PARENTS

Pregnant Women Could Cut Birth Defect And Miscarriage Risk By Eating Marmite, Study Suggests

'The ramifications are likely to be huge.'

10/08/2017 16:00 BST

Pregnant women could potentially reduce their risk of birth defects and miscarriage by eating Marmite, a new study has suggested.

Scientists found that vitamin B3 can “cure molecular deficiencies” that stop babies’ organs from developing correctly in the womb. 

A single serving of Marmite contains 34% of a person’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin B3 (also known as niacin). It can also be found in Vegemite - the Australian equivalent of Marmite.

“This has the potential to significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects around the world and I do not use these words lightly,” said Professor Sally Dunwoodie, a biomedical researcher at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney, according to Sky News

“The ramifications are likely to be huge.” 

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However, until more studies are conducted to further investigate this claim, Dr Helen Webberley, who runs the online healthcare service www.MyWebDoctor.co.uk told HuffPost UK she wouldn’t advise mums-to-be to change their diets to incorporate more Marmite just yet.

That’s because researchers came to these conclusions after testing the use of the vitamin B3 on pregnant mice.

They found that introducing the vitamin into the diet of these mice “completely prevented” both miscarriages and defects.

Dr Webberley said: “Although this is a potentially exciting finding in a very emotive area, it is important to bear in mind that this result is based on studies in mice and we will need a full research project in women to evaluate the cause and effect of any lack of this vitamin in humans.

“In the meantime we should all continue with normal healthy eating patterns to give us a good balance of minerals and vitamins.

“Blood tests are available for the essential vitamins and, if deficiencies are found, then they may need to be replaced.” 

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Eating Marmite during pregnancy has previously been seen to have other benefits, too. Claudia Winkleman has been quoted in the past claiming that eating marmite helped with her morning sickness

And on a parenting forum discussing morning sickness, many mums have credited the spread for keeping their nausea at bay.

“The nausea is still there but the Marmite really does seem to keep it at bay for a while,” one person wrote.

Another wrote: “Yes, Marmite is working for me too! It kind of makes sense as it’s supposed to be full of B vitamins. Vitamin B6 was recommended to help with morning sickness.”

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