Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamin C may head off lung problems in babies born to pregnant smokers

Date:
May 4, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Summary:
Pregnant women are advised not to smoke during pregnancy because it can harm the baby's lungs and lead to wheezing and asthma, among other problems. If a woman absolutely can't kick the habit, taking vitamin C during pregnancy may improve her newborn's lung function and prevent wheezing in the first year of life, according to a new study.

Pregnant women are advised not to smoke during pregnancy because it can harm the baby's lungs and lead to wheezing and asthma, among other problems. If a woman absolutely can't kick the habit, taking vitamin C during pregnancy may improve her newborn's lung function and prevent wheezing in the first year of life, according to a study to be presented Saturday, May 4, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Washington, DC.

Related Articles


"Vitamin C is a simple, safe and inexpensive treatment that may decrease the impact of smoking during pregnancy on childhood respiratory health," said lead author Cynthia T. McEvoy, MD, MCR, FAAP, associate professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

The study included 159 women who were less than 22 weeks pregnant and were unable to quit smoking. Participants were randomly assigned to take either one 500 milligram capsule of vitamin C or a placebo each day with a prenatal vitamin. Neither the study investigator nor the women knew what was in the capsule they were taking. A group of nonsmoking pregnant women also was studied.

Investigators tested the newborns' pulmonary function at about 48 hours of life. They measured how the newborn breathed in and out, how easily the baby's lungs moved and how big the baby's lungs were. Results showed that babies born to smoking women who took vitamin C had significantly improved lung function at birth compared to babies whose mothers took a placebo.

The researchers also contacted the parents through the infants' first year of life to document any episodes of wheezing and other respiratory symptoms. They found that infants whose mothers were in the vitamin C group had significantly less wheezing through 1 year of age than the infants whose moms had received the placebo.

Specifically, 21 percent of infants in the vitamin C group had at least one episode of wheezing compared to 40 percent of those in the placebo group and 27 percent of infants born to nonsmokers. In addition, 13 percent of infants whose mothers were randomized to vitamin C needed medication for their wheezing compared to 22 percent of infants in the placebo group and 10 percent in the nonsmoking group.

"Getting women to quit smoking during pregnancy has to be priority one, but this finding provides a way to potentially help the infants born of the roughly 50 percent of pregnant smokers who won't or just can't quit smoking no matter what is tried," said study co-author Eliot Spindel, MD, PhD, senior scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU.

In addition, the researchers also found that one genetic variant shown to increase the risk of smokers developing cancer and associated with reduced ability to quit smoking and high likelihood of relapse seemed to intensify the harmful effects of maternal smoking on how the baby's lungs formed, Dr. McEvoy said.

"Though the lung function of all babies born to smokers in our study was improved by supplemental vitamin C," she said, "our preliminary data suggest that vitamin C appeared to help those babies at the greatest risk of harm during their development from their mother's smoking in pregnancy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Pediatrics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Academy of Pediatrics. "Vitamin C may head off lung problems in babies born to pregnant smokers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130504163306.htm>.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2013, May 4). Vitamin C may head off lung problems in babies born to pregnant smokers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130504163306.htm
American Academy of Pediatrics. "Vitamin C may head off lung problems in babies born to pregnant smokers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130504163306.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Don't Fall For Flu Shot Myths

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Misconceptions abound when it comes to your annual flu shot. Medical experts say most people older than 6 months should get the shot. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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