Drinking too much tea during pregnancy may boost risk of birth defects

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By David Liu

During tea during pregnancy may increase risk of spina bifida, according to a new study published in the journal Birth Defects Research Part A: Clinical and Molecular Teratology.

The study showed that somehow prior to 1988,  drinking tea was not associated with risk of spina bifida, but after 1988, drinking cups or more of tea per day was moderately correlated with increased risk for the birth defect.

Specifically, women who had greater than 400 ug of total folic acid intake but consumption of three cups or more of tea per day was at twice as likely as those who did not drink tea to have babies with spina bifida during the period between 1976 and 1988.  After 1988, drinking so much tea tripled the risk.

Mahsa M. Yazdy of Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts and colleagues compared data obtained from 518 spina bifida cases and 6424 controls during the first six month of birth during three periods : 1976 to 1988, 1998–2005 and 2009–2010.

Pregnant women should have sufficient intake of vegetables and fruits so that they could have intake of sufficient vitamins and minerals.

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