ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Using a Balloon to Repair a Broken Back
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
CANCER
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Vitamin D May Lower Colon Cancer Risk
Gene Screen May Predict Colon Cancer's Return
CAREGIVING
Diabetes Epidemic Now Poses Challenges for Nursing Homes
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
COSMETIC
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Eating your way to Good Health
The Food Irradiation Story
Myrrh May Lower High Cholesterol
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
EYE CARE, VISION
Gene-Transfer Proves Safe for Vision Problem
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
FITNESS
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
More Single Women Are Having Babies
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Fish Oil Supplements Help With Heart Failure
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
SENIORS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Postmenopausal Women With Breast Cancer Face Joint Issues
Add your Article

Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- High daily doses of calcium supplements may reduce lead levels in the blood of pregnant women and cut down on fetal and infant exposure, a new report suggests.

The study, published online in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that women who take 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily have up to a 31 percent reduction in lead levels.

Women who used lead-glazed ceramics or with high bone lead levels showed the largest reductions, while the average reduction was about 11 percent.

"We and others have previously shown that during pregnancy, mothers can transfer lead from their bones to their unborn -- with significant adverse consequences -- making maternal bone lead stores a threat even if current environmental lead exposures are low," principal investigator Howard Hu, chairman of the University of Michigan's Department of Environmental Health Sciences, said in a news release issued by the school. "This study demonstrates that dietary calcium supplementation during pregnancy may constitute a low-cost and low-risk approach for reducing this threat."

Exposure to lead during fetal development and infancy can cause low birth weight or slow weight gain after birth, cognitive defects such as lower intelligence scores, lower motor and visual skills, or even miscarriage. Damage from lead exposure and poisoning is usually permanent, the researchers said.

Bone lead can stay in the body for decades, and the fetus or nursing infant can still be at great risk from maternal stores of lead even with minimal environmental exposure, the researchers said.

"The bottom line is that obstetricians and pediatricians should consider adding calcium supplementation to the prenatal vitamins normally recommended in pregnant women, particularly if their patients have a significant history of environmental or occupational lead exposure," Hu said.

The study, conducted with 557 mostly low- to moderate-income women recruited from Mexican prenatal clinics, found reductions in blood lead levels were more evident in the second trimester (14 percent) than in the third trimester (8 percent).

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about lead poisoning.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: University of Michigan School of Public Health, news release, Sept. 10, 2008

Last Updated: Sept. 18, 2008

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