The Royal College of Midwives has welcomed news that dietary supplements can protect pregnant women against pre-eclampsia.

The study, which took place at the Tertiary Public Hospital, Mexico City, looked at the effects antioxidant vitamins and medical food bars containing L-arginine had on pregnant women. They discovered women who took both the vitamins and bars had much smaller rates of developing pre-eclampsia.

Commenting on the study, Frances Day-Stirk, Royal College of Midwives' Learning, Research and Practice Development Director, said: "We welcome this research. This was a well-designed blind trial of high-risk women taking a combined dietary supplement in the form of snack bars. The study showed that the dietary supplement made a significant difference in women at risk of pre-eclampsia, if given before the condition was established.

"We can't say, and, neither do the authors, that such dietary supplements should be rolled out to all women, as it hasn't been tested with low-risk women. The women in this study were very carefully selected, so while this is important and significant research in this area it needs to be further explored. This study shows that there is more for us to learn about pre-eclampsia treatment after it occurs and there needs to be further research in this area."

Posted by Robert Mair on 19.5.11 Comment on this article by sending it to: penny.hosie@pavpub.com