Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pregnant women who take SSRI antidepressants are three times more likely to have a child with autism

This is just correlational stuff.  The effects could be due to the underlying illnesses only

Mothers-to-be who take antidepressants have an increased risk of having a child with autism, a study has found.

U.S. researchers say women who took commonly prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors - SSRIs - were three times more likely to have a baby boy with autism or developmental delays.

The effect of  the drugs, prescribed for depression, anxiety and other disorders, is particularity pronounced during the third trimester, they say.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public looked at nearly 1,000 mothers and their babies.

The study, published  online in the journal Pediatrics, looked at data from mother-child pairs in the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment (CHARGE) Study.

The researchers divided the data up into three groups - children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), those with developmental delays and those with typical development.

All the children were aged between two to five and of them, 82  per cent of those with autism were boys,66 per cent with developmental delay were boys, as were 86 per cent of those with typical development.

While the study included girls, the substantially stronger effect in boys alone suggests they may be much more susceptible for the effects of SSRIs in the womb, the researchers concluded.

'We found prenatal SSRI exposure was nearly three times as likely in boys with autism relative to typical development, with the greatest risk when exposure took place during the first trimester,' said study author Li-Ching Lee.

'SSRI was also elevated among boys with developmental delay, with the strongest exposure effect in the third trimester.'

The 'happy' hormone serotonin is critical to early brain development, so the researchers suggest exposure during pregnancy to anything that influences serotonin levels can have potential effect on birth and developmental outcomes.

With diagnoses of autism on the rise, they suggest increased use of SSRIs in recent years may be contributing to this.

Commenting on the study, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, chief of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Health at UC Davis, said: 'This study provides further evidence that in some children, prenatal exposure to SSRIs may influence their risk for developing an autism spectrum disorder.

'This research also highlights the challenge for women and their physicians to balance the risks versus the benefits of taking these medications, given that a mother's underlying mental-health conditions also may pose a risk, both to herself and her child.'


Super tea that boosts your love life: Scientists claim to have found aphrodisiac properties in Himalayan plant (?)

The claims for it would seem to be mostly hearsay

If you want to improve your health while giving your sex life a boost, try a cup of moringa tea with your breakfast.

Moringa, or ‘miracle tree’, is being hailed as a superfood that not only increases energy levels and boosts the immune system, but can also be an aphrodisiac.

Native to North Africa and the Himalayan mountains in northwestern India, the plant has traditionally been used to boost sexual desire and to treat male sexual disorders.

A recent study in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences found that it enhanced sexual behaviour in rats. It’s also known to contain chemical compounds called saponins which have been shown in other studies to support libido and levels of the sex hormone testosterone.

Gram for gram, moringa has seven times the vitamin C found in oranges, four times the calcium of milk, four times the vitamin A of carrots, three times the potassium of bananas and three times the iron of spinach. Its tiny leaves are also high in protein, with twice the amount found in yoghurt.

The plant, which can be taken as a tea, or in tablet, powder or oil format, is said to help the body recover after exercise, and is also rich in zeatin, a plant hormone which has an anti-ageing effect on skin cells.

Nutritionist Daniel Herman, founder of the Bio-Synergy nutrition brand, said: ‘Moringa has a number of different benefits for general wellbeing.

‘It’s an anti-inflammatory – if you’ve just done the London Marathon, for example, it’s a great product to take for niggles – and some studies suggest it can regulate blood sugar levels.

‘It can also boost the immune system – it’s a rich source of antioxidants like Vitamin A and C, which can fight free radicals.

‘The aphrodisiac effect might be because it improves blood flow, which can certainly help men.’

Lorna Driver-Davies, a nutritionist for health product firm NutriCentre, said: ‘Moringa looks to be an exciting new food.

‘Good scientific research has shown it has antioxidant effects; it may work as an anti-inflammatory and may be used for liver support.’

It is thought to have been used by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians and is recommended for 300 health conditions in traditional ayurvedic medicine.

Mr Herman added: ‘Moringa has been around for years but there is suddenly a lot of interest in this from the scientific community.’


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