Lack of Mother’s Intake of Vitamin C Causes Fetal Suffering

Holy Hormones Honey! Nutrition above all. Not only does a lack of nutrients affect fetal health – but once the pregnancy is over the mother’s physical and mental health are also affected.  It is imperative that women considering pregnancy in this day age begin nutrient therapy before conception. Would not hurt for the man either – nutrition will affect the quality of the sperm.  Do not buy into synthetic prenatal hormones either… they are not absorbed by the body.  Whole food nutrition is key for the entire family.

Fetus Suffers When Mother Lacks Vitamin C

Nov. 16, 2012

Maternal vitamin C deficiency during pregnancy can have serious consequences for the fetal brain. And once brain damage has occurred, it cannot be reversed by vitamin C supplements after birth. This is shown through new research at the University of Copenhagen just published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Population studies show that between 10-20 per cent of all adults in the developed world suffer from vitamin C deficiency. Therefore, pregnant women should think twice about omitting the daily vitamin pill.

“Even marginal vitamin C deficiency in the mother stunts the fetal hippocampus, the important memory centre, by 10-15 per cent, preventing the brain from optimal development,” says Professor Jens Lykkesfeldt. He heads the group of scientists that reached this conclusion by studying pregnant guinea pigs and their pups. Just like humans, guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C themselves, which is why they were chosen as the model.

“We used to think that the mother could protect the baby. Ordinarily there is a selective transport from mother to fetus of the substances the baby needs during pregnancy. However, it now appears that the transport is not sufficient in the case of vitamin C deficiency. Therefore it is extremely important to draw attention to this problem, which potentially can have serious consequences for the children affected,” says Jens Lykkesfeldt.

Too late when damage is done

The new results sharpen the focus on the mother’s lifestyle and nutritional status during pregnancy. The new study has also shown that the damage done to the fetal brain cannot be repaired, even if the baby is given vitamin C after birth. When the vitamin C deficient guinea pig pups were born, scientists divided them into two groups and gave one group vitamin C supplements. However, when the pups were two months old, which corresponds to teenage in humans, there was still no improvement in the group that had been given supplements. The scientists are now working to find out how early in the pregnancy vitamin C deficiency influences the development of fetal guinea pigs. Preliminary results show that the impact is already made early in the pregnancy, as the foetuses were examined in the second and third trimesters. Scientists hope in the long term to be able to use population studies to illuminate the problem in humans.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.


  1. DrCatherine Rott ND, DNM says:

    THIS is but one reason why Young Living essential oils are so critical!! Even a vitamin C, such as YL Super C, infused with essential oils has tremendously more bio-availability!! Adding additional essential oils helps provide further nutritional support directly at the cellular level, increasing the effectiveness of supplements & foods.

  2. Great article, Leslie. This kind of research needs to be shared far and wide. Essential oils also provide the crucial task of clearing toxins from nutrient receptor sites, which aids in the uptake of vitamins, minerals and hormones. I agree that women should address their health long before becoming pregnant.

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