Glutathione for a Healthier Pregnancy
Glutathione for a Healthier Pregnancy

Glutathione for a Healthier Pregnancy

Glutathione for a Healthier Pregnancy

Copyright ® 2004 Priya Shah

All parents-to-be nurture the dream of a healthy pregnancy
and baby.

But the modern environment and diet is deficient in many
factors essential for the health of mother and fetus. One
of those factors is antioxidants.

The role of antioxidants like folic acid in preventing
birth defects like spina bifida and cleft palate is well
known. It is now included in all prenatal vitamin

But the role of antioxidants like glutathione and Vitamin E
in pregnancy is often overlooked.

Glutathione is the bodys master antioxidant. It helps to
regenerate stores of other antioxidants like Vitamin C and

It also protects both mother and fetus from the damaging
effects of free radicals and oxidative stress.

Many pregnancy complications and birth defects have been
linked to oxidative stress, free radical damage and low
glutathione levels in the mother and fetus.

Environmental and lifestyle factors are known to cause
oxidative stress and lower glutathione levels - resulting
in birth defects, abortion and miscarriages in pregnancy.

Some of the known teratogens (causing birth defects) in
pregnancy include:

o Radiation
o Pesticides and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
o Air pollution
o Heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, arsenic)
o Vinyl chloride
o Acryonitrile
o Excess Oxygen (hyperoxia)
o Anti-psychotic and anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs)
o Thalidomide
o Cigarette smoke
o Alcohol (ethanol) consumption

Maternal health factors that increase free radicals and
cause birth defects include:

o Diabetes
o Pre-eclampsia
o Infection and Inflammation

Numerous studies have shown that glutathione (GSH), vitamin
C and E are crucial in the development and growth of the
fetus, maintenance of a healthy pregnancy - and, even
before pregnancy, in fertility and conception.

Glutathione and other antioxidants attenuate oxidative stress
in pregnant women with inflammation or maternal conditions
like diabetes and pre-eclampsia, and in fetuses at risk for
developing cystic fibrosis.

Supplementation with glutathione precursors and
antioxidants can decrease the incidence of birth defects
and protect both mothers and the fetus from the damaging
and possibly fatal consequences of pregnancy complications.

Glutathione (GSH ) also prevents or minimizes the oxidative
stress that occurs during labor and the birth process.

Perinatal or birth asphyxia/hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen
supply to the brain) in preterm deliveries and labor can
lead to cerebral palsy, respiratory distress syndrome,
irreversible brain injury, and permanent neurological and
intellectual handicaps.

Administration of the glutathione precursor,
N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC), to the pregnant mother partially
prevents oxidative stress during the birth process in
premature infants.

Currently, the American College of Obstetrics and
Gynecology advises all pregnant women to take a prenatal
vitamin containing antioxidants.

In addition, they advise eating lots of fresh fruits and
vegetables, the best sources of antioxidant protection.

For a detailed report with references on the role of
glutathione in pregnancy, visit:


Priya Shah is the Editor of "Health eBiz," an
ezine for Health & Wellness Entrepreneurs.
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