Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Vitamins

Physicians have reported that vitamins C and E, folic acid, beta-carotene and flavonoids may protect against damage to the unborn caused by pregnant women who abuse alcohol.

Tests on rats, guinea pigs and chicken embryos have demonstrated that the vitamins and supplements can prevent or lessen fetal alcohol damage, according to research presented at the annual meeting of "Fetal Alcohol Canadian Expertise," an organization of physicians and other health professionals.

Dr. James Brien of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, said "the intriguing aspect of this study is that these vitamins can be given to mothers prenatally to try to mitigate the effects of fetal exposure to alcohol."

Earlier research has also found that vitamins and supplements helped reduce the damage of prenatal alcohol significantly.

High doses of vitamins C and E are routinely used in the treatment of pre-eclampsia, or toxemia caused by water retention, in pregnant women. However humans have not yet been tested to see if they experience the same positive benefits in protecting against Fetal Alcohol Syndrome found in other animals.


  • Krangle, K. Some Vitamins Could Prevent Fetal Alcohol Brain Damage, Conference Told. Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia), September 9, 2002.

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