A study planned by Professor Graham Devereux from
the University of Aberdeen and his colleagues due to start shortly will test
the benefits of three bowls of vitamin E-enriched soup per week in 25 women
after completion of first trimester of pregnancy till delivery. The soup will
contain natural sources of vitamin E like sun-dried tomatoes, sunflower oil, beans
and lentils, which will provide around 3 mg of vitamin E. Using a natural
source of vitamin E also provides other nutrients included in the natural
source, and thereby could provide additional beneficial effects.
Another 25 women will receive soup that does not
contain vitamin E and will serve as a comparison group. However, the
participants of the study will be unaware of which soup they are receiving.
The soups will be prepared by Scotland's Baxter
group. Three flavors of soup will be available to the participants.
How is adding vitamin E to the diet of pregnant
women going to affect the development of childhood asthma in the babies?
Previous studies have suggested that a lack of vitamin E in the diet during
pregnancy puts the baby at an increased risk for developing asthma by the age
of 5 years.
Tests to detect any abnormalities in lung function
will be carried out on the babies during the first week following birth.
The study researchers hope to find a simple and
inexpensive solution to the problem of childhood asthma through this study.
Depending on participants' response and the results of this small study, the
researchers hope to carry out the same study on a larger scale to establish
that supplementation of vitamin E in pregnancy can prevent childhood asthma.