Vitamin E Status Linked to Miscarriage?

December 18, 2014

Maternal vitamin E status, at least in the first trimester of pregnancy, may influence the risk of early miscarriage, according to a new study.

Maternal vitamin E status, at least in the first trimester of pregnancy, may influence the risk of early miscarriage, according to a new study out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health took first-trimester blood samples of 1605 pregnant rural-Bangladeshi women participating in the larger JiVitA-1 study, which took place in 2001-2007. Records show that of the 1605 women, 8.8% eventually miscarried.

Women with low alpha-tocopherol status (plasma concentration of <12.0 μmol/L) were more than twice as likely to miscarry within the first 24 months of gestation compared to women with normal alpha-tocopherol levels, the authors state.

The study researchers note that, unlike in the United States, pregnant women in rural populations typically are not given prenatal supplements, aside from iron and folic acid. In this trial, three out of four women were considered vitamin E deficient.

This makes a case for vitamin E supplementation in early pregnancy, they said. “The findings from this study support a role for vitamin E in protecting the embryo and fetus in pregnancy,” said Kerry Schulze, PhD, one of the John Hopkins study authors.

Lead author Abu Ahmed Shamim, MS, of the Bloomberg School, said it may be even more beneficial if women have sufficient levels of vitamin E before they become pregnant, considering that many miscarriages happen in early pregnancy.

“What we really want to do is optimize health before women become pregnant, because if they don’t start with a good vitamin E status, they are at a high risk of negative outcomes,” said Schulze.

This may be the first population study to look at the link between vitamin E status in early pregnancy and risk of miscarriage, says ingredient supplier DSM Nutritional Products (Parsippany, NJ).

 

 

Jennifer Grebow
Editor-in-Chief
Nutritional Outlook magazine
jennifer.grebow@ubm.com

 

 

Photo © iStockphoto.com/Rinelle

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