Vitamin E Pregnancy

This subject along with many others are quite common.

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The study group (n=82) was exposed to Vitamin E at doses ranging from 400-1200 IU/day. There was one pregnancy with major malformation (omphalocele) in study group. There was an apparent decrease in mean birth weight (3173+/-467 g) in Vitamin E group as compare to control (3417+/-565 g; P=0.0015); however, there were no significant differences in rates of live births, preterm deliveries, miscarriages and stillbirths.
Therefore, it is concluded that consumption of high doses of Vitamin E during the first trimester of pregnancy does not appear to be associated with an increased risk for major malformations, but may be associated with decrease in birth weigh.

Why Is Vitamin E So Important During Pregnancy?

It’s best to include a healthy dose of vitamin E in your pregnancy diet by eating the right foods, rather than taking supplements.

Medicine By The Numbers

During pregnancy, increased oxidative stress has been linked to pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and PROM.
This review evaluates the effectiveness of vitamin E supplementation in pregnancy.1

Approximately 22,000 women from 17 trials were included in the analysis. There was also no difference noted for perinatal death, preterm birth, preeclampsia, or intrauterine growth restriction, although the authors note substantial heterogeneity for these specific outcomes. There is a statistically significant increase in the risk of term PROM in patients taking vitamin E supplements vs. The control groups (number needed to harm = 19; P < .001). Patients who received vitamin E had a decreased risk of placental abruption (number needed to treat = 333; P = .02). Although there may be some benefit in decreasing placental abruption, vitamin E may cause harm during pregnancy by increasing term PROM. Caveats: Perhaps the most notable limitation, beyond the marked heterogeneity, is the administration of vitamin E with other supplements. Vitamin E supplementation is a controversial topic in newborns, increasing the importance of these data. Vitamin E supplementation in newborns for prevention of these complications has been associated with an increase in neonatal sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis.2 This review does not support the use of maternal vitamin E supplementation because of complications with the pregnancy but does not look at the rate of newborn outcomes such as intraventricular hemorrhage. Based on available data, further studies focused on vitamin E supplementation alone are not warranted and may not be safe for the pregnant patient.

Details For This Review

Study Population: Pregnant women

Efficacy End Points: Placental abruption avoided

Harm End Points: Stillbirth, neonatal death, perinatal infant death, preterm birth, preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, premature rupture of membranes (PROM), placental abruption

Narrative: Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that decrease oxidative stress within the body. During pregnancy, increased oxidative stress has been linked to pre-eclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction, and PROM. The review reports no clear difference in stillbirth or neonatal death.
Heterogeneity is a limiting factor for analysis of preterm PROM; however, the authors reported no difference using advanced data analysis. Patients who received vitamin E had a decreased risk of placental abruption (number needed to treat = 333; P = .02). Although there may be some benefit in decreasing placental abruption, vitamin E may cause harm during pregnancy by increasing term PROM.
Death rates in the newborn were analyzed, but no statistically significant difference was noted.

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