Left Menu
Development News Edition

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy blocks blood vessel growth in placenta, claims study

Devdiscourse News Desk | Sonipat | Updated: 11-06-2019 14:17 IST | Created: 11-06-2019 14:17 IST
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy blocks blood vessel growth in placenta, claims study
"We found early alcohol exposure reduced blood vessel formation in the placenta, and this led to fewer nutrients being delivered to the embryo," said Kalisch-Smith. Image Credit: ANI

During pregnancy, consumption of alcohol has been linked to poor growth of the placenta, causing conditions such as fetal growth restriction and low birth weight. Although most women cease drinking once they know they are pregnant, the effect of alcohol during the initial stages of pregnancy, even as early as around the time of conception, is less well understood.

Now, Dr Jacinta Kalisch-Smith together with Professor Karen Moritz at the University of Queensland in Australia have investigated the impact of alcohol consumption on the placenta early in pregnancy. They show that the growth of the placentas of rats that consumed alcohol around the time of conception was reduced significantly, providing new evidence for how pregnancy-related conditions develop.

"We wanted to know whether early alcohol exposure could affect the development of the early embryo and the placenta. Using a rat model, we assessed the ability of the embryo to implant into the uterus, and, later, how well blood vessels formed in the placenta," explained Kalisch-Smith.

Using this approach, the scientists were able to study changes that happen throughout the rat's pregnancy and found that even early exposure to alcohol (between 4 days before and 4 days after fertilisation) restricted the growth and function of the placenta.

"We found early alcohol exposure reduced blood vessel formation in the placenta, and this led to fewer nutrients being delivered to the embryo," said Kalisch-Smith. Strikingly, the placentas of female embryos were particularly susceptible, with up to a 17 percent reduction in size and a 32 percent drop in blood vessel formation, limiting the ability of the placenta to transport nutrients.

"This has implications for human health by helping to explain, in part, why babies exposed to alcohol in the womb are often born small," said Kalisch-Smith. "It is important to understand the causes of low birth weight, because it has been shown to be an independent risk factor for diseases later in adulthood, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and obesity."

These observations provide an important basis for future research into pregnancy-associated conditions like fetal growth restriction. Kalisch-Smith added, "The next part of this project is to see whether nutrient supplementation can reduce or even prevent the adverse effects of alcohol exposure."

Also Read: Researchers discover meat-eating plant fond of consuming baby salamanders


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

Institutions need to develop technology-focused teaching methods: R'than Governor

Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra on Monday said there was a need to change the traditional ways of imparting education and develop technology-focused teaching methods. He said there is a need to develop such a platform, along with expanding...

Biden meets with black leaders at local church amid unrest

Joe Biden vowed to address institutional racism in his first 100 days in office, if elected, as he met with community leaders at a predominantly African American church in Delaware on Monday morning amid the coronavirus pandemic to address ...

Religious places not to open for now: Jharkhand CM

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday said a decision on opening religious places for the public would only be taken after an order on the final lockdown as the number of COVID-19 cases was rising in the state. He said the gradual...

Uzi not on Royal Never Give Up's Summer Split roster

Royal Never Give Up is moving forward without longtime AD carry Jian Uzi Zi-Hao. RNG did not include Uzi on their lineup released Monday for the 2020 LPL Summer Split. Lu Betty Yu-Hung is the only ADC listed on the eight-man roster.It was r...

Give Feedback