Can iron play a role in preeclampsia?

iron pre-eclampsia
Can iron play a role in preeclampsia?

First of all, what is preeclampsia?

Preeclampsia is a very serious pregnancy complication, usually marked by high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and swelling (edema).

There can also be a decline in liver and kidney function. And in extremely advanced cases, there can be seizures.

I'm a preeclampsia baby. My youngest brother is too.

So I have taken a very keen interest in this topic for a long time.

Relatively recent literature aimed to explore the relationship between preeclampsia and underlying iron-associated disease, characterized by iron dysregulation.

Excess iron inside the cells causes lipid peroxidation (oxidation of fats) that leads to cell death. And this can cause injury to the circulatory system (blood & vessels that carry lymph throughout the body).

The authors propose that this injury can lead to the suboptimal development of the placenta's circulatory system in the first 8-10 weeks of pregnancy, which is common with preeclampsia.

It's kind of amazing to think that preeclampsia might start unfolding so early.

But taking this literature into account, it might actually start before pregnancy even begins, with iron dysregulation.

The big takeaway?

Iron dysregulation may play a role in developing preeclampsia.

Getting ahead of it before pregnancy may help reduce your risk of preeclampsia.

Of course, this is just piece of the puzzle. But it’s a really interesting one.

Learn more about reducing pregnancy complications like preeclampsia in my eCourse, Conscious Conception.


Not medical advice.


Ng, S. Norwitz, S.G. Norwitz, E.R. (2019). The Impact of Iron Overload and Ferroptosis on Reproductive Disorders in Humans: Implications for Preeclampsia. Retrieved from:

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