Antioxidant vitamins may help reduce the damage that smoking causes to the placenta. A study of more than 1,500 pregnant women confirmed previous findings on the effects of smoking on placental tissue. Specifically, smoking promotes calcification of the placenta, which may cause intrauterine growth retardation and fetal distress in labor. But researchers at the University of Tennessee and other centers also found that higher intakes of the antioxidant vitamins E, C, and beta-carotene could be linked to less calcification of placental tissue caused by smoking.
American Journal of Epidemiology (1998;147:127-135)
COMMENT: If you have to smoke and you are pregnant there is now proof that antioxidants can protect your fetus.