Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
Herbals in Pregnancy May Endanger Mom, Baby

Herbals in Pregnancy May Endanger Mom, Baby

WEDNESDAY, April 10, 2019 — During pregnancy, even harmless-sounding “natural” supplements should be avoided, a new research review suggests.

The review of 74 published studies found that a handful linked certain herbal products to increased risks of pregnancy complications — including preterm birth and cesarean delivery.

That’s not proof that the supplements were to blame, said senior researcher Dr. James McLay, of Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, in Scotland.

Instead, he pointed to an overarching issue: Most studies on herbal products during pregnancy are not large enough, or well-designed enough, to offer good evidence one way or the other.

“This (review) drives home the point that so little is known about herbals in terms of effectiveness and safety,” McLay said.

That’s an issue, considering what surveys have shown: Depending on the country, anywhere from 10% to three-quarters of pregnant women take herbal products — to either ease symptoms or as supplements.

“The bottom-line message is, don’t assume herbal means ‘safe,'” McLay said. “Always check with your doctor before starting any herbal medicine.”

The review, published in the May issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, looked at 74 studies that covered 47 herbal products in all. Many were observational — asking women about any herbal products they took during pregnancy; 29 were trials, with women assigned to take a particular supplement during pregnancy or soon after.

One study found that women who used almond oil on their skin during the last trimester were twice as likely as other women to give birth prematurely. Two other studies found similar risks among women who consumed black licorice candy throughout pregnancy. (The candy is a folk remedy for heartburn and other gastrointestinal symptoms.)

Another study looked at oral doses of raspberry leaf, which is promoted for inducing and shortening labor. Women who used it were 3.5 times more likely than other women to need a C-section — a potential complication of induced labors in general.

There were similar findings in a study of mwanaphepo — a traditional African herbal used for labor induction. The study, done in Malawi, found that women who used the herb had slightly higher risks of C-section, other delivery problems and newborn death.

The problem is, none of those studies prove the herbal product, per se, caused pregnancy complications, said Dr. Anthony Scialli, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at George Washington University School of Medicine, in Washington, D.C.

Underlying health conditions or problems with the pregnancy could be the culprit instead, Scialli said.

“Women take medications, including herbs, for a reason,” he noted.

Is it realistic that topical almond oil, for example, caused preterm births? McLay said he can’t answer that.

On one hand, he noted, fatty acids — or contaminants in the oil — could theoretically be to blame. “Or,” McLay added, “the study may have not been designed appropriately and obtained a false-positive result.”

All of that said, Scialli echoed the message that “herbal” does not equal “safe.”

“Herbal medicines are medicines,” he said. “The ‘naturalness’ of the product doesn’t confer safety — nor does it confer danger.”

So pregnant women should be as cautious with herbal products as they would be with conventional medications, said Scialli, who had no role in the study.

He is a member of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists. The group runs the MotherToBaby service, which provides research-based information on the effects of medications and herbal products during pregnancy.

Scialli noted that some herbal supplements have been more extensively studied than others in pregnant women. Ginger, for example, seems to be a generally safe and effective way to deal with morning sickness.

Like conventional medications, herbal products can cause side effects. In the review, some of the more common ones were nausea, headache, bowel changes and dizziness with raspberry leaf; dry mouth, heartburn and headache with ginger; and skin reactions and headache with fenugreek — which is marketed for boosting breast milk production.

McLay added, “Herbals contain real chemicals, many of which have real effects on the body. If pregnant women are going to use potentially potent products, then the safety of those products needs to be assessed.”

More information

MotherToBaby has safety information on individual herbal products.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: April 2019

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles