July 17, 2008

Fiber Intake Linked to Preeclampsia Risk

Women who increase their daily intake of diary fiber during the first trimester of pregnancy could reduce their risk of preeclampsia, U.S. researchers said.

Researchers from the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle assessed eating habits of 1,538 pregnant women before conception and during the first trimester, said the American Journal of Hypertension, which posted the study Thursday on its Web site.

Results indicated women who had diets high in total fiber - more than 21.2 grams a day - reduced their risk of preeclampsia by two thirds more than those with lower daily intakes of less than 11.9 grams, researchers said.

Preeclampsia affects about one in 15 pregnancies and is characterized by potentially lethal complications, included cerebral hemorrhage and acute renal failure. Obesity, anxiety disorders, and family history of type 2 diabetes are among its risk factors.

High fiber intake also was related to lower maternal triglyceride concentrations, which elevate significantly during pregnancy, particularly in women with preeclampsia, the article said.