more doctors gave similar advice to May’s obstetrician. Pregnancy was thought to be almost like an illness, a time when women needed to rest to protect themselves and their babies. In 1985, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists came out with their first set of guidelines for exercise during pregnancy—guidelines, now considered conservative, that included suggestions like keeping strenuous activities to 15 minutes or less.

Since then, research has turned that idea on its head. Exercise is now thought to be—for most women with healthy pregnancies—a boon for the mother’s health, and for the baby she carries as well.  Researchers are now starting to look even more closely at how exercise can influence a baby’s health in the womb and how these effects might translate into protection from future health problems.

Heart Health

It’s been known that those who exercise—including pregnant women—tend to have lower resting heart rates than those who don’t. Lower heart rates can be a sign of an efficient heart; high heart rates have been linked to greater risk of cardiovascular disease. May, now at East Carolina University in North Carolina, has long been interested whether benefits like this extended to baby.  In a 2010 study, she and her colleagues collected a group of 26 pregnant women who reported that they’d been exercising three times a week for more than 30 minutes per session.  When researchers brought the moms into the lab at 36 weeks, they found that the babies in their bellies, too, had lower heart rates than those carried by the moms they studied who weren’t regular exercisers.

In another study, presented at last week’s conference, May recruited 60 women at 13 weeks of pregnancy and brought them into the gym three times a week for either aerobic or mixed aerobic and weight training exercise. A control group of women came in to stretch and chat with researchers, keeping their heart rates low.

At 34 weeks—about six weeks before the babies’ due dates—the researchers checked in with the hearts within the wombs. Whether their moms were pumping iron or spinning, the babies in the bellies of exercising moms played along—their heart rates were lower and more variable, another sign of heart health, and pumped more blood with each beat than the tiny hearts inside moms in the control group.

The results indicate that exercise during pregnancy, far from harming the fetus, can be incredibly beneficial for both mom and baby. And timing matters: exercise during pregnancy, as opposed to pre-pregnancy fitness, seems to be doing something extra-special, May says. In this most recent study, about half of the group hadn’t exercised previously, and still saw similar effects on their babies’ hearts. In some of May’s past work, she collected data on moms’ pre-pregnancy body mass index and their resting heart rates, ages, and how much weight they gained in pregnancy. But these things didn’t explain the link between the fetus’s heart health and the exercise done in pregnancy.

Benefits at Birth, and Beyond

Such benefits to the heart may last into a child’s early life. Earlier this year, May and colleagues found that month-old infants still had higher heart rate variability if they had exercised along with their moms in utero. Another set of results from May’s group, not yet published, suggests that kids up to six years old still carry some of these early workouts with them: youngsters whose moms exercised while pregnant have higher “ejection fractions,” which indicates their hearts are pumping blood more efficiently.

As for what types of exercise bring the most benefit, May has found that aerobic exercise is great for the mom—lowering her heart rate and helping her gain less fat—but a mix of aerobics and strength training may be even better for the baby, although it’s not yet clear why, she says.

Growing hearts might be one of many things helped by an active mom. In his lab at the University of Kentucky, Kevin Pearson is looking at the connection between exercise and skin cancer in mice. He’s seen that mice that run during pregnancy have offspring that develop fewer skin tumors, later in life—a small but significant protective effect that he calls “an exciting first step.” Wei Zheng, a graduate student at Indiana’s Purdue University, and her colleagues found that baby rats had a 58 percent lower incidence of breast tumors if their mothers exercised.

Helping Moms Get Moving

Even with greater options at hand—from “Fit Pregnancy” magazine to prenatal yoga DVDs—many pregnant women aren’t exercising, in some cases because of lingering fear about harming their growing babies. Studies report that only about 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women are following recommended exercise guidelines—for healthy women, at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most, if not all, days, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (Of course, some women can’t safely exercise during part or all of their pregnancy, and active women should watch out for warning signs while exercising, such as bleeding or contractions.)

“It’s really important to start putting focus on how we can convey this message to pregnant women, get them to talk to their healthcare providers about exercise during their pregnancy, and get exercising,” says Amy McKenzie, a graduate student at the University of Connecticut who presented a study about pregnant women’s exercise habits at the conference.

Still, moms who aren’t able to exercise shouldn’t add, on top of other worries, the concern that their babies’ hearts won’t be healthy. May says that, instead, moms-to-be who can and do exercise—even a little bit—may be offering an added shield for their babies against later-in-life problems, which could be particularly important for those with a family history of heart disease.

Her next step is to analyze how an exercising mom might help shape her baby’s body composition. She’s following up on other studies that suggest babies born to exercising moms have lower body fat—benefits that can last into childhood.  If that’s the case, exercise during pregnancy could be able to shape two major health problems, even before a baby is born. “Heart disease and childhood obesity,” she says. “If we can affect those two things, the public health benefit is huge.”

Source: discover magazine

Smoking during pregnancy may raise heart defects risk in babies

Pregnant Woman Smoking

Researchers have shown that risk for congenital anomalies is highest among babies born to older women who smoke.

The authors of this study used birth certificate data and hospital discharge records from Washington state to determine if maternal smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy is linked to heart defects and if so, what types of defects.

Lead author Patrick M. Sullivan, MD, FAAP, clinical fellow in pediatric cardiology at Seattle Children’s Hospital and a master’s student in epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, said I care for kids with complex congenital heart disease on a daily basis, and I see these kids and their families enduring long hospitalizations and often sustaining serious long-term complications as a result of their disease.

Sullivan said usually, the cause of a heart defect is unknown. I saw this research as an opportunity to study what might be a preventable cause of congenital heart defects.

Using hospital discharge records, researchers identified 14,128 children born with a variety of heart defects from 1989-2011. They matched these cases to 62,274 children without heart defects born in the same year.

Then, they compared the proportion of children with heart defects whose mothers reported smoking during pregnancy to the proportion of children without heart defects whose mothers smoked. Mothers’ smoking status, as well as how much they smoked daily, was available from birth certificates.

Newborns whose mothers smoked were at about a 50 to 70 percent greater risk for anomalies of the valve and vessels that carry blood to the lungs (pulmonary valve and pulmonary arteries) and about a 20 percent greater risk for holes in the wall separating the two collecting chambers of the heart (atrial septal defects). All of these defects often require invasive procedures to correct.

Source: deccan chronicle

Home Remedies for Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy




Nausea is a sensation of discomfort in the stomach. It has lots of possible causes like stomach infection, weakness, depression, anxiety etc. It is common in pregnant women. Nausea sometimes precedes vomiting. But it is a part of pregnancy. It is believed to be normal. And it can be controlled from getting severe. There are some simple home remedies which can help control the discomfort.

# Sucking a lime or peppermint sweet :- These give a feeling of relaxation to your mind and calm you down.

# Sipping iced cold tea

# Drinking herbal tea such as light tulsi/mint tea without sugar or milk

# Strong ginger flavour or powdered ginger

# Eat some protein snack before retiring to bed at night

# Put one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of lukewarm water and drink in the morning on an empty stomach.

# Eat Saunf or aniseed

Source: the med guru

Now, a kit to test sperm quality at home


Before you rush to buy the pregnancy kit for your spouse, want to know if you are fertile enough to be a father?

You may soon avoid frequenting a doctor as scientists have now developed a fertility-test kit that allows men to test their sperm quality from the comfort of their

Aptly named TrakFertility, the portable device allows men to learn about their sperm counts within minutes, claimed the scientists.

“It allows men to test and track their fertility from the comfort and privacy of their own homes,” researcher Greg Sommer, who co-developed the device, was quoted as saying.

Sommer worked as a staff scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in the US.

In view of the fact that most fertility solutions today are women focused, TrakFertility is expected to highlight the importance of sperm quality in conception.

The researchers, who founded a start-up Sandstone Diagnostics Inc to develop the device, said the the kit would be available for consumers next year, reported

Source: Zee news

Pregnant women with high BP risk preterm delivery and low birth weight

Researchers have said that pregnant women with chronic hypertension (high blood pressure) are highly likely to suffer from adverse pregnancy outcomes such as preterm delivery, low birth weight and neonatal death.

Chronic hypertension complicates between 1-5 per cent of pregnancies, and the problem may be increasing because of changes in the antenatal population.

Researchers from King’s College London carried out a study to assess the strength of evidence linking chronic hypertension with poor pregnancy outcomes. They combined data from studies from 55 studies done in 25 countries.

The researchers looked at the following outcomes: preterm delivery (delivery before 37 weeks’ gestation); low birth weight (below 2500g); perinatal death (fetal death after 20 weeks’ gestation including stillbirth and neonatal death up to one month) and admission to neonatal intensive care or special care baby units.

The relative risk of pre-eclampsia (a condition in pregnancy characterised by high blood pressure) in women with chronic hypertension was on average nearly eight times higher than pre-eclampsia in non-hypertensive women. All adverse neonatal outcomes were at least twice as likely to occur, compared with the general population.

The researchers conclude that “chronic hypertension is associated with a high incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with a general population”.

The study has been published in the British Medical journal

Source: The siasat daily

Infant hair reveals life inside the womb

Hairs can reveal a lot, from your personality to even drug abuse or hormonal changes. Now, add foetus growth in the womb to the hair list.

In a thrilling discovery, a team of researchers including an Indian-origin scientist have found that hair can also reveal the womb environment in which an infant was formed.

They used infant hair to examine the hormonal environment to which the foetus was exposed during development – promising to unleash a wealth of new information in the fields of neonatology, psychology social science to neurology.

“We had this ‘Aha!’ realisation that we could use hair in newborns, because it starts growing one to two months before birth,” said Christopher Coe, director of the Harlow centre for biological psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“The findings raise questions about everything from the significance of birth order to stereotypical ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ behaviours in children,” Amita Kapoor, an assistant researcher at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Centre, noted.

Additionally, what happens to a developing foetus while in the womb may impact its risk for chronic disease later in life, Kapoor added.

According to researchers, hair closest to the scalp reveals the most recent information but moving down the shaft effectively transits an individual’s hormonal timeline.

For the study, researchers took small samples of hair from mother rhesus monkeys and their infants using common hair clippers. The hair was cleaned and pulverised into a fine powder using a high-speed grinder.

The hormonal signature was then read using a new mass spectrometry method. They found that cortisone, an inactive form of stress hormone cortisol, was higher in young mothers and in their babies than in hair of the older mothers and their infants.

Babies born to young mothers also had higher levels of estrone (a form of estrogen) and testosterone in their hair than did babies born to older mothers.

“Type 2 diabetes, metabolic disease, coronary artery disease and psychiatric disorders – there may be a whole host of long-term
repercussions of stress in utero,” Kapoor emphasised.  The study appeared in the journal Pediatric Research.
Source: business standard


Antidepressant Use During Pregnancy Increases Autism Risk

Women who take antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) during pregnancy may be at an increased risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder, according to a recent studyResearchers found that children who were exposed to SSRIs the most had the highest incidence of autism.

“We found prenatal SSRI exposure was almost three times as likely in boys with autism spectrum disorders relative to typical development, with the greatest risk when exposure is during the first trimester,” study co-author Li-Ching Lee, an associate scientist in the department of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland, told Counsel and Heal.

For the study, researchers collected data from 966 mother and child pairs to better understand how SSRIs affect pregnancy outcomes. Of the children studied, 800 were boys. Nearly 500 children were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, 154 had some form of developmental delay and 320 had developed typically.

The SSRIs examined in the study were Celexa, Lezapro, Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft.

Researchers found that in the autism group, 5.9 percent of the pregnancies were exposed to SSRIs. In the delayed developmental group, 5.2 percent of the pregnancies were exposed to SSRIs. They also found that exposure rate in the typically developing children group was 3.4 percent.

Investigators said that in terms of gender, boys were three times more likely to have autism if they were exposed to the antidepressants during the first trimester.

Given their findings, researchers said they hope expecting mothers consult with their doctors before taking antidepressants during pregnancy.

“It’s a complex decision whether to treat or not treat depression with medications during pregnancy,” Lee said. “There are so many factors to consider. We didn’t intend for our study to be used as a basis for clinical treatment decisions. Women should talk with their doctors about SSRI treatments.”

Source: University herald