Vitamin E for Pregnancy

Mother and baby wellness through vitamin E in pregnancy

Pregnancy is a period that demands heightened attention to nutrition as the health of both the mother and the developing fetus depends on it. One essential nutrient during this condition is vitamin E, also known as Alpha-Tocopherol, a powerful biological liposoluble antioxidant that helps to sustain many bodily functions.

While a balanced diet typically provides sufficient vitamin E, supplementation can sometimes be necessary to meet the increased demands during pregnancy. This article explores the importance of vitamin E intake during pregnancy and details the recommended doses and scenarios in which supplementation might be needed.

The importance of vitamin E intake in pregnancy

During pregnancy, a woman’s body experiences an increase in the production of free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress. This oxidative stress is a result of heightened metabolic activity and increased oxygen consumption. Vitamin E acts as a powerful antioxidant, neutralizing these free radicals and protecting cells from damage. By maintaining oxidative balance, vitamin E supports both maternal and fetal health [1].

Nervous system

Vitamin E is crucial for the fetus’s neurological development. Adequate levels of this vitamin ensure proper formation and maturation of the nervous system and brain. This is vital for the baby’s cognitive and motor skills development, both during pregnancy and after birth [2]. The brain’s high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids makes it particularly vulnerable to oxidative damage and Vitamin E deficiency in early life stages can lead to impaired neurological function and development [3].

Immune system

The mother’s immune system is often compromised during pregnancy, as it induces various immunological changes to accommodate the developing fetus, making the mother’s immune system more vulnerable to infections. Vitamin E has immunomodulatory effects by protecting immune cells from oxidative damage and improving their function. In particular, it modulates T cell function, which is crucial for adaptive immunity and particularly important during pregnancy, when the immune system must balance tolerance to the fetus with the ability to protect against infections [4,5].

Blood circulation

Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that vitamin E significantly improves blood circulation, which is crucial during pregnancy for ensuring that both the mother and fetus receive an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients. Vitamin E helps maintain the health of blood vessels and improves blood flow supporting the function of endothelial cells. This function is even more critical during pregnancy as the pregnant body undergoes substantial changes to support the growing fetus, and in particular, the cardiovascular system needs to work more intensely to supply blood to the developing fetus [6].

Cells and tissues of the placenta

Moreover, oxidative stress can cause damage to the cells and tissues of the placenta, potentially leading to complications such as placental insufficiency, where the placenta cannot deliver sufficient nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. By neutralizing free radicals, natural vitamin E helps to maintain the integrity and functionality of the placenta. There is also evidence suggesting that adequate vitamin E levels can help prevent pregnancy-related complications such as pre-eclampsia, a multisystem disorder that typically manifests after 20 weeks of gestation and is characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system, often the liver and kidneys [7].

When vitamin E supplementation during pregnancy might be considered ?

In the United States, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for pregnant women is set at 15 milligrams (mg) per day (d) [8], which is the same set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). These recommendations assume that a balanced diet rich in vitamin E sources, such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and green leafy vegetables, will meet the nutritional needs.

Despite these recommendations, certain circumstances might necessitate vitamin E supplementation. For example, women with a history of pregnancy-related complications, such as pre-eclampsia, may be advised by their healthcare providers to consider vitamin E supplementation as a preventive measure.

Among the many Vitamin E supplementation alternatives on the market, it should be always prioritized products containing the natural form of vitamin E. This option is highly recommended because of the higher biological activity of natural Vitamin E over its synthetic form.

BTSA is a global company with over 30 years of experience developing natural ingredients that offer the best alternative to enrich or fortify foods and nutraceutical products with natural vitamin E. One example is Nutrabiol® E, a high-quality natural vitamin E, D-Alpha-Tocopherol specifically, derived from non-GMO vegetable oil.

It may interest you: How fortification and enrichment transform food’s nutrition

Moreover, oral vitamin E supplements not only contribute to the benefits mentioned above but can also improve skin and hair health and appearance, which is a plus during pregnancy.

Benefits of topic application of vitamin E in pregnancy

In addition to oral supplements, vitamin E is, thus, widely used in topical products due to its skin benefits. Topical application of vitamin E during pregnancy provides significant skin benefits, addressing concerns such as stretch marks, dryness, and increased sensitivity. Applying creams or oils rich in vitamin E enhances skin elasticity by promoting collagen and elastin production, helping to minimize the appearance of stretch marks caused by the rapid expansion of the body. Its deep moisturizing properties ensure skin remains soft and supple, counteracting the dryness and itchiness often experienced due to hormonal changes.

Furthermore, vitamin E’s healing properties accelerate the recovery of small wounds and scars, which is particularly beneficial for healing cesarean section scars or other skin abrasions.

Natural vitamin E for cosmetics

The biological activity of natural vitamin E is estimated to be approximately double that of its synthetic counterparts, even at a topical level. Recognizing its superior efficacy, BTSA has chosen to offer high-quality natural vitamin E for cosmetic applications. Bioxan® E, approved by Ecocert, is D-Alpha-Tocopherol utilized by leading cosmetic companies to enhance their formulas and products indicated to help the skin with topical disorders related to pregnancy.




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