New Study Links Low Carbohydrate intake with Increased Birth Defects

January 2018
Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant may want to avoid diets that reduce or eliminate carbohydrates, as they could increase the risk of having babies with neural tube birth defects, according to a new study from UNC-Chapel Hill.
The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Birth Defects Research on Jan. 25, found that women with low carbohydrate intake are 30 percent more likely to have babies with neural tube defects, when compared with women who do not restrict their carbohydrate intake. Neural tube defects, such as spina bifida (malformations of the spine and spinal cord) and anencephaly (absence of major portions of the brain and skull), can lead to lifelong disability and infant death.
This is the first study to evaluate the relationship between low carbohydrate intake and having children with neural tube defects.

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