A new study was released from the British Medical Journal showed the benefit of using L-arginine and antioxidants supplements during pregnancy to prevent preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition that comes on after the 20th week of pregnancy (but often 3rd trimester) where there is high blood pressure (over 140/90) as well as protein in the urine (proteinuria).
Here is a press release summarizing the published study so click here for further info. What is interesting is that they are using is the amino acid L-Arginine which is high in many protein foods especially animal foods. Over 40 years ago an Obstetrician, Tom Brewer MD, wrote a book about Toxemia in pregnancy and attributed preeclampsia to toxemia. His solution is the “Brewer Diet” where a woman eats a protein food every hour. Also no sugar. Diet can make a huge impact in preventing preeclampsia and avoiding diuretics which are often given and can worsen the condition including herbs often used such as nettles and dandelion. In preeclampsia the blood volume is often low which is why we often see a high hemoglobin. A protein known as albumin keeps fluid in the blood vessels as it pulls water into the tissues. But low albumin levels in the blood cause fluid to move into the tissues. The liver makes albumin and needs protein from the diet to do so. Giving diuretics on decreases blood volume further. The idea of avoiding diuretics goes against conventional thinking, but sometimes it takes decades for brilliant ideas like the Brewer diet to make it to mainstream.