Pregnant women should monitor vitamin E intake

February 11, 2009 9:21:59 AM PST
Women who have just become pregnant may want to watch how much vitamin E they take in. A study by Dutch researchers finds that high levels of vitamin E early in pregnancy may increase heart defects in babies.

The doctors studied 276 mothers of children born with heart defects and 324 mothers whose babies were free of heart defects. They found the likelihood of having a baby with a heart defect was 70 percent higher for women with the highest vitamin E intake from diet.

Adding vitamin E supplements increased the risk 5 to 9 times.

The study is in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.