Pre-Eclampsia Prevention With Supplements

L-Arginine and vitamin supplements help reduce cases of pre-eclampsia

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Swollen feet, sudden weight gain and high blood pressure are a few symptoms that a pregnant woman may have in pre-eclampsia, a condition occurring in 5 percent of first time pregnancies.

A new study suggests that a simple dietary supplement adjustment during the second half of pregnancy reduces the risk of developing pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is found most often to develop in first time pregnancies of very young women and first time pregnancies of older women. There is also an increased likelihood of developing pre-eclampsia if a woman's mother had pre-eclampsia.

"Ask your obstetrician if L-arginine and vitamin supplements are recommended for your pregnancy."

Felipe Vadillo-Ortega, Department of Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine of National University of Mexico and his team found that a food bar supplement containing L-arginine and antioxidant vitamins is a simple, low cost intervention that may have value in reducing the risk of developing pre-eclampsia and the associated preterm birth.

They also said that more studies are needed to determine whether these results can be repeated. It also isn't clear from the present study whether L-arginine alone is enough to curb the onset of pre-eclampsia or is it the combination of L-arginine and antioxidant vitamins that works.

In this large study, pregnant women identified to be at high risk of pre-eclampsia were randomly divided into three groups: 228 ate daily food bars containing both L-arginine and antioxidant vitamins, 222 ate bars daily containing only vitamins, and 222 ate placebo bars daily.

The placebo group developed pre-eclampsia in 30 percent of the women while the group eating the food bars with L-arginine and antioxidant vitamins only developed pre-eclampsia in 12 percent of the women.

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Review Date: 
May 21, 2011
Last Updated:
May 27, 2011