ALCOHOL CONTENT IN DECLARED NON- OR LOW ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: IMPLICATIONS TO PREGNANCY

Main Article Content

Y Ingrid Goh
Zulfikar Verjee
Gideon Koren

Keywords

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Abstract

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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References

1. Sharpe TT, Velasquez MM. Risk of alcoholexposed pregnancies among low-income, illicit drug-using women. J Women’s Health 2008;17(8) Sept. 14.
2. Gladstone J, Levy M, Nulman I, Koren G. Characteristics of pregnant women who engage in binge alcohol consumption. CMAJ 1997;156: 807- 8.
3. Koren G, Nulman I, Chudley AE, Loocke C. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. CMAJ 2003;169:1181- 5.
4. Burtis CA., Asherwood ER. Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry, 2nd edition, 1994, W.B. Saunders Company. Ehanol levels were measured in the samples by Gas chromatography (GC/FID) using the Agilent 689ON GC with Headspace Sampler G1888.

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