Pregnant Mothers That Smoke Can Reduce the Harm of their Baby’s Lungs By Taking Vitamin C

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In a recent study, a daily supplement of Vitamin C has been used to improve the pulmonary function of the newborns. One year later, the study found that babies whose mother regularly took Vitamin C had a lower chance of developing wheeze.

The latest study measured the force expiratory flows (FEFs) in babies of 3 and 12 months from 252 mothers that smoked during pregnancy.

The pregnant smokers were part of the study in which some received mg of Vitamin C daily or placebo with a different prenatal vitamin. During pregnancy, they tried to quit smoking, but couldn’t. On average, the mothers smoked seven cigarettes a day during their pregnancy.

An Improving Lung Function in Newborn After Vitamin C Dosage

Lead study author Cynthia McEvoy, MD, is a professor of pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine and OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. She stated:

“Because infants are not cooperative at 3 and 12 months of age, we had to use sophisticated testing techniques to get these results, but they are similar to the results you would get when doing a spirometry test.”

After measuring the FEFs at three months and 12 months, the researchers found that the babies born to the two groups of women had a different lung function.

Eliot Spindel, MD, Ph.D., is the professor of neuroscience, OHSU School of Medicine and the study co-investigator. He stated that he and his team are not certain why Vitamin C protects the lungs of the newborns. However, he stated that Vitamin C could:

“Block the increased collagen deposition around the airways that has been shown in animal models of babies born after smoke/nicotine exposure during pregnancy, which likely makes the lungs and airways stiffer [and could] prevent some of the epigenetic changes that contribute to the lifelong effects of in-utero tobacco exposure.”

The study will continue to follow the children until they are six years old to see if there is a long-term effect on the respiratory health through childhood. The researchers want to see if the children will be less likely to develop asthma.