Alcohol Content in Declared Non - or Low Alcoholic Beverages: Implications to Pregnancy
Can J Clin Pharmacol Vol 17 (1) Winter 2010:e47-e50; January 4, 2010
Original Research
Y Ingrid Goh, Zulfikar Verjee, Gideon Koren

Background
Alcohol consumption in pregnancy may result in serious adverse fetal outcome. Non- or low alcoholic wines and beers may be a risk-reduction strategy to help alcohol-dependent individuals to prevent or limit ethanol consumption. The objective of this study was to quantify ethanol concentrations in Canadian beverages claiming to contain no or low alcohol content.

Methods
Forty-five different beverages claiming to contain no or low alcohol content in the Canadian market were tested for ethanol concentration using gas chromatography. 
 
Results
Thirteen (29%) of the beverages contained ethanol levels higher than the declared concentration on their label. Six beverages claiming to contain no alcohol were found to contain greater than 1% ethanol. 
 
Conclusion
Pregnant women seeking replacement to alcoholic beverages may be misled by these labels, unknowingly exposing themselves and their unborn babies to ethanol.
 

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