A Problem of Generations: Study Reveals That Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy No Matter How Little Can Affect Three Generations

By Denise Uychiat, Parent Herald March 04, 07:30 pm
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People around the world know that alcohol is bad especially for pregnant women. When an expectant mother drinks even a small amount of alcohol, it may have a great effect on the future. A new study has revealed that women who consume alcohol during pregnancy can increase the risk of the next three generations to develop alcohol syndrome.

When the year started, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that alcohol in any amount, if taken during pregnancy could increase the risk of the baby being born with cognitive problems and/or other developmental problems. However, even with these warning, statistics show that about 10-15 percent of American women still drink alcohol during pregnancy.

According to sciencedaily.com, the study which is led by Nicole Cameron, assistant professor of psychology at Binghamton University, was the first of its kind. It investigates the effect of alcohol consumed by pregnant women on any alcohol-related behavior on generations that is yet to be exposed to alcohol in the uterus.

For the study, they used pregnant rats which received an equivalent of a glass of wine for four days in a row during their 17th-20th day of pregnancy (which is equivalent to a human's 2nd trimester). The young offsprings were then tested for water or alcohol consumption while the adolescent males were injected by a high-alcohol dose to check for alcohol sensitivity. The shot made them unresponsive (drunk on their backs). The research team measured how much it will take them to gain consciousness (back on their paws).

The results suggest that when a mother consumes any amount of alcohol at any time during the pregnancy, she heightens the risk that her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will become alcoholic.

"The offspring are more likely to develop alcoholism. This paper is the first to demonstrate trans-generational effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy on alcohol-related behavior in offspring," explained Cameron. According to thefix.com, this could mean that those who like alcohol and have a high tolerance for alcoholic drinks may have a mother or a grandmother who had alcohol during pregnancy.

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