The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Vitamins C and E and the risk of preterm birth

    Most pregnancies last about 40 weeks. A premature birth takes place more than 3 weeks before the due date. Although the rate of premature birth seems to be on the rise, a healthy lifestyle helps prevent preterm labor and premature birth.

    Researchers in the US collaborated to determine whether pregnant women taking vitamins C and E might lower their risk of spontaneous preterm birth.

    First, the details.

    • 10,154 women, pregnant for the first time and at low risk, were randomly assigned to a treatment group from 9 to 16 weeks of gestation until delivery.
      • 1,000 mg vitamin C + 400 international units vitamin E daily
      • Placebo
    • Preterm birth attributable to premature rupture of membranes (PROM) and total spontaneous preterm births (spontaneous preterm birth attributable to PROM or spontaneous labor) were recorded.
    • Neither the women nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • In women supplemented with vitamins C and E, births attributed to preterm PROM were similar at less than 37 and 35 weeks of gestation, but births were less frequent before 32 weeks of gestation.
    • However, total spontaneous preterm births across gestation in women supplemented with vitamins C and E or a placebo were similar.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Maternal supplementation with vitamins C and E beginning at 9 to 16 weeks of gestation in nulliparous [never having given birth to a child] women at low risk did not reduce spontaneous preterm births.

    “Low risk” women is the key to understanding this study.

    Most studies report that low body mass index (BMI) is a strong risk factor for spontaneous preterm birth. Whether this relationship is due to a specific vitamin or mineral deficiency associated with low caloric consumption or to other factors is unknown. This research suggests that in the absence of risk factors, vitamin C and E supplements appear to offer no additional benefit.

    8/30/10 19:42 JR

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