L-Arginine Linked to Decreased Pre-Eclampsia Risk

Supplementation with L-arginine and antioxidants decreases the risk for high-risk women

FRIDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of pre-eclampsia may be reduced by dietary supplementation with both L-arginine and antioxidant vitamins in high-risk women, according to a study published online May 19 in BMJ.

Felipe Vadillo-Ortega, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City, and colleagues investigated whether relative deficiency of L-arginine is associated with development of pre-eclampsia in 672 high-risk pregnant women. Participants had either a positive history of pre-eclampsia in previous pregnancy, or a first-degree relative with pre-eclampsia, and were considered to be high risk. They were followed up from 14 to 32 weeks of gestation until delivery. A total of 228 participants were randomly allocated to receive bars containing L-arginine plus antioxidant vitamins, 222 participants received bars of antioxidant vitamins alone, and 222 were allocated to placebo. Development of pre-eclampsia or eclampsia was the main outcome studied.

The investigators found that, compared to the placebo group, participants receiving L-arginine plus antioxidant vitamins showed a significant decrease in pre-eclampsia risk (absolute risk reduction, 0.17), while the antioxidant vitamins-alone group showed a slight decrease in pre-eclampsia risk (absolute risk reduction 0.07; P = 0.052). Compared to the antioxidant vitamins-alone group, the L-arginine plus antioxidant vitamins group experienced a significant pre-eclampsia risk reduction (absolute risk reduction, 0.09).

"We observed a significant reduction in the incidence of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia in pregnant women who consumed bars containing L-arginine plus antioxidant vitamins. The results of this trial support the proposed hypothesis that supplemental L-arginine can reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia," the authors write.

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