A recent study has revealed that antioxidants such as vitamins C and E do not reduce pre-eclampsia risk in pregnant women.
Pre-eclampsia is a condition where hypertension arises in pregnancy in association with significant amounts of protein appearing in the urine, which is dangerous to both her health and development of the baby. It is also one of the major causes of death in women all over the world.
Though it is unclear how pre-eclampsia occurs, but a theory suggests that it is triggered by free radicals and taking antioxidants could clean up these radicals thus reducing the risk.
Cochrane researchers reviewed the data from 10 trials involving 6,533 women assessing the effects of antioxidants (such as vitamins C and E) during pregnancy.
They found that there was no reduction in the risk of pre-eclampsia with the use of antioxidant supplements.
"Evidence does not currently support routine use of antioxidant supplements during pregnancy as a means of reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia or other serious problems," said lead author Dr Alice Rumbold, who works at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin, Australia.
The antioxidants did not even reduce the risk of many other health issues including having a pre-term delivery, delivering babies that had not grown well in the womb or infant death.