We all know perfectly well that smoking during pregnancy is harmful not only to the future mother, but also to the child. However, the peculiarity of what exactly happens at this moment in the womb is not surprisingly studied by scientists in as much detail as we would like. Nevertheless, the results of the last study indicate that the main harm from smoking is inflicted on the baby in the womb not only by nicotine, but also by free radicals, as well as by other harmful particles circulating at this moment in the mother’s body.
The study was conducted within the framework of international cooperation of Sydney University of Technology, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, and the Australian Colling Institute.
“Prior to this study, it was believed that the main negative effect on the health of the mother and child was nicotine. However, during smoking, additional toxic substances and billions of free radicals (oxidants) are released into the body that enter the bloodstream and have a negative effect on the entire body, “says Brian Oliver, head of research at Sydney University of Technology.
Not only lungs suffer from smoking. Scientists have already established that molecules, called free radicals, damage the cells of the whole body, and their increased concentration can lead to the development of cancer.
“Free radicals are represented by molecules like hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). They have very high activity and can change the properties of tissues (like bleach) in the body. For a pregnant woman, these changes in the body are reflected in the fetus of the unborn child, “adds Oliver.
Prior to this, studies have already shown that smoking can cause developing lung damage, obstruct the passage of airflow and increase the risk of respiratory infections. However, the new study increases our knowledge of the dangers of smoking and opens up the possibility for new research, the purpose of which will be to find ways to reduce this damage to the body.