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Birth defects

Inexpensive dietary supplement helps to prevent birth defects

Monday, October 25, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: birth defects, inositol, health news

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(NaturalNews) Many medical professionals recommend that pregnant women take folic acid--also known as vitamin B9--as part of a prenatal supplement regimen designed to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. But new research out of the U.K. suggests that taking inositol along with folic acid will greatly decrease the chances that a baby will be born with spina bifida.

Inositol is a naturally-occurring nutrient found in many common foods like meat and vegetables. In tests conducted on mice, the substance exhibited a significant therapeutic effect that deterred the onset of neural tube defects.

"[F]rom our experimental work we know inositol can stimulate cells in the developing embryo to proliferate more quickly, and that corrects the defect that would develop in spina bifida," explained Dr. Nick Greene from University College London, one of the study researchers.

The human clinical trial evaluating inositol's effects on pregnancy is still underway, but preliminary results thus far are positive.

Anne Marie Hodkinson, one of the trial participants, has had good success with the supplement as she treks through her second pregnancy. Her first child was born with spina bifida despite her having taken folic acid for several years before that pregnancy. But taking inositol during her second pregnancy has helped prevent her second child from developing the disease.

The clinical trial is still underway and Dr. Greene is urging other women in the U.K. to participate. Together with folic acid, inositol appears to be a surefire way to avoid bearing children with birth defects. And if all continues to go well, the study could result in both supplements being recommended by authorities to all women of childbearing age.

Editor's Note: NaturalNews is strongly against the use of all forms of animal testing. We fully support the implementation of humane medical experimentation that promotes the health and well-being of all living creatures.

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