Diet booster wards off pregnancy syndrome

A dietary supplement of amino acid and antioxidant vitamins can reduce the risk for pregnant women of a dangerous condition called pre-eclampsia, according to a study released Friday.

Affecting five percent of first-time pregnancies, pre-eclampsia leads to abnormally high blood pressure, protein build-up in urine, and swelling in the feet and ankles.

Its causes are unknown and the only way to alleviate potentially life-threatening symptoms is to give birth.

Earlier research showed a link to a deficiency in L-arginine, an amino acid that helps to maintain a healthy blood flow during pregnancy.

Some experts have also suggested that antioxidant vitamins can help ward off the condition.

Researchers led by Felipe Vadillo-Ortego at National University in Mexico City designed a study to find out if a combination of L-arginine and antioxidants would prevent onset.

Some 750 pregnant women in Mexico City at high risk of pre-eclampsia were randomly divided into three groups.

A third received daily food bars containing both L-arginine and antioxidant vitamins, a third bars containing only vitamins, and a third placebo bars.

The supplements began when women were around 20 weeks pregnant and continued until delivery.

The proportion of women developing pre-eclampsia was 30.2 percent in the placebo group, 22.5 percent in the vitamin only group, and 12.7 percent in the L-arginine plus vitamin group.

The dietary supplement also significantly reduced the risk of premature birth compared with placebo, said the study, published online by the British Medical Journal.

"This relatively simple and low-cost intervention may have value in reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia and associated preterm birth," the authors conclude.

Further study is needed, however, to determine whether these results can be repeated.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Internal Sales Executive

    £20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Finance / Accounts Manager

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established and expanding ...

    Recruitment Genius: Bench Locksmith / Engineer / Technician

    £14000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading Key Cutting equipm...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss