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Can J Clin Pharmacol. 2010 Winter;17(1):e47-50. Epub 2010 Jan 4.

Alcohol content in declared non-to low alcoholic beverages: implications to pregnancy.

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Motherisk Program, Division of Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.



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.


Forty-five different beverages claiming to contain no or low alcohol content in the Canadian market were tested for ethanol concentration using gas chromatography.


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.


Pregnant women seeking replacement to alcoholic beverages may be misled by these labels, unknowingly exposing themselves and their unborn babies to ethanol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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