Research appearing in the journal Early Human Development (Volume 85, Issue 7, July 2009, Pages 421-427) links the levels of antioxidant vitamins in newborns to improved development. Researchers measured levels of vitamins A, C and E in maternal blood and in the blood in the umbilical cord at the time of delivery in 150 sets of mothers and newborns. At age two, the children were evaluated using the Gesell Development Schedules. Children with higher levels of vitamin E at birth had better motor development, as well as language and social skills. Vitamin A levels also had a positive effect on motor development.

Damage from lipid peroxidation can be linked to many complications in the newborn, and is especially problematic in premature babies. Research appearing in the Archives of Medical Research (Volume 33, Issue 3, May-June 2002, Pages 276-280) found that pre term infants have lower levels of vitamins A and E than term babies.