Pregnant Women may unknowingly be hurting their fetus if they are low on vitamin C.
Eating healthier and taking vitamin supplements are things we hear about all the time. Population studies show that between 10-20 per cent of all adults in the developed world suffer from vitamin C deficiency. Therefore, pregnant women should think twice about omitting the daily vitamin pill.
Maternal vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy can have serious consequences for the fetal brain. The fetal brain requires nutrition supplied by the mother before birth. And once brain damage has occurred, it cannot be reversed by vitamin C supplements after birth. This is shown through new research at the University of Copenhagen just published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE. Maternal Vitamin C Deficiency during Pregnancy Persistently Impairs Hippocampal Neurogenesis in Offspring of Guinea Pigs. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (10): e48488 DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0048488
While having the highest vitamin C concentrations in the body, specific functions of Vitamin C in the brain have only recently been acknowledged. We have shown that postnatal Vitamin C deficiency in guinea pigs causes impairment of hippocampal memory function and leads to 30% less neurons.
We conclude that a prenatal Vitamin C deficiency in guinea pigs leads to persistent impairment of postnatal hippocampal development which is not alleviated by postnatal repletion. Our findings place attention on a yet unrecognized consequence of marginal Vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy.
So, Moms, please take your vitamin C: you and Junior need it!