Navigation Links
Eating liquorice in pregnancy may affect a child's IQ and behavior
Date:10/6/2009

Expectant mothers who eat excessive quantities of liquorice during pregnancy could adversely affect their child's intelligence and behaviour, a study has shown.

A study of eight year old children whose mothers ate large amounts of liquorice when pregnant found they did not perform as well as other youngsters in cognitive tests.

They were also more likely to have poor attention spans and show disruptive behaviour such as ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

It is thought that a component in liquorice called glycyrrhizin may impair the placenta, allowing stress hormones to cross from the mother to the baby.

High levels of such hormones, known as glucocorticoids, are thought to affect fetal brain development and have been linked to behavioural disorders in children.

The results of the study are published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Eight year olds whose mothers had been monitored for liquorice consumption during pregnancy were tested on a range of cognitive functions including vocabulary, memory and spatial awareness.

Behaviour was assessed using an in-depth questionnaire completed by the mother, which is also used by clinicians to evaluate children's behaviour.

The study, carried out by the University of Helsinki and the University of Edinburgh, looked at children born in Finland, where consumption of liquorice among young women is common.

Professor Jonathan Seckl, from the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Cardiovascular Science, said: "This shows that eating liquorice during pregnancy may affect a child's behaviour or IQ and suggests the importance of the placenta in preventing stress hormones that may affect cognitive development getting through to the baby."

Women who ate more than 500mg of glycyrrhizin per week found in the equivalent of 100g of pure liquorice were more likely to have children with lower intelligence levels and more behavioural problems.

"Expectant mothers should avoid eating excessive amounts of liquorice", said Professor Katri Rikknen, from the University of Helsinki's Department of Psychology.

Of the children who took part in the study, 64 were exposed to high levels of glycyrrhizin in liquorice, 46 to moderate levels and 211 to low levels.

The research followed on from a study which showed that liquorice consumption was also linked to shorter pregnancies. Laboratory studies have also shown a link between the placenta not working to prevent stress hormones from passing through to the fetus, as well as a link to cardiac and metabolic disorders and behavioural problems in later life.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tara Womersley
tara.womersley@ed.ac.uk
44-131-650-9836
University of Edinburgh
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Treating even mild gestational diabetes reduces birth complications
2. Stimulus-funded university research addressing issues from climate change to cancer, creating jobs and training a new generation of scientists
3. The vasculature emerges as a potential therapeutic target in treating ADPKD liver cysts
4. Treating bone loss in breast cancer survivors
5. Single host gene may hold key to treating both ebola and anthrax infections
6. Marine microbes creating green waves in industry
7. Marine microbes creating green waves in industry
8. U of M study identifies risk factors of disordered eating in overweight youth
9. Test helps in fight against lung infections and for treating other life-threatening infections
10. URI researcher sheds light on man-eating squid; finds them timid, nonthreatening
11. URI researcher sheds light on man-eating squid; finds them timid, non-threatening
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/16/2016)... , June 16, 2016 ... is expected to reach USD 1.83 billion by ... View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand ... are expected to drive the market growth. ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... 2016 Paris Police Prefecture ... security solution to ensure the safety of people and operations ... the major tournament Teleste, an international technology group ... announced today that its video security solution will be utilised ... up public safety across the country. The system roll-out is ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... LONDON , June 2, 2016 ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, ... Security Embossed Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure ... world leader in the production and implementation of Identity Management ... in January, however Decatur was selected ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... HOUSTON , June 23, 2016 ... agreement with the Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve ... of the agreement, Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide ... education and connectivity with association coaches, volunteers, athletes ... partner with the Cy-Fair Sports Association and to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... NEW YORK , June, 23, 2016  The ... students to envision new ways to harness living systems ... of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York ... more than 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s ... included Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that Dr. ... STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled that Dr. ... STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays brings a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, ... biological discoveries to the medical community, has closed its ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received ... with the capital we need to meet our current ... essentially provide us the runway to complete validation on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: