natural help for preeclempsia

A new study has found that high dose folic acid does not help prevent preeclempsia. But, though it has a number of huge benefits for pregnant women, folic acid never played a huge role in the natural prevention of preeclempsia. A  number of natural things do, though. Here’s what we had to say recently in The Natural Path about the traditional and proven aids for preventing preeclempsia.

Preeclempsia is a serious condition that occurs in 2-3% of pregnant women, where blood pressure is elevated, fluid is retained, and there is loss of protein in the urine. It occurs in the third trimester.

Herbs
Spirulina and dandelion leaf, diuretics rich in potassium, are great herbs for treating and preventing preeclempsia.

Nettle and hawthorn are also used to treat and prevent preeclempsia. Hawthorn, a diuretic and an antioxidant, helps lower blood pressure. Nettle is a diuretic that supports the kidney and is rich in calcium, magnesium and vitamin C—3 crucial nutrients for preventing preeclempsia. The two herbs also support the liver and kidneys, which can help with preeclempsia.

Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin E and vitamin C (Epidemiology 2002;13(4):409-16) play a role in treating preeclampsia.

Women with preeclempsia are often calcium deficient (Semin Nephrol 1995;15:504–11). When women are at high risk for preeclempsia, taking calcium supplements is very effective at reducing that risk (JAMA 1999;282:664–70; Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5):1371–4S; Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(5):1375–9S). A systematic review of 13 good quality studies that used at least 1g of calcium found that calcium reduced the risk of preeclempsia by 55%. For women at high risk, the risk went down by 78%. Risk of preterm birth went down by 24% and by 55% among women at high risk of preeclempsia. The review concluded that calcium halves the risk of preeclempsia, reduces the risk of preterm birth and also reduces death and “serious morbidity” for the mother (Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2010 4;(8):CD001059).

Magnesium deficiency can also cause preeclempsia. If you are at high risk, supplementing with magnesium can lower that risk (Science 1983;221:376-8; Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1988;95:120-5; Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1991;70:445-50).

A systematic review and meta-analysis found that taking vitamin D early in pregnancy reduces the risk (Ann Nutr Metab 2013;63(4):331-40).

Arginine
A recent double-blind study of women at high risk of preeclempsia found that 3g a day of arginine starting at week 20 significantly reduced the development of preeclempsia by a significant 74%. Arginine also led to fewer preterm births and higher birth weight (Hypertens Pregnancy 2016;35:217–25).

CoQ10
200mg of CoQ10 given to women at high risk of preeclempsia starting at week 20 reduced the risk by a significant 44% in a double-blind study (Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2009;105:43-5).

Antioxidants
Women with preeclempsia are low in antioxidants (Arch Environ Health 1997;52:341–7; Gynecol Obstet Invest 1998;46:37–40; Am J Obstet Gynecol 1994;171:150-7). In women at high risk for preeclempsia, double-blind research has found that taking 1g of vitamin C and 400IU of vitamin E reduces the risk by an incredible 76% (Lancet 1999;354:810–6).

Diet
Preliminary research suggests that women with the highest level of trans fatty acids are 7.4 times more likely to develop preeclempsia (Gynecol Obstet Invest 1998;46:84-7).

Women who get the most fiber in their diets are 72% less likely to develop preeclempsia (Am J Hypertens 2008;21(8):903-9). And while women who eat the most vegetables and plant foods have 28% lower risk, women who eat the most processed meat, salty snacks and sweet drinks have 21% higher risk (J Nutr 2009;139(6):1162-8).

Omega-3 EFA’s can also help (Ann Epidemiol 2007 ;17(9):663-8). But the best news is that at least 2 studies (Epidemiol 2008;19:459-64; Ann Epidemiol 2010;20:584-591) have found that eating dark chocolate reduces the risk of preeclempsia.

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