Background: Oxidative stress has been associated with adverse neonatal outcomes, and vitamin E has powerful anti-oxidant properties. Vitamin E occurs in several different isoforms which differ in their ability to modulate inflammation and oxidative stress. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the status of α-, γ- and δ-tocopherol in maternal-infant pairs, and the impact on maternal-newborn outcomes. Methods: Vitamin E status was evaluated in 189 mother-infant pairs. Concentrations of α-, γ- and δ-tocopherol were measured using HPLC. Descriptive statistics were calculated and Spearman coefficients were used to assess correlations between maternal and cord measurements. Linear and logistic regression models were used to adjust for relevant confounders. A p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Maternal and cord serum tocopherol concentrations were positively correlated for γ-tocopherol (r = 0.32, p ˂ 0.001) and δ-tocopherol (r = 0.46, p ˂ 0.001) but not for α-tocopherol. After adjustment for confounders, maternal concentrations of tocopherols were positively associated with Apgar scores (p = 0.02) and infant growth parameters at birth. Conversely, cord tocopherol levels were inversely associated with Apgar scores (p = 0.02) and infant growth. Cord concentrations of α-tocopherol were higher in infants born to mothers with a diagnosis of pre-eclampsia (p = 0.04). Conclusion: Maternal-fetal transfer of γ- and δ-tocopherols is higher than α-tocopherol and may be mediated by either different or more efficient methods, conversely tissue uptake of α-tocopherol by the developing fetus may be higher. As serum levels of maternal tocopherols are positively associated with outcomes while higher cord levels show a negative impact, uptake and tissue deposition of vitamin E by the fetus may be crucial in growth and development. More research into the role of maternal diet, placental regulation, and fetal uptake of vitamin E tocopherols in relation to clinical outcomes is warranted.
- Vitamin E
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine