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High fiber diet can prevent preeclampsia

Increasing fiber in your diet can reduce your risk for preeclampsia, according to a study published in the latest online issue American Journal of Hypertension. Preeclampsia is a vascular disorder that occurs during pregnancy. Although it is sometimes used synonymously with pregnancy-induced hypertension, medical experts know that there is a difference between the two. Preeclampsia can result in potentially life-threatening complications including preterm labor, hemorrhage, and liver and kidney problems.

About 5% of all pregnancies can result in preeclampsia. Risk factors for this pregnancy complication are obesity, poor nutrition (e.g. diet lacking in fruit, vegetables and other source of antioxidants, and family history of type 2 diabetes or hypertension.

The research studied the dietary habits of 1538 pregnant women in Washington State. The results showed that those women with the highest fiber intake during early have 70% reduced risk for preeclampsia. These women had lower triglyceride levels and high HDL-cholesterol levels, indicating good cardiovascular health.

The main sources of dietary fiber are whole grain cereals, fruit, vegetables, and certain nuts.

In another breakthrough, researchers at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School were able to induce preeclampsia in mice. In addition, they were able to block the development of preeclampsia using certain drugs on the mice. It is hoped that a cure for this disorder will soon be available.

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