Low vitamin C stunts fetal development, researchers say

A healthy pregnancy depends on many dietary and lifestyle factors, with more developing every day. A new study out of Denmark now reveals even a simple vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy can have serious consequences on the developing child.

According to a Science Daily report, Researchers at the University of Copenhagen released findings indicating lack of vitamin C affects fetal memory development in the hippocampus.

The study focused on groups of guinea pigs born with and without prenatal vitamin C supplements. Neither humans nor guinea pigs can make Vitamin C naturally so it can only come from the diet.  Monitoring the deficient guinea pigs’ brain development through the second and third trimesters revealed the hippocampus damage occurred early in pregnancy.

Professor Jens Lykkesfeldt led the study and commented about how a simple vitamin C deficiency can have irreversible effects on a fetus. He also stressed that everyone should understand the role Vitamin C plays in a successful pregnancy:

Even marginal vitamin C deficiency in the mother stunts the fetal hippocampus, the important memory centre, by 10-15 percent, preventing the brain from optimal development. Because it takes so little to avoid vitamin C deficiency, it is my hope that both politicians and the authorities will become aware that this can be a potential problem.

While prenatal vitamin C deficiency can permanently impair memory development, Lykkesfeldt pointed out the problem could easily be eliminated through proper diet and a daily multivitamin.

Writer Bennett Holleman contributed this report.