Scientists in Australia have identified a major cause of miscarriages and multiple birth defects that could change the way women prepare for pregnancy.
Scientists from the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney investigated why some women have multiple miscarriages and why some babies are born with heart, kidney and spinal defects.
They found a major cause was a deficiency of a vital molecule known as NAD, which is important for normal development of organs.
Publishing their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine, the authors suggest giving women Vitamin B3 (niacin) supplements before and during pregnancy could significantly cut the rate of miscarriages and congenital malformations globally.
However, the institute warned that human studies need to be conducted and that women should not overdose on the vitamin.