Navigation Links
Vitamins C, E Won't Cut Risk of Pregnancy-Linked Hypertension

Large study casts doubt on theory that antioxidant nutrients might help prevent preeclampsia

WEDNESDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Mothers-to-be who take vitamin C and E supplements do not reduce their risk of the dangerous high blood pressure condition called preeclampsia, a new study finds.

Although other studies have suggested that these antioxidant vitamins could prevent preeclampsia, this trial of more than 10,000 women found there was no sign "that the drugs did anything to prevent the diagnosis of preeclampsia," lead researcher Dr. James M. Roberts, from the departments of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Pittsburgh, said during an afternoon news conference Tuesday.

"That was the disappointing news," he added. "On the other hand, there was no evidence of problems associated with it [the vitamins] that might have been suspected from earlier trials, except for the interesting finding" that women who took the vitamins experienced spikes in blood pressure slightly more often than women who did not.

The report is published in the April 8 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Preeclampsia is a sudden increase in blood pressure occurring usually after the 20th week of pregnancy. It can affect the mother's kidney, liver and brain and if untreated can be fatal to the mother and the baby or lead to long-term health problems, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Earlier studies had suggested that antioxidant vitamins C and E might lower the risk of preeclampsia by preventing damage from free radicals, which are byproducts of the body's use of oxygen. The theory was that free radicals prevent the placenta from developing normally and interfere with blood flow from mother to baby.

To test whether there were benefits to taking antioxidants during pregnancy, Roberts's team randomly assigned more than 10,000 women to daily supplements of vitamin C and E, or a placebo, between the 9th and 16th weeks of pregnancy. All the women in the study were having their first child.

In addition, all the women were healthy. None had high blood pressure, kidney disease or gestational diabetes, the researchers noted.

The team found that both groups of women had similar incidence of pregnancy-associated hypertension, seizure, protein in the urine, preeclampsia, blood or liver abnormalities, loss of the fetus, underweight newborns and preterm delivery. These problems occurred in 6.1 percent of women taking vitamin supplements and in 5.7 percent of women receiving a placebo.

Among women taking the vitamins, 7.2 percent developed preeclampsia, compared with 6.7 percent of the women receiving placebo, the researchers noted. This difference was not statistically significant, they added.

According to the NIH, about 6 percent to 8 percent of pregnancies in the United States cause high blood pressure problems. Of these, 70 percent occur in women having their first baby.

Dr. Eva K. Pressman, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, said that, "despite our earlier information that oxidative stress played a role in preeclampsia and that we can reduce oxidative stress with vitamins C and E, it doesn't actually seem to work in clinical practice."

These findings don't mean that vitamins C and E are without value, Pressman added. "Vitamin C and E are good for you, but there is no need to take extra doses during pregnancy to prevent preeclampsia."

Pressman noted that for healthy women, right now there is "not much that can be done to prevent preeclampsia."

More information

For more information on preeclampsia, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

SOURCES: Eva K. Pressman, M.D., professor, obstetrics and gynecology, University of Rochester Medical Center, NY; April 6, 2010, teleconference with James M. Roberts, M.D., departments of obstetrics and gynecology, University of Pittsburgh; April 8, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. DR Vitamins, LLC Introduces Vision Clarity Carnosine Eye Drops to Treat Cataracts, Glaucoma, Dry Eye, or Other Eye Ailments
2. VitaminSpice Elects Bill Fields to the Board of Directors
3. VitaminSpice Signs Agreement With Former CEO of Wal-Mart Stores Division for US Distribution
4. All Alternative Medicine Products LLC. Presents a New Line of Natural Nutritional Supplements and Vitamins
5. Update on vitamins and diabetic retinopathy; ethnic norms for preschoolers eyesight
6. eVitamins Launches New Health Encyclopedia
7. New Multivitamins Target Concern Over China's Quality Problems
8. Vitamins stored in bathrooms, kitchens may become less effective
9. MyCareTeam™ Significantly Extends Diabetes Offering to Include Management of Hypertension, Obesity, and Congestive Heart Failure
10. PharmaSmart International, Inc and AstraZeneca Canada Enter Into Strategic Partnership to Elevate Pharmacy Based Hypertension Management
11. Hypertension linked to dementia in older women
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... private messaging application, announced today a significant contract that will provide its award-winning ... plans to build on the growing success of its Relay program, IBX Wire™, ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... 13, 2015 , ... e-con Systems Inc., a leading embedded design services company ... industry’s first RGB-IR pixel format camera with a USB 3.0 interface and e-CAM40_CUMI4682_MOD, ... of UVC USB 3.0 cameras, is based on the 1/3-inch OV4682 - a 4-megapixel ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... , ... October 13, 2015 , ... A child without ... why SmileCareClub , the leading remote invisible aligner system, has joined with ... otherwise go without it. For each aligner treatment plan purchased, SmileCareClub will donate one ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... Protein is ... the body, including muscle, bone, and blood. But how much protein does the average ... than it might seem, according to the October 2015 issue of Harvard Men's ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... targets the unique health needs of new moms. Postnatal Omega-3, which has ... ), utilizes Nordic Naturals’ exclusive, new, ultra-concentrated omega-3 oil. This breakthrough ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... LA JOLLA, Calif. , Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... to revolutionize the practice of medicine, announced today the ... powered clinical research project that has the potential to ... San Diego, CA , at HLI,s ... open in 2016 in other US and International cities. ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... PARK, Calif. , Oct. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... of up to $100 million over five years ... Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of ... or treat acute or delayed effects of radiation ... , a division of SRI International will provide ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... MILFORD, Mass. , Oct. 13, 2015  SeraCare ... diagnostics manufacturers, announced today that the company,s precision medicine ... growing line of reference materials for next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based ... Mutation Mix-I (AF1-10) contains the same mixture of mutations ... the previously launched AF20 mix , but is ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: