Brewer diet

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Re : Brewer diet

Postby mom29 » Sat Nov 17, 2007 02:04 pm

Another thing that puzzles me is that a high protein diet isn't suggested for people with chronic hypertension. I have chronic hypertension (not significantly overweight) and have done a lot of reading about it and have not come across a suggestion that a high protein diet will help. I'm not certain why it would help in a pregnancy, but not cure chronic hypertension.
Also, if you read more threads at this website you will see many many more stories of women who have tried the diet,followed it religiously, and still got severe preeclampsia. I think all of us here believe a good diet plays an important role in our pregnancies, but the diet you suggest is not the 100% cure all for preeclampsia.

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Re : Brewer diet

Postby fiona » Sat Nov 17, 2007 01:21 pm


thank you for your interest. This subject has been discussed ad nauseum on this site for many years - you pulled up a very old thread - and there has yet to be any peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support it. In fact, it shows very little basic understanding of the science of preeclampsia.

Let me refer you to an article in the New Yorker that expands on Caryn's post above: ... 724fa_fact

I'm sure you will welcome the opportunity to review the latest thinking on the mechanism of this disease.

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Re : Brewer diet

Postby onesock » Sat Nov 17, 2007 01:17 pm

Joy, I think that the frustration of "blaming the mother for her symptoms" comes from the fact that it says that the increase in bp comes from the lack of proper nutrition, or from your website, "the basic cause of the elevated blood pressure in pregnancy is the lack of enough of the right kinds of food." These statements insinuate that the mother is not eating properly, therefore, had she eaten the "right" foods, her BP would not have become elevated. I don't agree...PE and PIH cannot be prevented, in my opinion, by eating differently...I wish that was the case! Just my thoughts...everyone is entitled to an opinion, this is just mine.

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Re : Brewer diet

Postby djsnjones » Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:44 am

I realize that this is an old thread, but it does still come up on searches, so I would like to add a thought to it.

I am sad that so many of you have had a bad experience with the Brewer Diet.

I am also sad that some of you felt that Dr. Brewer was blaming the mother for her symptoms. I was in contact with him, on and off for around 27 years, and I can assure you that that was never a part of his thinking, not in the slightest. His major frustration, which was a HUGE one, was with the medical establishment which continued to treat these symptoms in unhelpful ways--not with the mothers.

I am also sad that some of you tried the Brewer Diet and had trouble anyway. I would like to encourage others who might find themselves in that situation to seek out a professional who is more experienced with the Brewer Diet, and see if there is some way you can tweak the diet to your advantage, so that it might work better for you.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. My email address is on my website.

Best wishes,

kelly w
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Re : Brewer diet

Postby kelly w » Mon Jun 06, 2005 01:02 pm

I was very angry with Dr. Brewer after my second baby. [:D]

I had PIH with my first baby, and I was determined not to get it with my second baby. I researched and researched and found Dr. Brewer's "blueribbonbaby" site. During that pregnancy I very carefully followed his diet and I was *convinced* I wouldn't get PIH again [since he promises on the site that you won't....]. I had planned a home water birth and everything.

Well, guess what? After all of that, I developed PIH with my second pregnancy [which ended in an early hospital induction for very high BP]. I was so dissappointed and frustrated. I really felt like he had misled me. [:)]

In the years since my second birth, I have met several women who tried his diet to prevent a recurrence of PIH or Pre-Eclampsia and I never yet met anyone it worked for. I'm not saying it won't work for some people, but my *totally personal* opinion is that it is pretty much a waste of time.

I also don't thank him for his attitude either. Because of what he writes and says on his website, I have been told over and over by people that getting PIH is *my fault* for not eating right [or the nicer version "did you know if you eat a high protein diet you won't get PIH?"]. Its very frustrating and feels very much like "blaming the victim" to me.

Anyway, remember that the majority of women who had PIH/Pre-E/Eclampsia in their first pregnancy don't get it in subsequent pregnancies, so the odds are still on your side; though there are of course no guarantees.


Mommy to
Samantha 1998 [induced 38 weeks w/ PIH]
Gabriel 2001 [induced 38 weeks w/ PIH]
Isabella 2003 [induced 38 weeks w/ PIH]
Gianna 4/15/2005 [induced 36 weeks w/ PIH]

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Re : Brewer diet

Postby annegarrett » Fri Jun 03, 2005 11:32 am

Well said Caryn...what I will say--is that we agree with Brewer that a good diet is very important to a pregnant woman. In a woman where "that" is the thing that tips her over the edge--maybe following such a diet makes a difference. The current thinking is that preeclampsia develops in different women for different reasons--and is more of a syndrome than a disease. I tend towards Caryn's theory--at least in my case--because I have subsequently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder (sarcoidosis) which causes an inflammatory response in my body. I know Bonnie struggles with Rheumatoid Arthritis and others have other issues. If your issue is that you are overweight--then the best thing you can do before trying to get pregnant again is to start taking folic acid, reduce your weight in a sensible manner (healthy diet and regular exercise like walking), get any blood pressure problems under control, get tested for any underlying issue like thrombophilias, kidney disease, etc...and reduce your stress. I had a pretty dire experience when I tried the Brewer diet--so cannot in good conscience recommend it but I am just one person. You have to talk to your husband and your doctor and make the best decision for you. I know people who swear that the diet made all the difference. How's that for unhelpful?!

Do take care--being educated and proactive is the best weapon against this disease.

Anne Garrett
Preeclampsia Foundation

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Re : Brewer diet

Postby caryn » Fri Jun 03, 2005 01:07 am

Yep, that member in Arizona was me -- I was on the Brewer diet from before conception, and delivered at 34 weeks with a bp of 220/116 *while on IV labetelol* and what my doc said was the highest protein count he'd ever seen. I believe the founder of the PF, Anne, also tried the diet during her third pregnancy, the one in which she developed HELLP and almost died.

So anecdotally, I'd say it doesn't work. A lot of people who endorse it seem to say, hey, I was on the Brewer diet and I didn't get PE, therefore it works. But most pregnant women do not develop this complication. A lot of other endorsers seem to say, hey, I got PE the first time, so I followed this diet the second time, and didn't get it. But most women do not get PE in subsequent pregnancies. Some women say, well, I had swelling, so I ate like this and it went away. But swelling is not PE. No studies have ever been conducted on *that* diet per se, but a number of other studies have investigated and have found minimal at best benefit from supplementing nutrition in various ways, including vitamin supplementation and protein/calorie supplementation.

Our understanding of the physiologic process of preeclampsia has advanced dramatically since early 2003, when a new study described a protein (not a dietary protein, but essentially a hormone, a cytokine, produced by the placenta among other parts of the body) which could be responsible for the majority of symptoms in PE, in that it can both damage blood vessels and block the growth of the placenta. Subsequent studies found dramatically elevated levels of that protein during the first trimester in women who went on to develop PE later in their pregnancies. Several other studies published at around that time seem to implicate early immune system involvement as well, namely that the maternal immune system recognizes the placenta as a foreign entity and tries to reject it, compromising its implantation into the uterus. If you want to find those studies, you can search the PF or PubMed for "sflt-1". Susan Fisher at UCSF is one author who has published rather a lot about the evidence for early immune system involvement, so you might be able to find that by searching on her name and words like "embryonic". Or you could email me; I've got them bookmarked.

This new research significantly contradicts Dr. Brewer's proposed mechanisms for development of the disease.

But I cannot say for certain that the Brewer diet doesn't help some people. I can only say that there are competing theories with much stronger empirical support. :-)

I *so* hear you on the wanting another baby and being terrified thing. :-) I'm there with you. It would be really nice if there were a magic bullet like the diet, but, well...

DS Oscar born 10/20/02 at 34 weeks, rapid-onset severe PE

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Re : Brewer diet

Postby jillmushet » Thu Jun 02, 2005 05:38 pm

We had a member here in Arizona who followed the Brewer Diet to prevent pe. It did not work. She experienced pe and HELLP.

Take care and let us know how you are doing.

Claire, 34wks, 3lbs 3ozs
3/3/00, PE & HELLP

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Re : Brewer diet

Postby denise » Thu Jun 02, 2005 04:54 pm

Katie, I'm not a fan of the Brewer Diet as in my opinion (and this is my personal opinion) the diet blames women for developing PE. Here are some links to previous discussions on this diet.

Here is what our Experts have to say about the Brewer's Diet

And here are links to previous topics on it:
Brewer's Diet: (emotional aspect)

I can see the need to feel like you are doing something to combat PE, and becoming a healthier person overall is a good thing. Have you discussed another pregnancy with your OB? Or had a consult wiht a peri?

Here is the link to the Recommended pg diet from our experts:

Denise (29) Co-coordinator for WI
Jason (32)
Ariana (24 months)5/3/03-just shy of 35 weeks: Class 1 HELLP

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Brewer diet

Postby katesm » Thu Jun 02, 2005 04:25 pm

I just recently talked with Dr. Thomas Brewer about his diet plan for preventing pe. Has anyone had success with this diet? His theories do make sense. I really want to have another baby but I am so scared that I may get pe again.

Mom to Katie born 26 weeks due to severe pe

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