Daily Vitamin C pills can reduce the harm done to the lungs of unborn babies by pregnant mothers who smoke Researchers have given half of a group of pregnant women vitamin C pills and other half placebo pills Children of mothers who have taken 500 mg of vitamin C have had healthier 3-month airways Smoking can lead to preterm birth, low birth weight, birth defects such as cleft lip and reduced lung capacity Scientists say the primary goal of health professionals should stay to help mothers stop smoking.
Mary Kekatos Health Reporter for Dailymail.com
03:41 am EST, 7 December 2018
03:49 am EST, 7 December 2018
Pregnant women who struggle to quit smoking should take vitamin C to better protect the lungs of their fetus, a new study suggests. Researchers say that children, whose mothers took 500 mg of vitamin C a day, had healthier airways at three months than those whose mothers The team, led by Oregon Health & Science University, states that the nutrient found in citrus fruit it could provide a safe and inexpensive intervention for pregnant women hooking on cigarettes. However, they emphasize that helping mothers to quit smoking should remain the primary goal of health professionals and public health officials.
A new study found that pregnant women who smoked, but took 500 mg of vitamin C every day, had children with healthier airways at three months compared to those whose mothers did not do so (image file). It is known that women who smoke during pregnancy create different health problems for their children. Smoking increases the risk of premature birth, vaginal bleeding and problems with the placenta. It also increases a child's risk of defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate or a low birth weight. Furthermore, if women smoke during pregnancy, they could harm the lungs of unborn babies at crucial points in their development – leading to reduced lung capacity in old age. For the study, the team based the forced expiratory flow (FEF) tests, which measures the rate at which air exits the lungs during the central portion of a forced expiration. The researchers say that these tests are a good measure of the function because they can detect airway obstruction. The team examined more than 250 pregnant smokers who started the study between 13 and 23 weeks in their term of office. All of the women received smoking cessation advice during the study, with about one in 10 doing so. Women's haf received a vitamin C pill and the other half received a placebo pill. The children of the women who took the vitamin C pills did better with FEF than the children who took the placebo pills. "Smoking during pregnancy reflects the highly addictive nature of nicotine that disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations," said lead author Dr. Cindy McEvoy, a professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University. "Finding a way to help children exposed to smoking and nicotine in the uterus recognizes the unique dangers posed by a highly publicized product, which is addictive and the effects of life on offspring that have not chosen to be exposed." The dott. McEvoy states that the study supports the hypothesis that cigarette smoking reduces the amount of vitamin C available in the body. By taking a supplement, mothers can protect their cells from damage caused by free radicals. In a previous study conducted by dr. McEvoy, his team found that children of mothers born to smokers had better lung function 72 hours after birth when their mothers took 500 mg of vitamin C compared to the same dose of a placebo. However, this study did not use FEF to measure pulmonary function, which is what physicians use to diagnose lung disease in adults and older children. The children in this study will continue to be monitored for lung function and to have respiratory results analyzed. For future studies, researchers want to see if pregnant women who take vitamin C supplements at the start of pregnancy could provide better results. The dott. McEvoy says that although vitamin C can be "safe and inexpensive", the primary goal should be to help the mother quit smoking. "Although vitamin C supplementation may protect the lungs of children born to smoking mothers to some extent during pregnancy, these children will still be at greater risk of obesity, behavioral disorders and other serious health problems," he said.
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