Saturday, September 17, 2011

Statins and Pregnancy

Stephanie Seneff

You may not be old enough to remember the disaster incurred by the widespread practice in Europe in the 1950's of treating depression with the then newly discovered drug Thalidomide. When you take a Lipitor tablet you are taking a drug that, like Thalidomide, is labeled "Class X" with respect to its potential harm to the fetus, and is even worse than Thalidomide in terms of the kind of damage it can do to your unborn child. A woman who is in the childbearing age group should never be advised to take a statin drug. While there are warnings associated with the ads and on the labels claiming that you should "stop taking Lipitor" should you become pregnant, the drug companies seem intent on hushing up the fact that these drugs are toxic to the developing fetus.

Clearly it would be unethical to conduct a controlled experiment that intentionally exposes a pregnant woman to statins, and therefore such controlled studies have not been done. However, in one of the few available retrospective studies of statins and pregnancy, researchers from the U.S. National Institutes of Health found that statin use during the first trimester of pregnancy led to severe central nervous system defects as well as limb deformities. Twenty out of 52 women who had been exposed to statins during the first trimester had babies with severe deformities, which is nearly a 40% rate of severe birth defects.

"Of the 20 babies born with malformations, five had severe central nervous system defects, and five had malformed limbs. One baby had both, according to Muenke. There were also two cases of a very rare birth defect called holoprosencephaly, which occurs when the brain fails to divide properly." (Statins and Birth Defects) .

Doctors in Liverpool have even had the audacity to propose that statins be prescribed to pregnant women, an idea that these authors find wildly disturbing: (Statins during Pregnancy) . There seems to be a general lack of awareness, even among doctors, of the degree of harm these drugs can inflict on the developing fetus.

Great Britain now has the dubious distinction of being the only country where you can buy statin drugs over the counter (NonPrescription Statins) . This means that any naive young woman thinking she can self-treat high cholesterol may end up with a severely malformed baby, and chances are she won't even realize it's due to the drug.


Fat is good for you: Mothers who eat low-fat yoghurt during pregnancy 'more likely to have asthmatic children

This is certainly a good laugh so I won't speculate on the causal chain

Mothers-to-be who eat low-fat yoghurt are more likely to have children with asthma, a study found. The analysis of the habits of tens of thousands of pregnant women also linked low-fat yoghurt with the development of hay fever.

The researchers, from the respected Harvard School of Public Health in the US, said that it may be missing fats that protect against allergies. Previous research has linked low-fat dairy products with difficulty in becoming pregnant.

In the latest study, more than 60,000 women were quizzed on their eating habits while pregnant. The health of the babies they had was then tracked until the age of seven. The results credited milk with helping ward off asthma. However, low-fat, but not full-fat, yoghurt, seems to do the opposite.

Children whose mothers ate low-fat yoghurt while carrying them were 60 per cent more likely to have developed asthma by the age of seven than those who weren’t exposed to the food in the womb.

And their odds of hay fever were three times higher than those of other children, the European Respirator Society’s annual conference heard.

The increased risk only applies to low-fat yoghurt that contains fruit but the researchers are unable to explain why this is. They say that full-fat dairy products may contain fats that help programme the unborn baby’s immune system away from allergies. It may also be the case that low-fat yoghurt with fruit contains ingredients that raise the risk of asthma and hay fever.

Or simply that women who eat this kind of yoghurt are unhealthy in other ways.

The previous research, also from Harvard, revealed that eating low-fat dairy products can greatly increase the risk of infertility. Even small amounts of everyday foods and drinks can reduce a woman’s possibility of becoming mother, with just a pint of semi-skimmed or skimmed milk or two pots of yoghurt a day almost doubling the risk of anovulatory infertility - a very common condition in which a woman stops ovulating.

However, eating full fat dairy products has the opposite effect, with a bowl of ice cream a day being enough to boost the chances of motherhood.


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