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Confusing UK Study OKs daily glass of wine for pregnancies

Posted: Friday, 26 July 2013 18:20

Confusing UK Study OKs daily glass of wine for pregnancies

July 26: Contrary to the earlier studies warning against more than 2 glasses of wine a week for pregnant women without the possibility of harming the child’s neuro-development, a recent study in UK published in the journal BMJ Open finds no problem with a glass daily, creating confusion surrounding drinking wine when pregnant, and contradicting official recommendations by several government agencies to avoid alcohol altogether during pregnancy.

University of Bristol researchers studied the behavioural patter of nearly 7,000 ten-year old children who underwent a 20-minute assessment testing dynamic balance by walking on a beam and static balance, including standing on one leg with their eyes both open and closed.

Seventy percent of the mothers, whose alcohol consumption had been monitored both at 18 weeks and again after birth, had drunk no alcohol while pregnant. One in four mothers had consumed small amounts of alcohol, about one glass a week, or moderate amounts, anywhere from three to seven glasses per week. About one in 20 mothers drank more, and one in seven drank four or more glasses at any one point.

Surprisingly, the findings showed that higher total alcohol consumption before and after pregnancy, was associated with better performance by the children, particularly in static balance, according to the report in NY Daily News. The findings were published in the journal BMJ Open.

"Low to moderate alcohol consumption did not seem to interfere with a child's ability to balance for any of the three components assessed," said Professor John Macleod of the School of Social and Community Medicine at the University of Bristol.

But he noted that “moderate alcohol intake was a marker for social advantage, which may itself be the key factor in better balance, possibly overriding subtle harmful effects of moderate alcohol use."

The findings support a separate British study published in April that found that pregnant women who drank small amounts of alcohol -- about one glass a week -- weren't likely doing any harm to their child. While the link between heavy alcohol consumption and health and developmental problems in children is well established, the researchers said that the picture is different for light drinking.

With this study in mind, Yourwellness Magazine investigated whether it is safe to drink a small glass of wine a week during pregnancy. It found that children who are born to mothers who drink one small glass of wine a week during pregnancy could be less likely to suffer from cognitive complications. This is based on data from more than 10,000 seven year olds, who were tested for cognitive responses and were then analysed in conjunction with interviews and questionnaires carried out by their teachers and parents, based on their social and emotional behaviour.

In a Report published today July 26, 2013, the Magazine commented, “The results of the study suggest that low level drinking is fairly safe with regards to the cognitive elements of development, but more in-depth study needs to take place in order to analyse the influence of a child’s environment on their intellectual development.” It added that doctors still advise pregnant women to abstain from alcohol, or at least limit their intake to a maximum of two units a week.

Subhash Arora

DelWine recommends that pregnant women should consult their gynecologists but most well-informed doctors and most studies would indicate that two glasses a week, not on two consecutive days and preferably spread over 4 sessions are quite safe and this would be our continued recommendation provided they get their doctor to endorse it-editor

For a few of the several studies on delWine , pl visit

Study Condones Wine during Pregnancy
Study: Moderate Drinking may not Harm Pregnancy

Tags: Professor John Macleod


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