TitleIncreased vitamin E intake is associated with higher alpha-tocopherol concentration in the maternal circulation but higher alpha-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman concentration in the fetal circulation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsDidenco, S, Gillingham, MB, Go, MD, Leonard, SW, Traber, M, McEvoy, CT
JournalThe American journal of clinical nutrition
Date Published2011 Feb
KeywordsYoung Adult

BACKGROUND: The transfer of vitamin E across the placenta is limited, but no data exist on the concentrations of vitamin E metabolites carboxyethyl hydroxychromans (α- and γ-CEHCs) in the fetal circulation. OBJECTIVE: We measured α- and γ-CEHC concentrations in maternal and umbilical cord blood pairs and examined their relations to circulating vitamin E (α- and γ-tocopherol) and maternal dietary vitamin E intake. DESIGN: Healthy, pregnant women were enrolled from Oregon Health and Science University's obstetric clinic (<22 wk gestation), and at least one fasting blood sample and a previous day's 24-h diet recall were collected during their pregnancy (n = 19). Umbilical cord blood samples were obtained at the time of delivery and were analyzed for α- and γ-tocopherol, α- and γ-CEHC, and total lipid concentrations. RESULTS: Mean (±SD) concentrations of umbilical cord blood α-CEHC (30.2 ± 28.9 nmol/L) and γ-CEHC (104.5 ± 61.3 nmol/L) were not significantly different from maternal concentrations (P = 0.07 and 0.08, respectively), but metabolite:tocopherol ratios were significantly higher in cord blood (P < 0.01 and 0.001, respectively). Maternal α-tocopherol:total lipids ratios were correlated with cord blood α-CEHCs (r = 0.67, P = 0.004), and higher vitamin E intakes were associated with higher cord blood α-CEHC concentrations (r = 0.75, P < 0.003). CONCLUSION: Higher maternal intake of vitamin E during pregnancy may result in increased metabolite concentrations in the fetal circulation, suggesting increased maternal or fetal liver metabolism of vitamin E. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00632476.