As if diabetes isn't challenging enough, evidence suggests
that pregnant women who suffer from the condition also have
an increased chance that their children will be born with
birth defects. However, there is hope: A recent study provides
evidence that multivitamin supplementation can help prevent
the study, researchers obtained information on maternal diabetes
and multivitamin use from the mothers of 3,278 babies born
with diabetes-associated birth defects, and 3,029 infants
with no defects. Mothers were asked if they had taken multivitamin
supplements at any time in the three months prior to conception,
through the first three months of pregnancy. Based on their
responses, the mothers were divided into four categories:
nonusers; users during the six-month period; users at other
times; and unknown.
Data analysis indicated that while infants of mothers with
diabetes were at increased risk for suffering birth defects,
this risk was limit to the infants of diabetic mothers who
reported no multivitamin supplementation in the three months
before pregnancy or the first three months of pregnancy.
If you're planning to have a child, or are already pregnant,
it's important to schedule regular visits with your doctor.
Diet and exercise modifications are just a few of the many
considerations that will help ensure a smooth pregnancy. You
and your child deserve nothing less.
And if you're not convinced by the results of this single
study, bear in mind that ample evidence links multivitamin
supplementation (particularly supplementation with folic acid)
to a reduced risk of infant birth defects.
To read summaries of the previous research, go to www.chiroweb.com/find/archives/nutrition/vitamins/index.html.
Correa A, Botto L, Liu Y, et al. Do multivitamin supplements
attenuate the risk for diabetes-associated birth defects?
Pediatrics May 2003:111(5), pp1146-51.