Increasing daily intake of dietary fiber during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with a reduced risk of preeclampsia, reports a paper online in American Journal of Hypertension.
Gathering data from 1,538 pregnant women from Washington State, Chunfang Qiu and colleagues assessed maternal dietary intake before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy. Results indicated that women who habitually consumed diets high in total fiber - more than 21.2 grams a day - reduced their risk by two thirds compared to those with lower fiber intake (less than 11.9 grams a day). Adding 5 grams of fiber is equivalent to incorporating two slices of whole grain bread each day to one's diet. High fiber intake was also related to lower maternal triglyceride concentrations, which are significantly elevated, particularly in women with preeclampsia.
A rapidly progressing condition, preeclampsia affects approximately one in fifteen of all pregnancies. Obesity, anxiety disorders, and family history of type 2 diabetes have already been established as risk factors towards this condition. It is characterized by potentially lethal complications, included cerebral hemorrhage and acute renal failure. These results suggest the important health benefits of increased fiber consumption before and during early pregnancy.
Chunfang Qiu (Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA, USA)
Abstract available online.
Full text available online.
(C) American Journal of Hypertension press release.
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