Linoleic Acid, Calcium Supplements Reduce Incidence of Preeclampsia in High-Risk Women

Daily supplementation with linoleic acid and calcium during the third trimester of pregnancy appears to significantly reduce the risk of preeclampsia in women at high risk for this complication.

Researchers found that daily doses of 450 mg linoleic acid and 600 mg calcium raised prostaglandin E2 levels and decreased the ratio of thromboxane B2 to prostaglandin E2.

Specifically, prostaglandin E2 decreased by 33% in control women while it increased by more than 100% in treated women during the third trimester of pregnancy.

In addition, the thromboxane to prostaglandin ratio decreased by 40% in the treated group while it increased by 18% in controls. As a result, only 9.3% of women taking the linoleic acid and calcium supplements developed preeclampsia compared with 37.2% of controls.

Moreover, the women who received linoleic acid and calcium diet supplementation delivered infants who weighed on average 124 g more than those born to women with placebo treatment. T

he results support the notion that preeclamptic toxemia is mediated by a balance between thromboxane B2 and prostaglandin E2, and that this balance can be at least partially maintained in women at high risk of preeclampsia through daily supplementation with linoleic acid and calcium during the third trimester of pregnancy.

Obstet Gynecol 1998;91:585-590.


Preeclampsia (high blood pressure with other complications during pregnancy) is a tricky problem. It is interesting to note these biochemical observations as they may have some use in preventing this problem in the future.

My office manager of 12 years, who also happens to be my younger sister, developed preelcampsia last summer. Fortunately, she only delivered four weeks prematurely. I was able to keep her out of the hospital for two weeks with daily intravenous pyridoxine and high dose magneous chloride treatments.

However, she finally had to go in for continuous magnesium IV and an induction which resulted in delivery of my healthy nephew, Jacob. As far as I know, there is no way to predict who will develop this complication. My sister had an incredibly healthy lifestyle and was on many supplements, but still developed it. My suspicion, based on the above study, is that her fatty acid metabolism was disrupted and needed a balanced omega 3 and omega 6.

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