Send to

Choose Destination
J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5 Suppl 2):1684S-1692S. doi: 10.1093/jn/133.5.1684S.

Nutrient involvement in preeclampsia.

Author information

Magee-Womens Research Institute and the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Preeclampsia is a pregnancy-specific condition that increases maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. It is diagnosed by new-onset increased blood pressure and proteinuria during gestation; for many years these markers were the sole targets for study. More recently, increased attention to the multisystemic nature of the syndrome with involvement of almost all organs, activation of coagulation and increased sensitivity to pressor agents has expanded understanding of the disorder. The epidemiology of preeclampsia, being more common in poor women, long ago suggested that nutrients might be involved in the disorder. Numerous conflicting hypotheses were advanced but the testing of these hypotheses has either been done poorly or not at all. Review of the available data indicates very few studies that provide useful insights. In many studies the syndrome is poorly defined and in most studies nutritional data (questionnaires or biomarkers) are obtained on women with the clinical syndrome. In overtly preeclamptic women it is impossible to decipher cause from effect. Nonetheless, current concepts of the genesis of preeclampsia that include endothelial dysfunction, inflammatory activation, oxidative stress and predisposing maternal factors provide targets for well-designed nutritional investigation. In this review the current concepts of the pathogenesis of preeclampsia are reviewed and available data are assessed in light of these concepts. Targets for nutritional investigation based on the current knowledge of pathophysiology are suggested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center