Tuesday, October 10, 2006

CBC Reports That Vitamins Cut Birth Defects

The CBC reports that taking a complete multivitamin and mineral supplement can dramatically reduce the risk of birth defects and ultimately help improve the quality of life for thousands annually.

All women of childbearing age should consider taking a prenatal multivitamin to reduce the risk of serious birth defects such as heart malfunctions, a Canadian researcher says.

As many as one out of every 33 children born in Canada has a serious birth defect, according to the Motherrisk Program at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.

Dr. Gideon Koren, the program's director, reviewed the findings of 41 studies on the effects of multivitamin supplements before conception and during the first trimester.

The prenatal vitamins differed from traditional vitamins because they contain a combination of vitamin A, all the B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, D, E and more iron and folic acid.
"It's not a single element, but rather a mixture of different things that mom and baby might need," Koren told CBC Newsworld.

The benefits of folic acid have been known for 15 years, but the review shows the prenatal vitamins can have a protective effect for other serious birth defects — defects that cost lives and have huge effects on quality of life...

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