Send to

Choose Destination
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2011;2011:841749. doi: 10.1155/2011/841749. Epub 2011 Sep 13.

The importance of antioxidant micronutrients in pregnancy.

Author information

Division of Women's Health, Maternal and Fetal Research Unit, King's College London, St. Thomas' Hospital, UK.


Pregnancy places increased demands on the mother to provide adequate nutrition to the growing conceptus. A number of micronutrients function as essential cofactors for or themselves acting as antioxidants. Oxidative stress is generated during normal placental development; however, when supply of antioxidant micronutrients is limited, exaggerated oxidative stress within both the placenta and maternal circulation occurs, resulting in adverse pregnancy outcomes. The present paper summarises the current understanding of selected micronutrient antioxidants selenium, copper, zinc, manganese, and vitamins C and E in pregnancy. To summarise antioxidant activity of selenium is via its incorporation into the glutathione peroxidase enzymes, levels of which have been shown to be reduced in miscarriage and preeclampsia. Copper, zinc, and manganese are all essential cofactors for superoxide dismutases, which has reduced activity in pathological pregnancy. Larger intervention trials are required to reinforce or refute a beneficial role of micronutrient supplementation in disorders of pregnancies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Hindawi Limited Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center