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Smoking Before, After Pregnancy Harms Daughters' Fertility
Date:11/21/2007

ing before they are thinking of getting pregnant," Grunebaum said.

The Canadian researchers did offer some good news in their report, published in the Dec. 3 edition of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Injecting resveratrol in the mice who were exposed to PAH prevented the reduction in egg follicles in their offspring. Resveratrol is a naturally occurring antioxidant found in wine and grape skins. However, that reversal of damage does not mean that women who smoke can counter the effects with a nutritional supplement or a glass of red wine, the researchers stressed.

"We have found that oral consumption of resveratrol as a food supplement, at least in mice, is not effective, as levels of resveratrol do not reach sufficient amount in the bloodstream to provide protection," Jurisicova said.

Although the findings do not define the length of time between quitting smoking and healthier fertility in offspring, Jurisicova noted that previous studies have shown that women who smoke have better results with in vitro fertilization one year after they quit smoking. The mice in the current study conceived up to two weeks after their final PAH injection, which is approximately equivalent to three menstrual cycles in women.

The effect of a mother's cigarette smoking is not limited to her female children. A study published in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology suggested that the male offspring of mothers who smoke have lower sperm counts.

There is still more research to be done, Jurisicova noted.

"We hope to continue studying the female offspring to see if they enter the mouse version of menopause earlier than mice whose mothers were not exposed to PAHs," Jurisicova said. "We also hope to study if their reduced fertility passes on to subsequent generations, and if the granddaughters are predisposed to similar problems."

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