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Open AccessArticle

A Comparison of Vitamin E Status and Associated Pregnancy Outcomes in Maternal–Infant Dyads between a Nigerian and a United States Population

Pediatrics 981205 Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-1205, USA
984045 Nebraska Medical Center, College of Allied Health Professions, Medical Nutrition Education, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-4045, USA
984375 Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-4375, USA
Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, 655 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada-Zuba, Gwagwalada, P.M.B. 228, Abuja, Nigeria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(9), 1300;
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 12 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Requirements and Dietary Intakes of Women during Pregnancy)
Oxidative stress is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes, and vitamin E has powerful anti-oxidant properties with the potential to impact health outcomes. Tocopherol isomers of vitamin E differ in their ability to modulate inflammation and vary in concentration in diets containing high proportions of processed versus unprocessed foods. The purpose of this study was to compare vitamin E status and associated pregnancy outcomes (mode of delivery, chorioamnionitis, APGARs (measure of appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, respiration), gestational age at delivery, and fetal growth) between maternal–infant dyads in a developed and a developing nation to identify potentially modifiable differences that may impact pregnancy and neonatal outcomes and provide a way to improve maternal and neonatal health. Plasma tocopherol levels were evaluated in 189 Midwestern United States (US) mother–infant pairs and 99 Central Nigerian mother–infant pairs. Maternal and infant concentrations of α-, γ-, and δ-tocopherol were measured using HPLC with diode-array detection. Descriptive statistics were calculated and tocopherol concentrations were associated with clinical outcomes such as mode of delivery, chorioamnionitis, APGARS, and fetal growth. Alpha- and γ-tocopherol levels were higher in the US mothers, (alpha: 12,357.9 (175.23–34,687.75) vs. 8333.1 (1576.59–16,248.40) (mcg/L); p < 0.001) (gamma: 340.7 (224.59–4385.95) vs. 357.5 (66.36–1775.31) (mcg/L); p < 0.001), while δ-tocopherol levels were higher in the Nigerian mothers (delta: 261.7 (24.70–1324.71) vs. 368.9 (43.06–1886.47) (mcg/L); p < 0.001). US infants had higher γ-tocopherol levels than Nigerian infants (203.1 (42.53–1953.23) vs. 113.8 (0.00–823.00) (mcg/L); p < 0.001), while both the Nigerian mothers and infants had higher α:γ-tocopherol ratios (8.5 vs. 26.2, and 8.9 vs. 18.8, respectively; p < 0.001). Our results in both populations show associations between increased circulating γ-tocopherol and negative outcomes like Caesarian sections, in contrast to the associations with positive outcomes such as vaginal delivery seen with increased α:γ-tocopherol ratios. Growth was positively associated with α- and γ-tocopherols in cord blood in the US population, and with cord blood δ-tocopherols in the Nigerian population. Tocopherol levels likely impact health outcomes in pregnancy in a complicated metabolism across the maternal–fetal axis that appears to be potentially influenced by culture and available diet. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin E; tocopherols; maternal; infant; pregnancy; Nigeria; United States vitamin E; tocopherols; maternal; infant; pregnancy; Nigeria; United States
MDPI and ACS Style

Cave, C.; Hanson, C.; Schumacher, M.; Lyden, E.; Furtado, J.; Obaro, S.; Delair, S.; Kocmich, N.; Rezac, A.; Izevbigie, N.; Van Ormer, M.; Kamil, A.; McGinn, E.; Rilett, K.; Elliott, E.; Johnson, R.; Weishaar, K.; Olateju, E.; Akaba, G.; Anigilaje, E.; Tahiru, T.; Anderson-Berry, A. A Comparison of Vitamin E Status and Associated Pregnancy Outcomes in Maternal–Infant Dyads between a Nigerian and a United States Population. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1300.

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