New York: Exposure to a common pesticide used to kill mosquitoes can increase the risk of early miscarriage in women, but those who have adequate levels of B vitamins in their bodies stay protected, new research says.
Women who have adequate levels of B vitamins in their bodies are more likely to get and stay pregnant even when they also have high levels of DDT known to have detrimental reproductive effects, the findings showed.
“Our previous work has shown that high levels of DDT in the body can increase the risk of early miscarriage,” said study leader Xiaobin Wang from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“We have shown that women with high levels of DDT who also had high levels of B vitamins had a better chance of getting and staying pregnant than those were deficient in those vitamins,” Wang added.
Eating leafy green vegetables, fish, poultry, meat, eggs and dairy products, among other food items, can boost levels of B vitamins.
DDT, however, can remain in the body and environment for decades.
The researchers recruited and followed a group of female Chinese textile workers who were trying to get pregnant.
Women with high DDT levels and sufficient levels of vitamin B had a 42 percent greater chance of early miscarriage than women with lower DDT levels.
But in those with high DDT levels and vitamin B deficiencies, women were twice as likely to suffer a miscarriage before six weeks of gestation.
The researchers also found that women with high DDT and low B vitamin levels took nearly twice as long to conceive in the first place.
The study appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.