Vitamin E protects against miscarriages
Story by Alexander Gelfand • Illustration by Ponkrit/Thinkstock
Nearly 100 years after scientists first discovered that rats needed vitamin E to breed, new evidence shows the powerful antioxidant is important to human reproduction, too.
Bloomberg School researchers recently found that women in rural Bangladesh who had low levels of a particular form of vitamin E were almost twice as likely to miscarry. (Two-thirds of the women participants were vitamin E deficient.)
Researcher Kerry Schulze, PhD, says that deficiency could stem from general malnourishment and diets that include cooking oils low in vitamin E.
Vitamin E deficiency may be prevalent in South Asia, where food variety and multivitamins for pregnant women are lacking.
Miscarriages occurred twice as frequently in women with vitamin E deficiency.
Boosting vitamin E intake before and during pregnancy through diet, fortification or supplements could reduce women’s risk of miscarriage, though proof from trials is needed.