Diet and Birth Defects
A lack of vitamin C in the diet increases the risk of birth defects due to defective sperm. This is the conclusion of Dr. B. Ems, University of California at Berkeley. He analyzed the sperm from a group of men. In 15 of them there was a deficiency of vitamin C and in 8 of the 15 there were genetic defects in their sperm. Such sperm increases the risk of the birth of children with birth defects. Experiments have shown that birth defects increase when the level of vitamin C in the diet is less than 60 mg. per day.
One orange contains an average 70 mg. of vitamin C. But men who smoke, need two times more vitamin C to protect sperm, because nicotine inhibits the vitamin's antioxidant effect. This is because sperm cells are exposed to the negative effects of free oxygen radicals. Vitamin C, an antioxidant, prevents their destructive action and at the same time helps restore the cells of damaged sperm. If the body lacks this vitamin, there is greater risk of a birth defect.
Fetus Protection from Birth Defects
Neural tube birth defect -Spina Bifida
1 orange a day against birth defects
Vitamin B9 is found in many foods that we eat, but we almost completely destroy it by cooking. The name of the vitamin is derived from the Latin "folium" which means "leaf" because folic acid is abundant in leaves, but only in fresh, raw, green leaves. To protect the unborn child from birth defects, it is also very useful to intake extracts from green leaves of raspberry, blackberry, rose hips, persimmon, nettle, peppermint, birch, basswood and others.
Neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly, lead to brain damage and paralysis of the newborn child. Women can reduce their risk of having an affected child by taking daily 4 mg. of folic acid (vitamin B9). An eight-year study conducted by doctors at the hospital of St. Bartholomew (London), proved that women who previously had children with neural tube birth defects and took 4 mg. of folic acid (vitamin B9) per day, reduced the risk of birth of another child with the same diagnosis by 72%. Usually, if a woman had a baby with a birth defect, the risk of defect increases with the next pregnancy.
Folic acid (vitamin B9) is abundant in green leafy vegetables, different kinds of cabbage, parsley, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, legumes and oranges. Also rich in folic acid are chicken, beef liver, eggs and brown bread of coarse grind. Unfortunately, when cooked, this vitamin is destroyed, and the longer the food is cooked, the less vitamins are retained. Therefore, it is important to protect the fetus from birth defects by eating fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, and salads made from them. Also, to protect the unborn fetus, women should start taking folic acid before pregnancy. Waiting longer is too late, because the defect is formed in the first 28 days after conception, that is, before a woman knows she is pregnant.
Conclusion - Women who wish to become pregnant should take 4 mg. of folic acid daily to prevent neural tube birth defects and provide fetal protection.
HEALTHY DIET-DISEASE PREVENTION