Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Link Between Pre-eclampsia And Diet

Date:
August 26, 2009
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
A chemical compound found in unpasteurized food has been detected in unusually high levels in the red blood cells of pregnant women with the condition pre-eclampsia.

A chemical compound found in unpasteurised food has been detected in unusually high levels in the red blood cells of pregnant women with the condition pre-eclampsia.

These results are important because they suggest that the compound, 'ergothioneine', is an indicator of pre-eclampsia and may help scientists to understand the cause of the condition, which is currently unknown.

Scientists at the University of Leeds took blood samples from a group of thirty-seven pregnant women and compared the red blood cells from women with pre-eclampsia with the red blood cells from women with no symptoms.

In results published in the journal Reproductive Sciences, chemists found a significantly higher concentration of the ergothioneine - a compound made by fungi - in the red blood cells of the women with pre-eclampsia.

Ergothioneine is already well known to be made by micro-organisms that are commonly found in foods such as unpasteurised dairy products. As it cannot be synthesised by humans it finds its way into human cells exclusively through our diet.

The NHS does not advise against pregnant women eating fungi or foods such as unpasteurised dairy products which contain ergothioneine producing fungi. In fact scientific studies on animals highlight the benefit of ergothioneine.

"These results suggest that a higher level of ergothioneine is an indicator of pre-eclampsia," says Dr Julie Fisher, a chemist at the University of Leeds who lead the research.

"I would not recommend that pregnant women stop eating fungi. However, the high concentration of ergothioneine in the red blood cells of women with pre-eclampsia is a very interesting finding – the more we know about the chemicals involved in the disease the closer we get to understanding what causes it," says Professor James Walker, Professor of Obstetrics at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine (LIMM), and a co-author of the research.

The symptoms of pre-eclampsia include high blood pressure, protein in urine and fluid retention and affects almost 10% of pregnancies after 20 weeks. Left untreated, the condition can cause a range of problems such as growth restriction in babies and even foetal and maternal mortality. There is no known cause of the condition.

"Ergothioneine is known as an antioxidant and antioxidants have been proposed to be helpful in reducing the risk of preeclampsia. It is therefore very interesting that we have found it to be in excess for women with the condition," says Dr Fisher.

The team used a technique which is based on the same science as MRI scans but which operates on fluids taken from the body, to identify chemicals in the red blood cells of pregnant women. The amount of these chemicals was found to depend on whether the women were healthy or whether they were suffering from pre-eclampsia. In previous studies the team found that chemical markers for pre-eclampsia also exist in blood plasma.

The research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council, UK.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Elizabeth Turner, Jennifer A. Brewster, Nigel A.B. Simpson, James J. Walker, and Julie Fisher. Imidazole-Based Erythrocyte Markers of Oxidative Stress in Preeclampsia-An NMR Investigation. Reproductive Sciences, 2009; DOI: 10.1177/1933719109340928

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "New Link Between Pre-eclampsia And Diet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090825100647.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2009, August 26). New Link Between Pre-eclampsia And Diet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090825100647.htm
University of Leeds. "New Link Between Pre-eclampsia And Diet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090825100647.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins