Chrome 2001
Aetna Intelihealth InteliHealth Aetna Intelihealth Aetna Intelihealth
. .
Chrome 2001
Chrome 2001
Health News Health News
Drinking Early in Pregnancy May Harm Placenta, Study Finds
February 18, 2014


TUESDAY, Feb. 18, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking moderate to large amounts of alcohol early in your pregnancy may damage your placenta, the organ that sustains your developing baby until it is born, researchers say.

In laboratory tests, investigators found that amounts of alcohol equal to moderate or heavy drinking reduced cell growth in the placenta. Low levels of alcohol had no effect, they added.

For the study, moderate drinking was roughly defined as two to three drinks a day, while four to six drinks a day was considered heavy drinking.

The scientists also found that moderate to heavy drinking reduced how much of an important amino acid called taurine is delivered from the mother to the baby through the placenta, according to the study published online Feb. 14 in the journal PLoS One.

Taurine is crucial for a baby's brain and body development, so this finding may explain some of the behavioral and physical problems seen in children born to alcoholic mothers, the British researchers suggested.

"Placental growth is reduced in comparison to non-exposed placentas, suggesting that in the long-term, there could be consequences to how much support the infant receives from the placenta during the rest of the pregnancy after this exposure," study author Sylvia Lui, from Tommy's Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre at The University of Manchester, said in a university news release.

And, John Aplin, a professor of reproductive biomedicine at the center, added, "This research also suggests that women who are trying to conceive should not drink, as the damage caused by alcohol can happen very early on in pregnancy -- perhaps before a woman knows she is pregnant."

Another expert agreed.

"It can often be a few weeks before a woman discovers she's pregnant, and this research shows that moderate drinking during those vital first weeks can have a big impact on the development of the baby," Jane Brewin, chief executive of Tommy's, a group that funds research into pregnancy problems and provides information to parents, said in the news release.

"Many pregnancies are unplanned, but for those actively planning a family this research raises questions about whether women should consider their alcohol intake even before they [become] pregnant," Brewin added.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about alcohol and pregnancy.

SOURCE: University of Manchester, news release, Feb. 14, 2014...

More News
InteliHealth .
General Health News
Today's News
Today In Health History
This Week In Health
Addiction News
Allergy News
Alzheimer's News
Arthritis News
Asthma News
Babies News
Breast Cancer News
Bronchitis News
Cancer News
Cervical Cancer News
Children's Health News
Cholesterol News
Dental/Oral Health News
Depression News
Diabetes News
Ear, Nose And Throat News
Environmental Health News
Eye News
Fitness News
Genetics News
Headache News
Health Policy News
Heart Attack News
Heart Failure News
Heart Health News
Infectious Diseases News
Influenza News
Lung Cancer News
Medication News
Men's Health News
Mental Health News
Multiple Sclerosis News
Nutrition News
Parkinson's News
Pregnancy News
Prostate Cancer News
Senior Health News
Sexual/Reproductive Health News
Sexual dysfunction
Sleep News
STDs News
Stroke News
Tobacco Cessation News
Weight Management News
Women's Health News
    Print Printer-friendly format    
This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.