Around one in six pregnancies results in spontaneous abortion. Although there can be different reasons for this, scientists have found that eating a healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruit, fish, shellfish, eggs, and grains can lower the risk by over 50 percent. This was shown in a meta-analysis from the University of Birmingham in England. Earlier research shows that selenium, a trace element that many people are deficient in, plays a particularly important role.
The need for the trace element selenium is increased in pregnant and breastfeeding women because it supports a host of different proteins that are particularly important for tissue growth. Also, selenium supports different antioxidants that protect the unborn baby’s organs and tissues. A new review article published in Nutrients shows that lack of selenium during pregnancy may result in oxidative stress, stunted growth, and low birth weight. This may eventually have consequences for the baby’s development, cognitive skills, and health in general. The authors also mention that an expecting mother’s alcohol abuse may have a more negative health impact if she is selenium-deficient. It is a problem that selenium deficiency is such a widespread problem in Europe and other parts of the world.
An increasing number of young women risk giving birth to babies with an insufficiently developed mental capacity due to iodinedeficiency. The deficiency may be a result of nutrient-depleted soil and altered diets with fewer iodine-containing animal sources. Also, many people have a preference for sea salt and Himalayan salt rather than iodine-enriched salt. Iodine deficiency appears to be most prevalent among women who eat plant-based vegan diets, but it is also seen among women with normal diets that include meat. This was demonstrated in a study from the University of South Australia. The challenge for pregnant women is to get adequate amounts of iodine and to find iodine-enriched table salt that has proper quality and does not contain anti-caking agents such as aluminum.
Lack of vitamin D during pregnancy and the baby’s first years of life increases the risk of asthma and allergy
The number of small children affected by asthma and allergy is a growing worldwide problem. Vitamin D deficiency is also an increasing problem among pregnant women and newborn babies. Vitamin D is important for a well-functioning immune defense and for that reason, a team of Dutch scientists have looked closer at the relation in a review article. They conclude that having sufficient vitamin D in the blood during pregnancy and the first years of life can lower the risk of developing asthma and allergies. The scientists also observed that vitamin D supplements can lessen the burden of these widespread diseases. Their study is published in Nutrients.
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect on a global scale. The condition is associated with a number of different complications and even comes with an increased risk of infant death. Maternal nutritional status is vital for the development of the fetus, and a team of Chinese scientists has looked closer at how selenium, zinc, and copper affect the development of the disease. They found that a relatively high intake of selenium and zinc lowers the risk of congenital heart defects. Therefore, the scientists call for increased focus on these two minerals during pregnancy and advocate the use of supplements.
Magnesiumplays a role in a variety of enzyme processes that are involved in 80 percent of the body’s metabolic functions, and a magnesium deficiency can affect different genes and diseases. Such deficiencies are very common, especially among women. A Russian study of pregnant women and women with different types of hormonal imbalances shows that four weeks of magnesium supplementation can improve health and quality of life by several parameters.
Preeclampsia is a precursor of eclampsia, a condition characterized by spasms and seizures that can be life-threatening for the expecting mother and her unborn child. According to a new review article that is published in the science journal Cureus, injections of magnesium sulfate have been tested as part of the treatment for severe preeclampsia and related spasms. This therapy form has also been introduced in Denmark. It is important during pregnancy to get enough magnesiumto prevent eclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a precursor of eclampsia, a condition characterized by spasms and seizures that can be life-threatening for the expecting mother and her unborn child. According to a new review article that is published in the science journal Cureus, injections of magnesium sulfate have been tested as part of the treatment for severe preeclampsia and related spasms. This therapy form has also been introduced in Denmark. It is important during pregnancy to get enough magnesium to prevent eclampsia.
Impaired fertility and involuntary childlessness are common in the Nordic countries and there can be a number of reasons for these serious problems. However, according to a large Finnish study that is published in Nutrients, vitamin Ddeficiency, which is a widespread problem, may increase women’s risk of fertility problems and cause them to have a miscarriage.
During pregnancy, the unborn child needs different nutrients for proper development of its brain and nervous system. Even if the mother eats a balanced diet, it can be difficult to get enough selenium for a number of reasons. In a new Italian animal study that is published in Nutrients, scientists have looked closer at selenium’s role during pregnancy and lactation. They observed that even minor selenium deficiencies can have a negative effect on the offspring’s brain development and behavior. This study supports earlier human studies showing how vital it is for the mother to get plenty of selenium during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Zincis involved in numerous physiological functions, some of which are important for pregnancy and fetal development. However, zinc deficiencies are common, especially in developing countries. Vegans are also at increased risk because it is difficult for the body to absorb zinc from a plant-based diet. Zinc deficiency in connection with pregnancy appears to increase the expecting mother’s risk of developing hypertension, and the elevated blood pressure may result in low birth weight and a low Apgar score, which is a health assessment of the baby in the minutes right after delivery. This was shown in a study that is published in Frontiers in Nutrition.
Refined foods and plant-based diets lack vital nutrients that are highly important for a pregnant woman and the development of her unborn child’s body and brain. This was shown in a large study of mothers from high-income countries, where 90 percent of the participants lacked key nutrients such as vitamin B2, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. These widespread deficiencies have huge health consequences, which may be irreversible for the child. The scientists explain that the problem is made worse by the global push for eating more plant-based diets. Lack of omega-3 fatty acids that are primarily found in oily fish is also common and may harm the development of the child’s brain and increase the risk of postnatal depression in the mother.
Q10 is a unique compound with a key role in cellular energy turnover. It also serves as a powerful antioxidant. The body is able to synthesize most of the Q10 that it needs but as we grow older, our endogenous synthesis decreases, making us vulnerable in different ways. Cholesterol-lowering medicine and certain types of disease are also associated with lower levels of Q10 in the body. In a new review article, a group of scientists have scrutinized hundreds of Q10 studies that have been published in the years 2010-2020. They are able to conclude that Q10 is of particular importance to the heart, circulatory system, fertility, muscles, eyes and vision, and the ageing process. Things like migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease are also addressed. The body has difficulty with absorbing Q10 from food and supplements so it is recommendable to always choose a pharmaceutical-grade Q10 preparation with documented bioavailability.
Selenium deficiency in connection with diet, serious illness, and pregnancy increases your risk of autoimmune diseases, slow recovery, life-threatening complications, and miscarriage
Selenium is a trace element with a number of essential functions. An estimated one billion people worldwide get too little dietary selenium. The problem is mainly a result of nutrient-depleted farmland. Moreover, blood levels of selenium drop drastically in connection with COVID-19 infections, serious illness, and pregnancy because the body has an increased need for the nutrient. Altogether, selenium deficiency increases the risk of complicated COVID-19 infections, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, preterm delivery, and miscarriage. Supplementation may help optimize blood levels of selenium, which can be relevant for preventing and treating a number of common diseases, according to an article that is published in International Journal of Medical Sciences.
Folic acid is of vital importance to fetal development which is why pregnant women have a much higher need for this nutrient. Although the Danish health authorities recommend that pregnant take folic acid supplements, some get started too late and others forget to take their supplements. In other countries, it is common practice to enrich flour with folic acid but apparently, the added quantity is insufficient. According to a new British study, many pregnant women still don’t get enough folic acid, which increases their risk of giving birth to a baby with neural tube defects that can lead to severe disabilities. Lack of folic acid can also affect the child’s mental development. The British researchers therefore recommend adding more folic acid to fluor as a way of preventing the birth defects. It’s simple and inexpensive and would also be relevant for Denmark.
Fish contains vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, and iodine, all of which are important for the fetus’ brain and development. However, fish also contains mercury and that discourages many pregnant women from eating fish. According to a new study that is published in NeuroToxicology, eating fish during pregnancy is actually not harmful at all, on the contrary, and the scientists behind the study argue that the precautionary guidelines need to be revised. Apparently, the selenium content in fish and seafood determines if mercury is dangerous or not.
Vitamin D is of vital importance to the unborn child’s development of teeth, bones, immune defense, and various other things. The fetus is highly dependent on the mother’s vitamin D levels and that the nutrient can be transferred to the fetus and activated. A team of scientists has looked closer at the placenta and its role in helping the fetus utilize vitamin D. They hope their work can contribute to healthier pregnancies in the future.
Fetuses and children need various nutrients, including vitamin B12, to support the development of the body and brain. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it is crucial to breastfeed the child for a period of at least six months to make sure it gets enough vitamin B12 from the mother’s milk. Most people get enough B12 from animal food sources. However, in countries and populations where people primarily consume plant-based diets, vitamin B12 deficiencies are common. The scientists behind the new study therefore recommend more focus on this specific area and recommend that pregnant and breastfeeding women take vitamin B12 as a supplement in case they don’t get enough from their diet.
Babies and small children are less likely to develop croup if their mothers have taken high-dosed vitamin D and fish oil during their pregnancy, according to a Danish study, where scientists have studied this relation for the very first time. Vitamin D and fish oil also benefit the child’s immune defense and counteract the inflammation in the respiratory system that triggers croup. The two supplements even have a positive impact on the child’s bone health and nervous system, and they also help prevent asthma.
During pregnancy, vitamin D plays an important role in the bone development of the unborn child, in the brain, and in other functions. Maternal lack of vitamin D during pregnancy may therefore have serious consequences for the fetus and its development. This also goes for the development of neurons in the dopamine-producing area of the brain, which can most likely result in dysfunctions of the dopamine balance, a problem that is seen in young individuals and adults with schizophrenia. This was demonstrated in a new study that is published in Journal of Neurochemistry. The study supports an earlier review article where it was seen that early stages of psychotic disorders like schizophrenia are linked to severe deficiencies of vitamin D and other nutrients with vital importance to brain health, especially during pregnancy.
During a woman’s pregnancy, vitamin D is important for the growth, development, and general health of the baby. Apparently, maternal vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy increases the risk of boys developing more fat tissue during their first years of life, which makes them more prone to overweight in childhood and later in life. This was reported in a Spanish population study that is published in Nutrients. Because both overweight and vitamin D deficiency are so widespread, it is essential for pregnant women to make sure as a minimum to follow the official recommendations for vitamin D supplementation. Also, there is no read to avoid sun exposure because sunshine is our primary vitamin D source during the summer period. Just make sure not to get a sunburn.
Atopic dermatitis (eczema) is a widespread problem and a huge burden to both the child and its parents. According to a new study that is published in British Journal of Dermatology, high-dosed vitamin D supplementation of the mother during her pregnancy lowers the child’s risk of developing eczema within its first year of life. The pregnant women in the study got 25 micrograms of vitamin D daily, which is more than twice the amount that is currently recommended to expecting mothers. Health authorities already recommend all-year vitamin D supplementation to children up to the age of four years, so it appears that this measure can offer additional protection against eczema.
Around one billion people worldwide are believed to lack vitamin D. This gives cause for concern when it comes to public health, also with regard to pregnant women and their children. Several studies link vitamin D deficiency to a number of different pregnancy-related complications such as preeclampsia, increased risk of preterm delivery, and the need for a Caesarean section. There is also a risk of low birth weight, weak bones, and later development of bronchitis, asthma, type 1 diabetes, sclerosis, and autism, according to a review article published in Nutrients. The authors believe it is necessary to give supplements to help correct vitamin D deficiencies in the expecting mothers and even in the children after birth to prevent many of the diseases and complications linked to low vitamin D status.
Zinc is involved in numerous enzyme processes and proteins that are of importance to fertility and pregnancy. The nutrient also plays a role in fetal brain development and the child’s health later in life, according to a review article that is published in the scientific journal, Nutrients. The authors address the fact that zinc deficiencies are rather common and account for around 20 per cent of infant deaths, typically around the time of birth. It is therefore important to get plenty of zinc throughout life – especially for women before, during, and after pregnancy and while they breastfeed.