Medicine

New research suggests this vitamin could help prevent miscarriages

New research suggests this vitamin could help prevent miscarriages

The molecular deficiency hinders NAD - a molecule which is essential for energy production, DNA fix and cell communication.

The finding from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, in Australia, is being called a "breakthrough" in pregnancy research. This indicates pregnant women may require more vitamin B3 than is now available in most vitamin supplements.

The Institute said that the study, led by Professor Sally Dunwoodie, was among Australia's greatest-ever medical breakthroughs and one of the greatest discoveries in pregnancy research and the ramifications are likely to be huge.

It was said that the common supplement Niacin, which is known as Vitamin B3 is potent enough to cure molecular deficiencies that can cause birth defects and miscarriages in women, as per Xinhua news agency.

Taking extra doses of a dietary supplement during pregnancy could help protect against common birth defects and even miscarriages, new research has found.

The study found that a deficiency in the molecule nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, known as NAD, prevents a baby's organs from developing correctly in the womb.

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"Arguably, it's the most important discovery for pregnant women since folate", Dunwoodie told Sophie Scott at ABC News, in reference to the landmark research that showed folic acid could reduce the incidence of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

The Executive Director of the Victor Chang Institute Robert Graham said that women need to be taking vitamin B3 well before they decide to get pregnant.

It's found in meat, poultry, green vegetables and even Vegemite, yet nearly a third of pregnant women are deficient in the vitamin.

Before vitamin B3 was introduced into the mother's diet, embryos were either lost through miscarriage or the offspring were born with a range of severe birth defects.

Prof Dunwoodie's team found that by simply boosting levels of the nutrient, found in Marmite, during pregnancy can prevent miscarriages and birth defects. "It's extremely rare to discover the problem and provide a preventative solution at the same time", he added. "It's actually a double breakthrough".

Scientists are now working on a test to measure levels of NAD, to work out which women have a higher likelihood of miscarriage, and could therefore benefit from a B3 supplement.


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