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Fertility & Perinatal Support

Risk of Preeclampsia Reduced with Healthy Maternal Diet

organic vegetables

Many people have come to recognize the importance of eating organic fruits and vegetables as part of an all around healthy diet. While eating foods that are organically produced has a whole host of benefits over non-organic, one area that is particularly interesting to examine is the effects of an organic versus a more conventional, non-organic diet during pregnancy.

A study entitled “The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study” recently examined the relation between eating organic foods and the risk of preeclampsia in women pregnant with their first child. While experts have not been able to pinpoint any exact cause for preeclampsia, it has been suggested that maternal diet plays a large role.

This study was conducted over almost 10 years, and included over 28,000 women. They were assessed at the beginning of their pregnancy to make sure they met certain health criteria, and then completed questionnaires around the 4-5 month mark in their pregnancies that analyzed lifestyle and dietary factors, particularly whether they adhered to a primarily organic diet or not.

Upon completing the questionnaires, women were grouped into 3 categories: those who rarely/never ate organic foods, those who sometimes ate organic foods, and those who often ate organic foods. In addition, these classifications were broken down and analyzed further based on food category.

What researchers found in the end was that women who ate mostly organic vegetables had a statistically significant lower risk of developing preeclampsia than those who rarely, never, or even sometimes ate organic vegetables. The study also suggested that women who had all around healthier eating patterns and lower BMI’s at the beginning of their pregnancy had a lower risk of developing preeclampsia.

While this study was observational, it certainly does seem to suggest a correlation between eating a healthy diet full of organically grown vegetables and lowering one’s risk of preeclampsia.

References

Torjusen H1, Brantsæter AL2, Haugen M2, Alexander J3, Bakketeig LS4, Lieblein G5, Stigum H4, Næs T6, Swartz J7, Holmboe-Ottesen G8, Roos G2, Meltzer HM2. Reduced risk of pre-eclampsia with organic vegetable consumption: results from the prospective Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. BMJ Open. 2014 Sep 10;4(9):e006143. PMID: 25208850. [PubMed] [Read by QxMD]
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