Dairy Probiotics May Lower Risk of Pregnancy Complications

Mothers-to-be who take milk probiotics may have a lower risk of experiencing preeclampsia, premature birth and other pregnancy complications, according to a study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Previous studies have indicated that probiotics, which are found in fermented dairy products such as milk and yogurt, reduce the risk of possible pregnancy complications, and the study assessed whether timing of intake played a factor. Researchers collected data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, which analyzed more than 70,000 pregnancies.

The mothers-to-be were asked to report information on their diet, lifestyle, medical history and other relevant background factors at 15, 22 and 30 weeks of pregnancy.

After thoroughly analyzing the data, the researchers suggested that women who took probiotics during the late stages of their pregnancy had a 20% lower risk of experiencing preeclampsia — a condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine — while 11% had a lower risk of premature birth when taking probiotics during the early stages of pregnancy.

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