Low carbohydrate intake in pregnancy increases the risk of birth defects

Researchers from University of North Carolina, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and State Center for Health Statistics, North Carolina Division of Public Health suggest that low carbohydrate intake in pregnancy could increase the risk of birth defects

The researchers found that women with restricted carbohydrate intake before and during early pregnancy were 30% more likely to have a baby with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida (malformations of the spine and spinal cord) and anencephaly (the absence of major portions of the brain and skull), both of which can lead to lifelong disability and infant death. The researchers believe that restricting carbohydrates limits the intake of folic acid, which reduces the risk of neural tube defects. Foods that are fortified with folic acid include cereal, pasta, and bread.

Read research article here.