A new large observational study conducted in Norway has just released promising results. Researchers have found that pregnant women who consume foods high in probiotics – especially dairy and probiotic rich yoghurt – has a lower risk for developing pre-eclampsia.
33,000 women were included in the study and researchers found that a daily intake of at least 140 mL of probiotics was associated with a 20% reduced risk of pre-eclampsia, and there was a particularly striking protective effect for severe disease (39% reduced risk).
The researchers concluded that probiotics may target and modify the type of inflammation underlying severe pre-eclampsia. [Am J Epidemiol 2011, online 5 Aug]
Encouraging women to consume probiotics either through pre- and pro- biotic rich foods or a supplement is always beneficial. In the first trimester is assists to improve nutrient absorption, whilst in the 2nd and 3rd trimester it also relieves heartburn, regulates bowel transit time (eases constipation) and also colonises the birth canal in preparation for delivery.