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 Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>