SEVERITY OF PREECLAMSPIA SYMPTOMS LESSENED WITH CALCIUM SUPPLEMENTS
Pregnant women who take calcium supplements are less likely to have severe symptoms of preeclampsia, a condition in which the woman's blood pressure rises dramatically, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Conducted by the World Health Organization, the study tracked the progress of 8,300 pregnant women worldwide. All of the women had a low intake of dietary calcium -- approximately 600 mg per day, half of the recommended level -- and were divided into two groups, based on similar demographic characteristics, age and blood pressure levels. One group received 1.5 mg of calcium, while the other group received a placebo.
The study found that while the incidence of preeclampsia in the two groups was not statistically different, the more dangerous side-effects of the condition -- such as severe gestational hypertension or eclampsia, a type of seizure -- were significantly lower in the calcium-treated group. The study noted that overall, the "severe preeclamptic complications index" and the "severe maternal morbidity and mortality index" were also reduced by the calcium supplements.