Vitamins C, E May Not Cut Preeclampsia
Study Included Healthy Pregnant Women Taking Vitamin C, E Supplements
WebMD News Archive
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.
Rumbold's team randomly assigned roughly half of the women to the vitamin
group. The researchers gave those women daily supplements totaling 1,000
milligrams of vitamin C and 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E (as
No one knew who got the vitamins and who got the placebo. Either way, the
women were told to swallow two of the pills in the morning and two in the
Other antioxidant supplements were off limits during the study. But the
women were allowed to take daily multivitamins containing up to 200 milligrams
of vitamin C or 50 international units of vitamin E.
Most women didn't develop preeclampsiaor other problems covered in the study.
Preeclampsia developed in 6% of the women in the vitamin group and 5% of the
placebo group. Infants died or had serious complications in 9.5% of the vitamin
group, compared with about 12% of the placebo group. Babies were at low weight
for their gestational age for about 9% of the vitamin group and nearly 10% of
the placebo group.
Those differences were small enough that they could have been due to chance,
the study shows.
Fewer babies in the vitamin group had respiratory distress syndrome or
needed surfactant, which helps in breathing. That finding didn't appear to be
due to chance.
After giving birth, women in the vitamin group had an increased risk of
being hospitalized for high blood
pressureor being prescribed
drugs to tame high blood pressure. However, those findings may have been due to
chance, the researchers note.