Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Vitamins C, E May Not Cut Preeclampsia

Study Included Healthy Pregnant Women Taking Vitamin C, E Supplements
WebMD Health News

April 27, 2006 -- A new study questions the usefulness of taking vitamin C and vitamin E supplements to prevent preeclampsia, a form of high blood pressure, in healthy pregnant women.

The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, included 1,877 healthy pregnant women who took vitamins C and E or empty pills (placebo) during their pregnancy.

The vitamin group showed no advantages in the risk of preeclampsia, death, or serious outcomes in the infants, or low-birth-weight babies. The results "do not support routine supplementation" with vitamins C and E to reduce those risks, write the researchers. They included Alice Rumbold, PhD, of the obstetrics and gynecology department of Australia's University of Adelaide.

A journal editorial calls those conclusions "reasonable" but notes that supplements may be more beneficial if diets are lower in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E.

About Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia only occurs during pregnancy. It affects 5% of 8% of all pregnancies.

Preeclampsia occurs when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure along with protein in her urine. Swelling, sudden weight gain, and headaches may also occur. This condition is dangerous for mother and baby alike. It can lead to low-birth-weight babies, preterm birth, and problems with the mother's kidneys, liver, and ability to avoid uncontrolled bleeding. Eclampsia, a life-threatening situation for mother and baby, is preeclampsia with seizures.

Any pregnant woman can get preeclampsia, but a woman is at increased risk of developing the condition if:

Vitamin Study

The women in Rumbold's study hadn't given birth before. Each was only carrying one baby. The women had similar backgrounds. Their dietary intake of vitamins C and E was also similar, according to surveys the women completed at the study's start.

1 | 2 | 3

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Woman looking at pregnancy test
calendar and baby buggy
dark chocolate squares