About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Vitamin C Supplementation to Mother Improves Baby's Lung Function
Advertisement

Vitamin C Supplementation to Mother Improves Baby's Lung Function

Font : A-A+

Highlights:
  • Vitamin C supplementation given to women who smoke during pregnancy reduces lung damage and improves lung function in their infants
  • Babies born to mothers who were given vitamin C supplementation during pregnancy have better lung function than those babies whose mothers were not given vitamin C
  • Nicotine found in cigarettes is highly addictive and smoking during pregnancy causes serious health effects in the baby including preterm birth, low birth weight, poor lung function and increased risk of birth defects

Advertisement


Vitamin C supplementation to pregnant women who smoke reduces the risk of lung damage in their infants, according to a recent randomized control study led by Dr. McEvoy, professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University. The findings of this study appear in the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Effects of Vitamin C on Baby's Lung Function

  • The study enlisted 251 volunteers who were randomly assigned to either receive vitamin C supplementation (125) or placebo (126) at 13 to 23 weeks of pregnancy
  • The team defined smoking as having smoked one or more cigarettes during the previous week. All the women were provided counseling and encouraged to quit smoking. During the study, 10% of the women kicked the smoking
  • Following delivery, lung function of their babies was evaluated by measuring the forced expiratory flow rate (FEF). FEF is a key parameter to measure lung function and estimates how quickly air can be exhaled from the lungs. It helps to determine the presence of airway obstruction
  • Infants whose mothers took 500 mg vitamin C supplement in addition to their regular supplements were found to have better FEF's compared to babies whose mothers received placebo
  • The study also found an association between FEF values and the occurrence of a genetic variant (α5 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor) which had a negative impact on lung function of babies resulting in lower FEF values. The presence of this genetic factor has been linked in previous studies to increased risk of development of lung cancer and obstructive lung disease
Thus, the findings of the study suggest that vitamin C plays a protective role in limiting lung injury of babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy. The team also plans to continue follow-up of these infants to monitor their lung function and respiratory health.

In the words of Dr McEvoy, "Finding a way to help infants exposed to smoking and nicotine in utero recognizes the unique dangers posed by a highly advertised, addictive product and the lifetime effects on offspring who did not choose to be exposed."

Role of Vitamin C in Reducing Lung Damage

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant and helps prevent damaging of various tissues including the lungs. Oxidative stress causes injury and cell death due to the accumulation of free radicals such as peroxides within the cell.
Advertisement

Smoking reduces the levels of ascorbic acid resulting in decreased antioxidants to counter the oxidative stress by eliminating the free radicals.

Exposure of the fetus to smoke can thus cause lung damage and reduce lung function. Supplementing vitamin C to the mother restores antioxidant activity to counter the damage caused by free radicals and improve lung function.

Limitations of Previous Research

Previous research on the subject has shown that lung function measured on Day 3 of life was better in babies born to mothers who smoked and were given vitamin C (500 mg/day) supplementation during their pregnancy compared to babies of mothers who were randomized to placebo.

The earlier study employed passive methods to assess lung function of the babies whereas, the FEF employed in the current study is used in adults and older children to assess lung function and offers a more direct measurement of airway status.

Future Research Plans

Future plans include evaluating
  • Whether the benefits of starting vitamin C supplementation earlier would have greater benefit in improving the infant's lung function
  • The effect on lung function of supplementing the babies with vitamin C after birth
In conclusion, although vitamin C given to pregnant women who smoke helps lower the risk of lung damage in the baby, the primary aim should be to help the woman give up smoking since smoke exposure can cause obesity, behavioral disorders and other serious health issues later in these children.

Reference :

  1. Oral Vitamin C (500 mg/day) to Pregnant Smokers Improves Infant Airway Function at 3 Months (VCSIP): A Randomized Trial - (https://www.atsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1164/rccm.201805-1011OC)


Source: Medindia

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman. (2018, December 07). Vitamin C Supplementation to Mother Improves Baby's Lung Function. Medindia. Retrieved on May 20, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/vitamin-c-supplementation-to-mother-improves-babys-lung-function-184328-1.htm.

  • MLA

    Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman. "Vitamin C Supplementation to Mother Improves Baby's Lung Function". Medindia. May 20, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/vitamin-c-supplementation-to-mother-improves-babys-lung-function-184328-1.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman. "Vitamin C Supplementation to Mother Improves Baby's Lung Function". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/vitamin-c-supplementation-to-mother-improves-babys-lung-function-184328-1.htm. (accessed May 20, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Dr. Lakshmi Venkataraman. 2021. Vitamin C Supplementation to Mother Improves Baby's Lung Function. Medindia, viewed May 20, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/vitamin-c-supplementation-to-mother-improves-babys-lung-function-184328-1.htm.

Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Prevent Hacking of Medical Devices: FDA Sounds Alarm
Black Water: Benefits and Uses
World Hypertension Day 2022 - Measure Blood Pressure Accurately, Control It, Live Longer!
View all
Recommended Reading
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Calcium and Vitamin Supplements Vitamin Supplements Vitamin C / Ascorbic acid Vitamin B6 Vitamin B9 Vitamin B-12 Vitamin-F Pneumoconiosis The Magic Feeling of Being A Mother Silicosis 

Most Popular on Medindia

Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Sanatogen Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator Hearing Loss Calculator The Essence of Yoga Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Loram (2 mg) (Lorazepam) Selfie Addiction Calculator Find a Doctor

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use