Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Healthy Eating Reduces The Chance Of Spina Bifida

Date:
October 14, 2004
Source:
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research
Summary:
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.

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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Healthy Eating Reduces The Chance Of Spina Bifida." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041012084328.htm>.
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. (2004, October 14). Healthy Eating Reduces The Chance Of Spina Bifida. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041012084328.htm
Netherlands Organization For Scientific Research. "Healthy Eating Reduces The Chance Of Spina Bifida." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041012084328.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins