Drinking alcohol in moderate to high amounts during pregnancy alters the genes of babies

In Babies and more we have spoken on several occasions about how dangerous it can be to drink alcohol during pregnancy, because it can cause a group of conditions called fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, among which the most serious is fetal alcohol syndrome.

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can affect the baby in different ways, with medical, behavioral, educational and social problems depending on the severity of the disorder. Also, according to another recent study, drinking alcohol in moderate to high amounts during pregnancy could alter the genes of babies.

What the mother drinks reaches the baby, therefore, the recommendation given to women who are expecting a child is not consume a single drop of alcohol during pregnancy, because there is no safe amount. However, studies have been conducted in which it is discovered how it affects when the mother frequently consumes it.

The most recent of these has been published in the magazine Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Y analyzed the effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy on baby genes. This is part of a study conducted in adults, which found that drinking in high quantities could generate long-term genetic changes, so they decided to investigate whether this also happened in newborns.

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With the participation of 30 pregnant women and 359 children, the study found that the babies of those women who drank alcohol moderately to high during pregnancy had changes in two genes: the proopiomelanocortin gene (POMC), which regulates the stress response system, and the PER2 gene, which influences the body's biological clock.

According to the research, drinking four or more alcoholic beverages at least five times a month during pregnancy is considered high consumption, while drinking three drinks for each occasion is considered moderate consumption.

This study, in addition to finding more risks of alcohol consumption in pregnancy, could help scientists identify measurable indicators such as genes or altered proteins, which predict the risks of prenatal exposure to alcohol.

As we have commented on other occasions, although there is no cure for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, its early detection and intervention could help improve the development of children who present it so these results they could be useful when diagnosing babies of mothers who drank alcohol during pregnancy.

Video: Why is Alcohol So Dangerous For Babies? (April 2020).