While it is nothing new for pregnant women to be advised against smoking, new research has conclusively linked the deterioration of a baby’s liver within a womb while the mother smokes. The research points to the concoction of chemicals that are released into the womb during smoking that can directly affect the baby’s liver function.
Stem Cell Research Breaks Boundaries in Fetal Health Research
Advancements in stem cell research has enabled this study, as scientists have found more evidence on how smoking can actually affect the health of an unborn child. The discovery was made after stem cells mimicking fetal liver tissue was subjected to the chemicals and toxic compounds released during smoking. The combination of over 7,000 chemicals released during smoking were shown to have a direct impact on the stem cells.
Boy and Girl Fetuses Affected Differently, states Study
An interesting find generated from the study was that male and female fetuses show a different response to smoking. While there is a noticeable difference in the rate of harm, it is clear that despite the gender, there will be lasting harm done to the child. Male fetuses showed signs of liver tissue scarring, imparting a very high susceptibility for them contracting liver cirrhosis later in life. On the other hand, female fetus livers were showing a change in their metabolism regulation rate, thereby leaving them extremely vulnerable to weight issues and obesity in life.
The author of the study, Dr. David Hay, stated that there was no concrete way to ascertain the exact way smoking can damage fetuses before this. Through the advancements in stem cell research, they can now realistically witness the damage that the chemicals in cigarettes can have on the unborn child.