Risk of pre-eclampsia for women with diabetes not altered by vitamin supplements

Thu, 13 Jan 2011
A new study has found that women that suffer from type 1 diabetes and who face a high risk of pre-eclampsia and pre-term delivery do not reduce their risk by taking vitamin supplements C and E.

The research, by the Centre for Public Health and the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Queen's University Belfast and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and published in The Lancet, investigated the benefits of 1000 mg vitamin C and 400 IU vitamin E in 762 pregnant women with type 1 diabetes in the UK. 379 women were given vitamins and 383 given a placebo every day from between 8 and 22 weeks up to delivery.

It was found that the rate of pre-eclampsia was similar in both groups, although women that were in the vitamins group and had a low antioxidant status at the beginning of the study were associated with a significantly lower risk of pre-eclampsia.

An older trial had suggested that both vitamins C and E could lower pre-eclampsia in all pregnant women, and not only those with type 1 diabetes; however, more recent research has uncovered no benefit of these vitamin supplements during regular pregnancies .

The scientists admitted that the finding that vitamin supplements could have a beneficial effect on women with small levels of dietary antioxidants in their blood will need further research .
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