Study: Healthy diet cuts risk of birth defects

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October 4, 2011 9:51:41 AM PDT
Women run a lower risk of having babies with certain birth defects if they eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains during their childbearing years.

A new study finds, across the board, women with the healthiest diets were far less likely to have had children with birth defects than the women with the poorest-quality diets.

The research, led by doctors at Stanford University School of Medicine, is believed to be the first large study to look at birth-defect risk and the overall quality of women's diets.

The bulk of research on food and birth defects has studied one nutrient at a time.

This study appears this week in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.