Listed in Issue 168


MADRUGA and COLLEAGUES,  Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of Sao Paulo, Avenida Dr Arnaldo 715, Sao Paulo-SP, CEP-01246-904, Brazil. evaluated plasma concentrations of ascorbic acid (AA, vitamin C) in women in labour.


Pregnancy is a period characterized by high metabolic requirements and physiological changes in the female organism. During this period, low body stores of vitamins and minerals including antioxidants can have adverse effects on the mother and foetus. This cross-sectional study assessed plasma concentrations of ascorbic acid (AA) in 117 parturients admitted into a university hospital in Sao Paulo city, Brazil.


The concentrations of AA were determined by the high performance liquid chromatographic method. Data concerning socioeconomic, demographic, obstetric and nutritional characteristics of the parturients were collected by a standardized questionnaire.


The prevalence of AA deficiency (<22.7 micromol/L) among the parturients was 30.8%. Mean plasma AA concentrations were lower in single/divorced women (27.84+/-3.48 micromol/L) compared with married/single with partner women (34.78+/-1.85 micromol/L) (p=0.047). Blood AA concentrations were significantly correlated with per capita income (r=0.36, p<0.001) and vitamin C-rich food intake score (r=0.42, p<0.001).


The high prevalence of hypovitaminosis C detected in this study is probably due to an inadequate intake of foods rich in vitamin C and low income. We alert to the need for increasing the intake of vitamin C-rich foods through educational programs, especially for low income populations.


Madruga de Oliveira A, Rondo PH, Mastroeni SS and  Oliveira JM.  Plasma concentrations of ascorbic acid in parturients from a hospital in Southeast Brazil. Clinical Nutrition. 27(2): 228-32, Apr 2008.

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