Saturday, September 29, 2012

Toxicity in Pregnancy

Avoiding toxins is perhaps one of the single most important goals of a pregnant woman. A study (Chernoff, Miller, Rosen, & Mattscheck, 1988) done on rats found that stress during pregnancy produced significant effects on the offspring. In addition, maternal stress increased the teratogenicity of other exposures (Chernoff, Miller, Rosen, & Mattscheck, 1988). So, if we can apply these findings to women, it may be possible that stress during pregnancy increases the effects of other toxins to which the mother has been exposed. I found this interesting in light of the idea that exposure to genetic and environmental factors is, in some ways, a crapshoot. If we expose two women to the same toxic elements, perhaps the one who is constantly stressed will be the one whose child has the greatest chance of being born with a defect, or the development of cancer later in life. Further research, no doubt, is needed.

Chernoff, N., Miller, D., Rosen, M., & Mattscheck, C. (1988). Developmental effects of maternal stress in the CD-1 mouse induced by restraint on single days during the period of major organogenesis. Toxicology, 51(1), 57-65. doi: 10.1016/0300-483X(88)90080-7

Santrock, J. W. (2009). A topical approach to life-span development (custom ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

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