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Nutritional approach to preeclampsia prevention

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Purpose of review

Although not fully understood, the physiopathology of preeclampsia is thought to involve an abnormal placentation, diffuse endothelial cell dysfunction and increased systemic inflammation. As micronutrients play a key role in placental endothelial function, oxidative stress and expression of angiogenic factors, periconceptional micronutrient supplementation has been proposed to reduce the risk of preeclampsia. However, recent studies reported conflicting results.

Recent findings

Calcium intake (>1 g/day) may reduce the risk of preeclampsia in women with low-calcium diet. Data from recently updated Cochrane reviews did not support routine supplementation of vitamins C, E or D for either the prevention or treatment of preeclampsia. Evidences are also poor to support zinc or folic acid supplementation for preeclampsia prevention. Dark chocolate, flavonoid-rich food, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids might also be candidates for prevention of preeclampsia.Summary

Through antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or vasoactive proprieties, micronutrients are good candidates for preeclampsia prevention. Calcium supplementation is recommended to prevent preeclampsia in women with low-calcium intake. Despite positive clinical and in-vitro data, strong evidence to support periconceptional supplementation of other micronutrients for preeclampsia risk-reduction is still lacking. Further studies are also needed to evaluate the benefit of nutritional supplementation such as chocolate and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.
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Keywords: antioxidants; micronutrients; preeclampsia; pregnancy; prevention

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology, Hypertension and Nutrition, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: May 1, 2018

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