A new study published by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has revealed that high levels of vitamin B protect against miscarriages caused by DDT.
DDT is a well known hormonal disruptor and has been banned in the United States since 1972, although the environmental effects due to heavy use are still prevalent and remain so for decades.
The latest study was conducted in China and tested 291 women over a two period and looked at three types of vitamins, B6, B12 and folic acid. DDT has also been banned in China. During the two year period, there were 385 conceptions, 31 percent of which were lost before six weeks. 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. In women 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.
“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, MD, ScD, MPH, the Zanvyl Krieger Professor and Director of the Center on the Early Life Origins of Disease at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “This study tells us that improved nutrition may modify the toxic effects of DDT, by better preparing the body to cope with environmental toxins and stressors. 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.”
“Health care providers need to make sure women get adequate micronutrients including B vitamins in their diets not only during pregnancy but before they even conceive,” she said. “Otherwise, we may miss that critical window.”
F. Ouyang, M. P. Longnecker, S. A. Venners, S. Johnson, S. Korrick, J. Zhang, X. Xu, P. Christian, M.-C. Wang, X. Wang. Preconception serum 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2,bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane and B-vitamin status: independent and joint effects on women’s reproductive outcomes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014; 100 (6): 1470 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.088377