Possible Breakthrough For Preventing Miscarriages And Birth Defects

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Pregnant woman taking medication, close up

Australian researchers from the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney claim that taking a B3 supplement can significantly prevent miscarriages and birth defects after in what is being hailed as a landmark study.

preventing miscarriages and birth defects - The Everyday Mom Life

The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week, found that a major cause of miscarriages and birth defects is linked to a deficiency of a molecule known as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD. This molecule is important for the normal development of organs including the heart, kidneys, spine and more.

NAD is found in all living cells. It is needed to make energy and repair genes. However, this is the first study linking NAD to miscarriages.

“Arguably it is the most important discovery for pregnant women since folate,” said Professor Sally Dunwoodie, the lead research in the study, in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “We have discovered a whole, new cause of birth defects and a way to treat it as well.”

Miscarriage and birth defects are worldwide issues. According to the Mayo Clinic miscarriage affects 20 percent of known pregnancies while the March of Dimes says 6 percent of babies are born with birth defects.

NAD is usually found in the body when people are eating healthy diets that include eggs, cheese, lean meat proteins, nuts and seeds. However, you can also get it by taking supplements with the B3 vitamin.

The study looked at the lack of B3 in 13 families. They sequenced the genomes for those families, all of which had children with birth defects impacting the spine, heart, kindey and more. The researchers identified gene mutations in some of the mothers with a B3 deficiency who were unable to make NAD.

Mice without the NAD gene were then given a regular dose of B3 and it was found to prevent miscarriages and birth defects. Without the supplement they either miscarried or had pups with birth defects.

The study was based off a New Jersey Medical School study, which found that one third of women have low B3 during their first trimester when vital organs are developing. It also found that the levels continued to drop during pregnancy and by the third trimester 60 percent of women were low in B3, a sign that prenatal vitamins are not delivering the enough B3 throughout pregnancy.

The Australian Medical Association said the study was exciting but findings may be premature. Professor Dunwoodie said that researchers will now beginning working to develop a test to measure a woman’s NAD levels.

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  1. Great post so thanks for sharing great information. I had a miscarriage and a premature birth – baby had stopped growing and had to deliver early. I took vitamin tablets each time and also with my forth who was a healthy baby born.

  2. I just saw this headline pop up in my news feed. That’s so exciting! I just had my second baby and it’s so stressful worrying about everything that can go wrong, this could make a lot of women feel better.

  3. This is something new and we definitely should take note of this one especially if you’re expecting or if you’re planning to get pregnant. I’ve never heard of this before.

  4. Wow that’s really interesting. I had no idea about this. I’ve had three pregnancies and thankfully only minor complications.

  5. This is super interesting and I find it wonderful that they are looking into this. Pregnancy loss is terrible and something that still seems to be very little talked about. I, fortunately, have never lost a baby but I know quite a few who have suffered from miscarriage and pregnancy loss and I would not wish that pain on anyone.

  6. I had such a huge fear of miscarriage throughout both of my pregnancies but thankfully had no complications! This is a huge breakthrough in medicine.

  7. It would be pretty amazing to find out that taking certain supplements could help end miscarriages and birth defects! It’s such a heartbreaking experience!

  8. This sounds like it could help a lot of women. It’s so interesting to know that a lack of nutrients can lead to possible miscarriages or birth defects. I’d be curious to see what the long term results are after women start taking supplements.

  9. Thank you for giving me a chance to learn something new today. We must take care of our health and get all the necessary vitamins, minerals and other nutrients especially when we are pregnant or even trying to conceive.

  10. This is a very interesting read. As someone who is trying for a baby, I’m eager to learn about studies like this. I want to do everything I can to have a healthy pregnancy when the time is right.

  11. I would like to see a study of rates of miscarriages before processed food became widespread. It would yield some light on whether our current diet is doing a lot more harm then we think.

  12. this was a very very interesting article. I’ve never heard about it but am always amazed at how advanced medicine is coming! I second Katherine, too, that would be interesting to see!


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