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  • Ingredient Found in Soap Can Pose Serious Risk to Your Unborn Baby

    Plus, the link between pregnancy diet and asthma and allergies and what can cause delayed social and motor skills development.
    by Rachel Perez .
Ingredient Found in Soap Can Pose Serious Risk to Your Unborn Baby
PHOTO BY grinvalds/iStock
  • Antibacterial chemical may cause irreversible hormonal issues
    Triclocarban (TCC) is a common antibacterial chemical found in personal care products such as soaps and lotions. Recently, a study found that exposure to environmental levels of the chemical "can transfer from mother to offspring and interfere with lipid metabolism."

    "Exposure to TCC during deveopment may pose a serious health risk to the developing embryo and fetus, as they are more sensitive to alterations in hormone levels, which may result in changes that often are irreversible," said biologist Heather Enright from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), who is also the lead study author of the study, in a press release

    The press release defined lipids as "naturally occurring molecules that include fats, waxes, fat-soluble vitamins, monoglycerides, diglycerides, triglycerides and others. The main biological function of lipids is storing energy and signaling, and acting as structural components of cell membranes." 

    This study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, "represents the first report to quantify the transfer of an environmentally relevant concentration of TCC from mother to offspring. TCC is among the top 10 most commonly detected wastewater contaminants in concentration and frequency."

    "Our results are significant because of the potential risk of exposure to TCC through contaminated water sources and in the living environment, and the potential adverse effects resulting from this exposure during development," Enright said in the press release. "Early life exposure to TCC has the potential to cause irreversible outcomes due to the fragile nature of organ systems and protective mechanisms in developing offspring."

    The takeaway: Get into the habit of reading labels. Antibacterial soaps have proven to offer no difference in protection compared to normal soaps. When it comes to handwashing, which is crucial to hygiene and health, it's how you wash and scrub your hands clean, not the soaps. 

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    Preggos with high sugar intake are more likely to have kids with allergic asthma
    Here's another reason to keep an eye on your sugar levels while you're pregnant. A study published in the European Respiratory Journal found that a pregnant woman who eats too much sugar, like from fizzy drinks and processed food, had a baby with a roughly a one in five chance of developing asthma.

    Researchers from the Queen Mary, University of London, looked at data from 9,000 mother-and-child pairs. Findings showed that a high sugar intake increased the inflammation of unborn baby's lung tissue as it develops during pregnancy, TechTimes reports.

    Lead researcher Professor Seif Shaheen told The Telegraph"We cannot say on the basis of these observations that a high intake of sugar by mothers in pregnancy is definitely causing allergy and allergic asthma in their offspring.

    "However, given the extremely high consumption of sugar in the West, we will certainly be investigating this hypothesis further with some urgency."

    Pregnant women have always been warned against sugar. Gestational diabetes is often the cause of delivering large babies who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.  

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    Makes sure you're getting enough vitamin D when you're pregnant
    Researchers from the University of Surrey and the University of Bristol discovered that pregnant women who were "deficient in Vitamin D (less than 50 nmol per liter in blood) were more likely to have children with the lowest scores in preschool development tests for gross and fine motor development." The study's data was gathered from more than 7,000 mother-child pairs, and published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

    According to Psych Central, the tests, given at 2 and a half years, included assessments of coordination, such as kicking a ball, balancing, and jumping, as well as the child’s use of fine muscles, including holding a pencil and building a tower with bricks.

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    "The importance of Vitamin D sufficiency should not be underestimated," study lead author Dr. Andrea Darling from the University of Surrey in the U.K. said via press release. "It is well-known to be good for our musculoskeletal systems, but our research shows that if levels are low in expectant mothers, it can affect the development of their children in their early years of life."

    Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, can also be found in food such as oily fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, and fresh tuna), in small amounts of red meat, eggs, fortified fat spreads, and select breakfast cereals. Consult your doctor if you need supplements.  

    With additional reporting by Patti Villanueva.

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