Researchers have shown for the past decade or longer that folate deficiencies during pregnancy can lead to birth defects of your baby’s spine and brain. According to the book, Healing with Vitamins, edited by Rodale Health Books, the section on page 116 “Food Factors,” notes that birth defects increased during the years when those various low-carb fad diets were in vogue. Sacramento mothers who are pregnant shouldn’t be on those low carb, health, wellness, and fitness fad diets.
Before the advent of low-carb diets in the early 1990s, birth defects steadily declined. In Sacramento, back in the early 1980s, you have women on various health, wellness, and fitness fad diets of all types, including the popular Macrobiotic diet which emphasized whole grains, sea vegetables, beans, brown rice, brans of various types, rice bran syrup (high in vitamin B), and fermented vegetables such as organic sauerkraut, tempeh, and amazake (fermnented rice beverages). But as soon as the low-carb diets fad began in the late 1990s, up went the rate of serious birth defects in children deprived of enough folate.
In the Sacramento-Davis area, the University of California, Davis studies folate deficiency in low-income women. See the U.C. Davis article, Low-income women in California may be at risk of inadequate folate. In some Sacramento mothers and others, a specific genetic variation prevents the individuals from absorbing folate or the synthetic form of folic acid unless they take it in the active form. If you’re a Sacramento mom-to-be, find out whether you have enough folate in your diet and whether you’re absorbing it. Talk to your doctor. If you have the genetic variation where you can’t absorb folic acid in the synthetic form and need to take it in the active form as folate, check out the website, HS Fighters Active B Vitamins.
A four-year study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looked at 4,500 women in their childbearing years. The finding of this study reported that folate blood levels declined by 8 to 16 percent during the time of the study. Also see the CDC study, Folate Status in Women of Childbearing Age, by Race/Ethnicity.
What scientists speculate about is whether this finding is related to fad diets that emphasize low carbs? If you’re pregnant you need those cereals. If you can’t have wheat, try brown or black rice. You need those whole-grain bread and cereals such as whole oat groats or even brown rice and other foods high in folate. You need at least 100 percent of the Daily Value of folic acid or folate in the active form in your diet.
Why do pregnant women eating processed meats have children twice as likely to develop brain tumors, study notes?
What you don’t need during pregnancy is cured, processed meats such as hot dogs. Other researchers found that children of moms who ate a lot of processed luncheon meats such as hot dogs, bacon, and similar foods at least once a week during pregnancy were more than twice as likely to develop brain tumors–when compared to mothers who didn’t eat cured meats.
Scientists really don’t know what causes childhood cancers, but researchers are trying to find links between specific food preservatives and nitrites that get converted to N-nitrosamines/N-nitroso compounds. Check out the study from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. See the site, Hot Dogs and Brain Tumors in Children. Also check out more information on the various studies on what may cause brain tumors and cancer in children at the Health and Environment site.
More research continues with various studies on how N-nitroso compounds are linked to nervous system cancers. For more information, see page 116 of the book, Healing with Vitamins. Check your public library for this book.
Basically, if you’re pregnant in Sacramento, watch your diet to make sure your foods are fresh and contain the vitamins and minerals you and your baby needs for health.