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Low Birth Weight May Cause Lifelong Problems Processing Medications

Posted Nov 09 2010 3:40pm

New research has found that a mother’s poor nutrition during pregnancy and nursing can cause problems for her offspring’s ability to process medications, even well into adulthood.

The results of the study, by Oregon State University researchers, suggest that in the future physicians prescribing drugs ranging from Tylenol to cancer chemotherapies may need to factor birth weight along with body weight into dosing decisions for their patients.

In this laboratory study, the kidneys of underweight animals born to mothers fed low-protein diets during pregnancy and nursing had significantly less ability to process and transport drugs than animals whose mothers had adequate protein. This finding suggests that low birth weight may hinder the body’s ability to process therapeutic drugs, thereby jeopardizing their effectiveness.

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