Drinking during pregnancy may prove detrimental to your health and if you thought that drinking a glass or two occasionally may be okay, you are in for a surprise. According to a latest study, even small amounts of alcohol consumed during 'special occasions' could cause insulin-resistance during pregnancy, which increases the likelihood of diabetes. The study conducted on a group of mice was published in the Journal of Physiology.
Male rats exposed to this low level of prenatal alcohol happened to show signs of becoming diabetic at around six months old. The researchers only gave alcohol to the mother rats on two days during their pregnancy.
The findings revealed that the rats' blood alcohol concentration only reached 0.05%, yet their male offspring were almost diabetic, with insulin levels going higher than expected. The findings also revealed that insulin-resistance observed was sex-specific, occurring only in the male rats.
According to scientists, one potential reason for this tendency could be stemming from the fact that during pregnancy the placenta adapts to a prenatal stress differently depending on if it's a male or female fetus. This in turn could have an impact on fetal growth and development. Another factor could be estrogen's protective effects against insulin-resistance, and because males don't have high oestrogen, they don't have the same protective effects.
Scientists further noted that it is imperative for women and families to understand that alcohol, even in small amounts, may prove to be a risk for pregnant women. If you drink accidentally during first part of your pregnancy, it is important to understand that you should be mindful in future, the researchers noted.
Since it was an animal study, further investigation is required into assessing the right amount of alcohol that could be safe for consumption during pregnancy.
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