Avoiding meat during pregnancy linked with later substance misuse by children

Lower meat consumption by women during pregnancy was linked with an increased risk of substance misuse by their children during adolescence. The findings come from a study published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

In the study that included 5109 women and their offspring, less frequent consumption of , poultry, and during pregnancy were associated with greater risks of adverse alcohol, cannabis and cigarette use.

Lower meat consumption disproportionally increased the risks of offspring among mothers with optimally functional variants of the gene that encodes a vitamin B12 transport protein. Because vitamin B12 insufficiencies are highly likely to have a contributing role to the study's findings, greater consumption need not be advised to modify this risk. For example, fortification of foods with vegetarian sources of vitamin B12 and more widespread use of supplements may be other options.

"The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes recommendations for healthy vegetarian eating patterns," said Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, lead author of the study. "Our study points to the need to investigate potential health impacts, and solutions, for some women who choose to restrict certain food categories during pregnancy."


Explore further

Vegetarians more susceptible to depression than meat eaters, study shows. Here's why.

More information: Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research (2017). DOI: 10.1111/acer.13494
Provided by Wiley
Citation: Avoiding meat during pregnancy linked with later substance misuse by children (2017, October 4) retrieved 18 June 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-10-meat-pregnancy-linked-substance-misuse.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
3 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more