Scientists find an important cause of miscarriages and birth defects
Researchers have now found that vitamin B3 can prevent miscarriages and birth defects. The experts achieved a double medical breakthrough, so to speak, they found one of the causes of miscarriages and birth defects and at the same time developed a preventive solution.
In their study, scientists at the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney found that vitamin B3 can prevent birth defects and miscarriages in pregnant women. The doctors released a press release on the results of their investigation.
Almost 8 million newborn babies suffer from birth defects each year
Around 7.9 million babies with birth defects are born each year worldwide. Doctors have now started an investigation to find out whether vitamin B3 can prevent such health problems.
Mutations in two genes lead to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide deficiency
In their study, the researchers analyzed the DNA of four families in which the mothers had suffered multiple miscarriages or the babies were born with various birth defects, such as heart, kidney, and vertebrae. They found that mutations in two genes can lead to a deficiency in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). This molecule enables the cells to generate energy and the organs to develop normally, the scientists explain.
Increasing the value of NAD can prevent miscarriages and birth defects
The discovered mutations were replicated in mice to examine the effects more closely. The doctors found that the problems could be corrected if niacin (vitamin B3) was taken during pregnancy. It is therefore possible to increase the so-called NAD value and thus avoid the genetic problem in order to completely prevent miscarriages and birth defects.
Vitamin B3 can be taken for prevention
Finding a cause and at the same time prevention in a study is extremely rare, say the scientists. Prevention is also very simple if the intake of vitamin B3 prevents problems that arise.
Side effects of high doses of vitamin B3 in pregnancy?
The doses of vitamin B3 used in the study were 10 times higher than the currently recommended daily doses to supplement women's diets. The side effects of these high doses are not yet known. Pregnancy complications often arise from complex interactions of a number of factors, the experts warn. The researchers at the Victor Chang Institute said that women can safely take a special multi-vitamin during pregnancy, which contains the recommended amount of 18 milligrams of niacin.
More research is needed
Since there are differences in how people absorb nutrients and, for example, the so-called body mass index (BMI) and diabetes influence the amounts in which a woman produces nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, the researchers say that further investigations are now necessary. It also remains unclear which women do not produce enough NAD. Subsequent studies must deal with this topic, according to the scientists. (as)