Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive are often advised by doctors to take prenatal mineral supplements and multivitamins. Although a recent study published in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin this summer found that the supplements do not necessarily improve the mother’s or the baby’s health, many studies are not definitive and often conflict.
To err on the side of caution, moms-to-be are advised to have a daily intake of 400 micrograms of folic acid until they reach their twelfth week of pregnancy, which reduces the risks of neural tube defects, which could affect the baby’s spine and brain.
Among the clinical trials the researchers reviewed, the team found little data that vitamin D can help reduce a woman’s risk of pregnancy or birth complications. However, the reviews supported the advice that mothers should take it daily during the pregnancy and breastfeeding months.
“The only supplements recommended for all women during pregnancy are folic acid and vitamin D, which are available at relatively low cost,” the researchers said.
On one hand, all these extra supplements may be overkill. The average prenatal supplements often include over 20 vitamins and minerals such as folic acid, magnesium, iodine, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. They also contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, D, E and K.
But on the other hand, pregnancy leads to a deficiency in key nutrients and such imbalance has been associated with conditions such as restricted fetal growth, pre-eclampsia, skeletal deformity, neural tube defects and low birth weight.
Again, to be safe, we’re going to go with encouraging the continued use of prenatal vitamins. Compare some of the more popular ones on the market at BodyNutrition HERE!
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