ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Indian Spice May Thwart Liver Damage
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Almost Half of Adults Will Develop Knee Osteoarthritis by 85
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Soccer's a Winner for Building Bone Health in Girls
CANCER
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
Six Healthy-Sounding Foods That Really Aren't
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Former Inmates at Increased Risk for High Blood Pressure
Accumulated Lead May Affect Older Women's Brains
EYE CARE, VISION
Half of U.S. Adults Lack 20/20 Vision
Decorative Halloween Eye Lenses May Pose Serious Risks
'Blind' Man Navigates Obstacle Course Without Error
FITNESS
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Exercise Extends Life of Kidney Patients
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
Maximize Your Run
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
B-Vitamins Help Protect Against Stroke, Heart Disease
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Dangerous Toys Still on Store Shelves, Report Finds
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
SENIORS
Mediterranean Diet Plus Exercise Lowers Alzheimer's Risk
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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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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