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Monday, July 31, 2017

NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS HELPED WITH FOLIC ACID

Neural Tube Defects - The Role Of Folic Acid Supplementation

Guest Post By Karina Martino, PhD

Neural tube defects (NTDs), which include anencephaly and spina bifida, account for a almost 2,500 birth defects each year in the U.S. Infants born with anencephaly are missing most or all of their brain and die shortly after birth. Most babies born with spina bifida, in which the spinal cord is exposed, grow to adulthood but suffer severe paralysis or other disabilities.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the incidence of these defects could be significantly reduced if all women of childbearing age consumed adequate amounts of folate, a B vitamin. Most women don't know exactly when they get pregnant- and the neural tube of a fetus starts forming immediately. Recommendations for folate advise that any woman capable of becoming pregnant (14-50 years) should get 400 micrograms of folic acid daily from foods fortified with folic acid, from vitamin supplements, or a combination of the two. This is in addition to the folate found naturally in certain foods. Folic acid is the man-made form of folate found in fortified foods and dietary supplements.
The exact role of folic acid in preventing neural tube defects in the fetus is not completely understood yet. Since it is so important to get enough folate even before you know you are pregnant, it may pay to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement, especially if you are planning to become pregnant and you suspect that you are not getting enough from foods fortified with folic acid.
Consumption of folic acid has several other advantages as well, including helping metabolize hormones in the liver, it supports cardiovascular health by lowering homocysteine (an amino acid) levels (an independent risk factor for heart disease). Folic acid is also needed to make genetic material (DNA, RNA), and to manufacture red blood cells. It can also prevent cleft lip. Furthermore, low folate levels are associated with recurrent spontaneous pregnancy loss. High dietary intake of vegetables during pregnancy improves plasma and red blood cell folate concentrations and reduces the risk of folate deficiency. Taking multivitamins prior to conception also significantly reduced the risk of prematurity, and enhances fertility.
Folate in food is about 40%-50% less bioavailable than synthetic folic acid, which is almost 100%
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bioavailable. However, make sure to keep in mind that eating natural and wholefoods will give a wide range of other vitamins, minerals and fibers that you and your baby need as well.
Signs of deficiency include: anemia; gastrointestinal upsets, diarrhea, weight loss; bleeding gums; irritability. Signs of overdose are: convulsions in epileptics; megadoses can interfere with zinc absorption.
Good food sources are: poultry liver; dark-green, leafy vegetables; legumes; fortified whole-gran breads, cerelas; oranges, grapefruit.
For folate deficiency, the typical dose is 250-1000 mcg per day. For preventing neural tube defects, at least 400 mcg folic acid per day from supplements or fortified food should be taken. Women with a history of previous pregnancy complicated by such neural tube defects usually take 4 mg per day beginning one month before and continuing for three months after conception. The adequate intakes (AI) for pregnant women is 600 mcg; for lactating women, 500 mcg. The tolerable upper intake level (UL) is 1000 mcg for everyone over 18 years of age.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Karina_Martino,_PhD/1708722
http://EzineArticles.com/?Neural-Tube-Defects---The-Role-Of-Folic-Acid-Supplementation&id=8028034

Friday, July 28, 2017

COPPER NEEDED IN PREGNANCY, NO KIDDING!

Nutrients for Pregnancy and Fertility

The only thing I think of when I hear "copper" is pennies and piping. However, copper is a nutrient found in some foods, and it may be crucial for fetal development. According to this article, it can help the nervous system and cell development.  Read more:

Three studies, published today, show that the nutrient plays a crucial role in the proper formation of
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organs and tissues in baby mice.

'All of us would bet very heavily that the same is true for humans,' said Professor Dennis Thiele, a biological chemist at the University of Michigan Medical School, whose findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Copper-rich foods include chocolate, beans, lobster, crab, oysters and other shell-fish, spinach, red wine and peanuts.

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Trace amounts of copper are present in all body tissues. It is needed to process oxygen, generate energy in cells, allow the nervous system to transmit signals, grow blood vessels and develop skin, tendons and hair.

'This is an area we really need to learn more about,' said Dr Gitlin. 'There could be some fascinating things going on there both nutritionally and genetically that we just don't understand.'

www.dailymail.co.uk

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

BEYOND 40 WEEKS GESTATION MAY BE RISKY OVER AGE 40

Doctors watch women with pregnancies over 40 closely

I recall my OB-GYN recommending that we induce at 39 weeks due to my "advanced age".  Although I wanted an"all natural" delivery, I wanted to do what was safest for my baby.

See also: www.getpregnantover40.com for more on pregnancy, fertility and miscarriage over 40

I went along with the recommendation because the placenta can start to deteriorate after a pregnancy is full term.  For older women, this could be a double whammy since their placentas may be a little "lower quality"  to begin with just because their eggs are older.  Here is a study about complications in post-term pregnancies:
From the article:

The two studies focused on different elements of the risk of progressing beyond 41 weeks of gestation,
but held similar conclusions.* The first study, which followed 1.8 million normal births in California from 1999 to 2003, reported greater odds of infant death among those born at 41 and 42 weeks. The second study examined 2.5 million low-risk births nationwide in 2003, and reported that the risk of cesarean deliveries and poor health outcomes for both mother and child increased at 40 weeks and beyond.

“Significant research has focused on the risks of premature deliveries, but until now, there have been no large-scale studies documenting the increased risk of delivering at 40 weeks or more,” said Aaron Caughey, MD, MPH, PhD, an associate professor of obstetrics at the UCSF Medical Center and UCSF School of Medicine and senior author on both papers. “Combined, these two papers provide

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very compelling evidence of the importance of closely monitoring pregnancies beyond 40 weeks and possibly intervening to prevent complications to both mother and child.”

It is widely accepted that pregnancies that progress beyond 42 weeks gestation are associated with increased risk to both mother and child, said Caughey, who is also affiliated with the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended fetal surveillance or induction of labor at 42 weeks. Previous studies of infant mortality also have reported that the rate of stillbirths is lowest at 37 to 38 weeks and increases six-fold to 2.12 stillbirths per 1,000 pregnancies at 43 weeks. (www.sciencedaily.com)

Monday, July 24, 2017

CELEBRITIES HAVING BABIES OVER AGE 40

Mothers and Pregnancies Over 40 In The Media

So why are we all so obsessed with celebrities who get pregnant over 40.  Well first of all, we are just obsessed with celebrities.  They are media magnets and whether or not we seek them out, they are beamed into our homes via television, radio and of course, the internet. Pregnant celebrities who have babies are usually big stories and older celebrities who have babies are even bigger...

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON CELEBRITIES PREGNANT OVER 40 (getpregnantover40.com)
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CHOLINE, EGGS IN PREGNANCY HELP BREAST HEALTH IN OFFSPRING

Eggs, Pregnancy and Breast Health

I'm always surprised at how much a pregnant woman can determine the health of her baby for years to come. Choline, which is found in eggs, may be one way to help your yet to be born child avoid breast cancer.

See www.getpregnantover40.com for more articles on pregnancy, diet, and fertility 

 This interesting article talks about choline and how it may help. Read more:

This finding by a team of biologists at Boston University is the first to link choline consumption during pregnancy to breast cancer. It also is the first to identify possible choline-related genetic changes that affect breast cancer survival rates.

"We've known for a long time that some agents taken by pregnant women, such as diethylstibesterol, 

have adverse consequences for their daughters," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of
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The FASEB Journal. "But there's an upside. The emerging science of epigenetics has yielded a breakthrough. For the first time, we've learned that we might be able to prevent breast cancer as early as a mother's pregnancy."

The researchers made the discovery in rats by studying females whose mothers were fed varying amounts of choline during pregnancy. Different groups of pregnant rats received diets containing standard amounts of choline, no choline at all, or extra choline. Then the researchers treated the female offspring with a chemical that causes cancer of the mammary gland (breast cancer). Although animals in all groups developed mammary cancer, the daughters of mothers that had received extra choline during pregnancy had slow growing tumors while daughters of mothers that had no choline during pregnancy had fast growing tumors.

from 
www.sciencedaily.com

Monday, July 17, 2017

FIGS, GREAT FOR PREGNANCY

Pregnancy Over 40, Figs In Your Diet

See my entire series on foods for fertility and pregnancy at: www.getpregnantover40.com 

Figs seem to be a forgotten fruit - I had overlooked them until one of my blog readers sent me a link to this article about why people should eat figs when they're pregnant. Read more:

1. Figs have a higher overall mineral profile than any other common fruit or vegetable. They are particularly high in calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc, key nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.

2. The high potassium content of figs may help to control blood pressure and therefore, the
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hypertension associated with preeclampsia, a dangerous pregnancy condition.

3. The mineral content of figs closely resembles that of human breast milk!

4. Figs have the highest fiber content of any common fruit. Rich in both insoluble and soluble fiber, figs really help to mitigate the constipation so common during pregnancy.

5. Figs contain a proteolytic enzyme that also aids in digestion, which is naturally slowed during pregnancy.

6. Figs are highly alkaline, and therefore alkalizing, which has been shown to help curb cravings. This may help control those less-than-healthy urges that can sabotage a healthy pregnancy diet.

7. Figs are high in vitamin B6, which has long been thought to be beneficial in alleviating morning sickness.

8. Even the leaves of figs are therapeutic: ingesting them has been shown to reduce and even eliminate the need for insulin in diabetic patients. Therefore, ingesting them may help to control or avoid a case of gestational diabetes. Furthermore, this ability to balance blood sugar levels should help to relieve a whole host of symptoms – from morning sickness to mood swings.

9. Dried figs contain significant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to the optimal development of the fetus. Consuming ample Omega-3’s during pregnancy is also associated with a lower incidence of pre-term labor and premature delivery.

10. Psoralens, a chemical found in figs, has been used to treat many skin pigmentation problems and may be beneficial in preventing melasma, the “mask of pregnancy”.

from 
www.rawmom.com

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

SOY BENEFICIAL FOR BELLY FAT REDUCTION

Pregnancy Over 40, Soy and Belly Fat

There seems to be differing opinions on whether or not soy is harmful or helpful to women. Some sources priase soy for it's health benefits, others claim it's harmful both before and after menopause.
Visit: www.getpregnantover40.com for more on pregnancy, fertility over 40
Personally, I've been drinking soy milk for at least 10 years. Here is an article about how soy can help post menopausal women avoid that dreaded belly fat:


From the article:

A daily serving of soy may help postmenopausal women avoid gaining fat around the middle,
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preliminary research suggests.

In a study of 18 postmenopausal women, researchers found that those who drank a soy-based shake every day for three months tended to gain less abdominal fat than those who had a milk-based shake.

Soy contains compounds called isoflavones that are structurally similar to estrogen and bind to estrogen receptors in fat tissue. So in theory, soy isoflavones could help regulate body fat metabolism.

The new findings appear to be the first to show that soy protein may affect abdominal fat distribution, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Cynthia K. Sites of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. They report the results in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility

from: (www.reuters.com)

Sunday, July 02, 2017

PREGNANCY OVER 40, MANY BENEFITS OF OLDER MOTHERHOOD!

Pregnancy Over 40, It's Okay!!

We hear so much negative information about pregnancy over 40 and even parenthood over 40, that it's important to look at the other side of argument.
Most women I've talked to who had children later in life, can't say enough about what a blessing it is and how they enjoyed every minute of raising their child/children. Most women in their 40's have "gotten their act together" and don't get bogged down in the day to day drama. Here is article that discusses the advantages of having children as an older mother.
One exceptionally helpful aspect of the article is that the author, Jan Anderson, interviewed grown children of older parents. There seems to be consistently good feedback. If your over 40 and TTC, pregnant, or already a parent - your outlook looks good. But be sure to live a healthy lifestyle - you'll want to be around to see your grandkids!

SEE ALSO: PREGNANCY OVER 40 (getpregnantover40.com) 

from the article:

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Gavin, 26, says that he never once thought of his mother as being any different to the younger mothers of his classmates, particularly since his father was also much younger. Gavin was conceived when his mother, now aged 70, embarked on a second marriage with a man 14 years her junior. At the time of Gavin's birth, his mother was 44 and his father was just 30. Despite disapproval from other family members and jibes that the relationship would never last, his parents are still happily married.
Gavin jokes, "I used to get a kick out of telling people that my mum was 14 years older than my dad and I'm sure that some mates wanted to come round to my house just to gawp. Funny thing is that a couple of them actually had a crush on my mum and I must admit, she did look pretty good for her age - and still does! Despite the chronological age gap, biologically there are no discernible differences between my parents.

from www.sideroad.com

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