Australian scientists at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute have discovered that if women have Vitamin B3 during pregnancy it can prevent miscarriages and birth defects.
“Every year 7.9 million babies are born with a birth defect worldwide and one in four pregnant women suffer a miscarriage in Australia.”
The study found that a “deficiency in a vital molecule, known as NAD, prevents a baby’s organs from developing correctly in the womb.”
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is one of the most important molecules in all our cells. It is essential for energy production, cell communication and DNA repair.
Vitamin B3 is required and essential to make NAD. This is found in meats and leafy green vegetables, oh and Vegemite.
It is essential to have a good supply of vitamin B3 in the first trimester as this is the critical time for organ development.
The Victor Chang institute found that at least a third of pregnant women have low levels of vitamin B3 in the first trimester and that is with taking vitamins, also in the third trimester 60% of pregnant women needed more of vitamin B3 as their levels were low also. This would mean that pregnant women would need to boost their intake of this vitamin.
The study found that before the introduction of vitamin B3 into the mothers diet, embryos were lost due to miscarriage and babies were born with a range of severe birth defects. After adding the vitamin to the mothers diet miscarriages and birth defects were prevented and babies were born healthy.
This is a massive breakthrough that will help so many people. It is just like the discovery of of adding folic acid to prevent spina bifida and other neural tube defects in babies. Mothers worldwide are all told to take folic acid to help their pregnancy. Adding folate to the food supply and making sure women have a more of this vitamin during pregnancy has led to a 70% decrease in the number of babies born with neural tube defects. The same will now happen with the understanding of Vitamin B3, and in turn lead to less miscarriages and birth defects.
If you are pregnant or want to be soon make sure you get your vitamin B3 to ensure all will be well.
I know things sometimes are not planned when you end up pregnant, but sometimes they are. My pregnancies were all planned and I made sure that I took vitamins well before I conceived and also had a good diet of fresh vegetables, meats, fruit and also exercised.
And sometimes baby number 2 or 3 is a surprise, or you were trying but thought it might take a while and it didn’t so time-frames might not work for all.
If you know you are planning for a baby, my tip is to make sure you focus on your inner health, vitamins and stay well. Having a baby is a huge job for you and your body. Carrying twins or more also puts another strain on vitamin stores. When pregnant with the twins I had to take more vitamins due to extra of an additional baby and their need for more vitamins.
One thing to do is if you are worried about your levels you can always go to a doctor and get them checked. Then you will know what you need to take, plus you can always get the vitamins from food too.
Isn’t it interesting that vitamins play such an essential role in our lives.
I hope this has helped you know more about this new discovery and if you are pregnant or want to be make sure to have a Vegemite sandwich or toast more often. (I love Vegemite and can live off it)
The results from the study have been printed in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The below statistics are taken from the Victor Chang Website:
- 1 in 4 pregnant women will suffer a miscarriage
- 7.9 million babies are born with a serious birth defect worldwide every year
- 3.3 million children under five die from serious birth defects annually
- Congenital heart disease is the most common form of birth defect, affecting 1 in 100 babies
- 42 babies are born with a heart defect in Australia every week
- 30 babies will undergo heart surgery in Australia every week
- Heart defects account for 30% of deaths in children under five
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