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The Australian Medical Discovery That Will Change Pregnancy

Scientists in Sydney have made a world first breakthrough in pregnancy research that is expected to save thousands of lives by preventing miscarriages and other birth defects.

The team at Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute have found a very simple cure, a common dietary supplement that contains niacin, one of key elements of Vegemite.

The discovered, believed to be one of Australia’s greatest ever medical achievements, is expected to change the way pregnant women are cared for around the world.

Professor Sally Dunwoodie from the Victor Chang Institute has identified a major cause of miscarriages as well as heart, spinal, kidney and cleft palate problems in newborn babies.

“The ramifications are likely to be huge. This has the potential to significantly reduce the number of miscarriages and birth defects around the world and I do not say those words lightly,” Prof Dunwoodie said.

The study found that a deficiency in a vital molecule, known as NAD, prevents a baby’s organs from developing correctly in the womb.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is one of the most important molecules in all living cells. It is essential for energy production, DNA repair and cell communication.

A deficiency in NAD is dangerous in pregnancies and Prof Dunwoodie says “Now after 12 years of research, our team has also discovered that this deficiency can be cured and miscarriages and birth defects prevented by taking a common vitamin.”

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