Birth defects breakthrough
IN a finding bringing hope to thousands of Australian couples, preventing birth defects and miscarriage could be as simple as supplementing a pregnant woman’s diet with Vitamin B3.
A landmark Australian study undertaken at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute has identified a new cause of miscarriages and multiple types of congenital birth defects.
More importantly, though, it has identified a way to prevent them. It comes in the form of niacin, otherwise known as Vitamin B3 and typically found in meats, leafy green vegetables and Vegemite.
Lead researcher Professor Sally Dunwoodie says the ramifications of the double breakthrough – hailed as the biggest since folic acid was identified as a preventive of neural tube birth defects and spina bifida in babies are likely to be “huge”.
“This has the potential to significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects around the world,” she said yesterday.