Pregnancy-induced hypertension: maternal and neonatal plasma lipid-soluble antioxidant levels and its relationship with fatty acid unsaturation.

G.S. Oostenbrug, R.P. Mensink*, A.C. van Houwelingen, M.D.M. Al, G. Hornstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, Food and Non-Food Analysis Department, Zeist, The Netherlands.

OBJECTIVE: Our purpose was to investigate whether plasma lipid-soluble antioxidant levels during the third trimester of pregnancy and immediately after birth are altered in women with pregnancy-induced hypertension. DESIGN: Nested case-control study of women with pregnancy-induced hypertension. SUBJECTS: A group of 23 women with (mild) pregnancy-induced hypertension and their neonates, were compared with 23 matched controls with uncomplicated pregnancies. METHODS: Concentrations of vitamin E isomers, several carotenoids, and retinol were determined by HPLC in venous plasma which had been stored for 2-5 y. Antioxidant levels were adjusted for the degree of fatty acid unsaturation in plasma phospholipids as analysed 2-5 y before. RESULTS: In the third trimester of pregnancy, lipid-soluble antioxidant levels were similar in women with pregnancy-induced hypertension and controls. From the third trimester to postpartum, mean (+/- s.e.m.) beta + gamma-tocopherol levels decreased by 0.38 +/- 0.17 mumol/l or 5% (P = 0.038) in the control group. In the pregnancy-induced hypertension group, however, plasma levels of most antioxidants decreased from the third trimester to postpartum, but only the decreases in plasma levels of beta + gamma-tocopherol of 1.08 +/- 0.27 mumol/l or 26% (P = 0.042), of alpha-tocopherol of 2.51 +/- 1.58 mumol/l or 6% (P = 0.024), and of lutein of 0.13 +/- 0.04 mumol/l or 15% (P = 0.013) reached statistical significance as compared with the changes in the control group. At the same time, the polyunsaturated fatty acid unsaturation index of plasma phospholipids (UI) decreased in the pregnancy-induced hypertension group as well. Consequently, antioxidant levels, adjusted for UI, changed similarly in both groups. Umbilical vein plasma antioxidant levels were also similar after complicated and uncomplicated pregnancies. CONCLUSION: Plasma lipid-soluble antioxidant levels in mother and child are affected by mild pregnancy-induced hypertension, but this effect disappears after adjustment for fatty acid unsaturation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-759
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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