Archive for September, 2012

Sorting through ‘randomised’ or ‘blind’ clinical trials can be confusing and tiring, not to mention ‘meta-analyses’ and comparative data. I am wading through a backlog of research papers that relate to the effects of alcohol on the growing foetus (international spelling fetus) in utero. It makes depressing reading. So far one thing is clear; there is no guaranteed safe amount that a woman can drink, at any time during her pregnancy. So much depends on the mother’s overall health, metabolism, body mass, and personal sensitivity. The fact is, alcohol is a teratogen, a substance that can disrupt the normal development of a baby during pregnancy. The results can be devastating, and they last for life.

“In the absence of a developed blood filtration system, the fetus is totally unprotected from alcohol circulating in the blood system”. So says the British Medical Association in its guide for healthcare professionals. The researchers regularly publish conflicting reports. The trials continue (and this can only be a good thing) with one unable to replicate the data of another, others pointing out the deficiencies of earlier trials. The bottom line is that FASD, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, is 100% preventable.

One fact needs no data, control group, meta analysis:  No alcohol, no risk!