Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Healthy eating reduces the chance of spina bifida

11.10.2004


According to Dutch researcher Pascal Groenen, a balanced diet reduces the risk of a baby with spina bifida. He investigated how different nutritional components affected the risk of developing this condition.



Low concentrations of myo-inositol, zinc or vitamin B12 in the blood or a slightly elevated glucose concentration in the blood increase the risk of having a child with the congenital abnormality spina bifida.

Myo-inositol (hexahydroxycyclohexane) plays an important role in many biological processes in humans. It is produced by the human body and is also absorbed from food. Zinc is necessary for the production of proteins and therefore plays an important role in almost all metabolic processes. Vitamin B12 is important for a good functioning of the nervous system and facilitates the effect of folic acid. Zinc and vitamin B12 are very common nutrients. They are found for example in fish, eggs, milk, meat (vitamin B12) and vegetables (zinc). The research results underline the importance of a balanced diet prior to and during the initial weeks of pregnancy.


Since 1993, the Health Council of the Netherlands has advised women who want to become pregnant to take folic acid (vitamin B11) supplements in order to reduce the chance of a child with spina bifida. Groenen’s research demonstrates that folic acid is not the only nutrient which plays a role in the prevention of spina bifida. Further research must show whether taking myo-inositol, zinc or vitamin B12 supplements is indeed worthwhile.

Groenen’s research was prompted by the discovery that myo-inositol can prevent 70% of the cases of spina bifida in mice. This lead to Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (in cooperation with all spina bifida teams and the patient association BOSK/VSOP) setting up a large-scale study into the role of nutrition, lifestyle and genetic factors in the development of spina bifida in humans. In total 132 families with a child with spina bifida and 236 control families have taken part in the study.

Spina bifida is a serious abnormality of the central nervous system, which develops during the first four weeks of pregnancy. In the most serious form the skin and vertebrae of the back are not completely closed. As a result of this the nerves are often damaged and consequently most of the patients are paralysed.

In the Netherlands, 1 in every 2000 children is born with spina bifida. The abnormality is often associated with hydrocephalus. The fluid in the head exerts considerable pressure on the brain, as a result of which babies with spina bifida have a higher risk of brain damage.

The research was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

Nalinie Moerlie | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nwo.nl

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope
23.10.2017 | University at Buffalo

nachricht Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes
23.10.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>