Research Finds Vitamin B3 Supplements Can Help Prevent Miscarriages

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Sally Dunwoodie, who is a biomedical researcher at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, says that "Now, after 12 years of research, our team has also discovered that this deficiency can have cured and miscarriages and birth defects prevented by taking an everyday vitamin".

Dunwoodie along with other scientists recently found a link between women who have had multiple miscarriages and babies born with birth defects: a deficit in NAD, a molecule that encourages normal organ development.

Vitamin B3 is required to make NAD, and is typically found in meats and green vegetables as well as Marmite.

The study was a preclinical trial, and the results will need to be replicated in humans before doctors can recommend vitamin B3 supplements to pregnant women, but the results are certainly promising.

David Amor, a clinical geneticist and professor at the University of Melbourne, said "there is no reason to believe that dietary niacin deficiency is a major cause of birth defects in the general population". "This has the potential to significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects around the world and I do not say those words lightly", says Dunwoodie.

'Before vitamin B3 was introduced into the [mice] mother's diet, embryos were either lost through miscarriage or the offspring were born with a range of severe birth defects, ' the Victor Chang Institute said in a statement.

Next, the researchers fed the mutant mice low doses of niacin during pregnancy, which reduced the severity of the birth defects.

Researchers from the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney called it "a double breakthrough", as they found both a cause and a preventative solution.

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"This is great for awareness now for women to take it while they are pregnant".

Memphis's mother Tashan said being able to prevent heart defects like her son's would be incredible.

"The ramifications are likely to be huge", she said.

Pregnant women lacking in vitamin D are more likely to have children with poor motor skills, research revealed last month.

"But, we're not all the same in how we absorb nutrients", she said, adding that body mass index and diabetes can influence how a woman produces NAD.

One in four women also suffer from a miscarriage.

Researchers are now trying to devise a test - possibly a simple urine or blood test - to identify who needs more B3, according to an ABC report.

It's the first time that NAD (aka nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) has been linked to congenital abnormalities, identifying a previously unknown cause of birth defects - along with the supplement that might treat the problem.

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