About 5 percent of women going through pregnancy for the first time develop a condition known as preeclampsia, a complication that leads to elevated blood pressure and may result in liver and kidney damage for the mother.
A recent study that was published in the British Medical Journal reveals that a dietary supplement bar that contains amino acids and antioxidants may significantly reduce a woman’s chance of developing the condition when the supplement is taken during pregnancy.
“This relatively simple and low-cost intervention may have value in reducing the risk of preeclampsia and associated preterm birth,” said study authors.
Since the amino acid L-arginine has been associated with a lower risk of preeclampsia, the researchers tested the effects of a natural dietary supplement bar containing the compound and some antioxidants, compared to a vitamin-only bar and a placebo. All of the women in the study were considered to be at high risk for the complication.
They found that more than 30 percent of the women in the control group developed the condition, while 22 percent of the participants taking vitamins only had preeclampsia and just 12.7 percent taking the L-arginine supplement developed it.