Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) reduced the rate of high blood pressure during pregnancy (preeclampsia) and women with normal levels of vitamin D were half as likely to deliver by Caesarian section (C-section) than women who were deficient in vitamin D.
Preeclampsia is a condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine that typically occurs after 20 weeks gestation. The condition reduces blood flow to the uterus and can cause premature birth and low birth weight babies. Doctors thought that CoQ10—also called ubiquinone, which is present in most cells and helps the body produce energy—might reduce preeclampsia.
Researchers gave 235 women at risk for preeclampsia 200 mg of CoQ10 per day or a placebo from 20 weeks of pregnancy until delivery. Overall, about one in five women developed preeclampsia. Those who took CoQ10 were 44 percent less likely than those in the placebo group to develop the condition.
In a study of C-section deliveries, researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine noted that before the discovery of vitamin D, women with rickets had weak pelvic bones and commonly died in childbirth. Even though rickets are rare, recent reports suggest vitamin D deficiency is widespread in industrialized countries and that the U.S. C-section birth rate is at an all-time high of 30.2 percent, up from five percent in 1970.Researchers measured vitamin D blood levels of 253 women at the time of delivery with 17 percent overall delivering by C-section. Twice as many women who were deficient in vitamin D needed a C-section compared to women with normal vitamin D levels—28 percent versus 14 percent. One possible explanation is that muscles perform poorly when vitamin D is deficient. A new study is underway to determine if raising vitamin D levels during pregnancy can reduce the rate of C-section deliveries.