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article imagePregnant women should avoid drinks labeled 'non-alcoholic'

By KJ Mullins     Jan 12, 2010 in Health
It's well known that pregnant women put their babies at risk for birth defects if they drink alcohol during pregnancy. What is not well known is that “non-alcoholic” beers contain alcohol.
Labels don't always tell the whole story. Could some pregnant women be consuming “non-alcoholic” beer thinking they are safely having the beer taste without risking their child's health?
That is a question that researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto studied. The results of the study have been published in the January 4 edition of the Canadian Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
It is not clear how much alcohol can affect the health of developing fetuses. For that reason doctors tell women who are thinking about having a child or who are pregnant not to partake in drinking any alcohol. Some have turned to wines, beers and near-beers that claim to be non-alcoholic as a safe solution.
Sick Kids
“The results are very concerning, women may think they are on safe ground, when in fact they are consuming alcohol,” says Dr. Gideon Koren, principal investigator of the study, Director of the Motherisk Program, Senior Scientist at SickKids and Professor of Paediatrics, Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto. “The bigger concern is for those women who are consuming large amounts of these products regularly.”
Birth defects that are alcohol related can range from mild to severe. It is not known how much alcohol nor at what time during pregnancy that a fetus develop any one of the known birth defects that can affect a child for life. Some of those birth defects include fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), fetal alcohol effects (FAE), alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND), and alcohol-related birth defects (ARBD).
These birth defects are 100 percent avoidable.
More about Pregnant, Alcohol, Non-alcoholic drinks
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