In the April 27th, 2006 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 354, no. 17) which appeared on my desk this week, researchers from Australia reported than the use of Vitamin C and E “does not reduce the risk of preeclampsia in nulliparous (never been pregnant before) women.” While the data was definitive; (there was no improvement in risk factors for women taking vitamin C or E over placebo) the study was flawed enough that it should have been rejected if the editors weren’t so biased.
The two main problems I see were the use of the wrong forms of both nutrients and focusing on the two supplements on a population instead of whether the people being tested were being treated as distinct individuals.
First, they used straight ascorbic acid and alpha tocopherol instead of trying better forms of vitamin C or a mixed tocopherol. Secondly, there was no testing to see whether the women actually needed either supplement or if they were profoundly magnesium deficient which is common in preeclampsia? The concept of biochemical individuality took a beating yet again. Poor Dr. Roger Williams, he developed such a simple yet powerful concept only to see it constantly being trampled on. Such a shame.