This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Learn more x


Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


Expecting Moms: Don't Forget Your Prenatal Supplements!

By Eric Ciappio

There is no more important time in the lifespan for maintaining a healthy diet than during pregnancy. This point in the lifespan is unique since the health of two individuals depends upon the dietary choices of just one, namely mom. Mom's diet has an incredible impact on baby’s health – case in point, the well-known relationship between maternal folic acid intake and neural tube defect prevention. Surprisingly, there is a knowledge gap regarding the diets of expecting moms when it comes to their nutrient intake, particularly when it comes to the so-called “one-carbon nutrients”, like folic acid.

New research from Canada seeks to help address this gap. Masih and colleagues aimed to determine the dietary intake (both from food and supplements) of key one-carbon nutrients – namely folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and choline – among a cohort of pregnant women (n=368). Large proportions of women in this cohort had dietary intakes of folate (41%) and vitamin B6 (50%) lower than the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR), and a staggering 87% of women had choline intakes less than the Adequate Intake. Fortunately, many women were using dietary supplements to improve their intake, particularly once pregnancy was established. Prior to conception, just under 2/3rds (60.1%) of women reported using dietary supplements that contained B-vitamins, but dietary supplement use became nearly ubiquitious once women became pregnant (92.8% and 89.0% in early and late pregnancy, respectively).

The optimist could look at these data and say that the majority of pregnant women are meeting their needs, thanks in large part to dietary supplements which contain these important nutrients. The problem is still that nearly half of pregnancies are unplanned, and in certain cases there can be a critical windows of development in which the baby needs additional nutrition (case in point, as the neural tube closes around day 28 of gestation, ensuring adequate folate intake during preconception/very early pregnancy is critical), underscoring the need for more widespread use of prenatal supplements among women of childbearing age. Beyond that, maternal use of a folic acid containing multivitamin during pregnancy is associated with a reduced risk of several pediatric cancers in the offspring, underscoring the need for adequate one-carbon nutrient intake during pregnancy. The message here to the 39.9% of women who are not using a supplement is clear: take a multivitamin that contains B-vitamins including folic acid!

The second message, which prenatal supplement manufacturers should pay attention to is that there is a need to increase the availability of choline-containing prenatal supplements. Clearly, dietary intakes of choline are low, and the majority of women are not meeting their need for this nutrient which plays a role in supporting baby’s development. Both moms and their children will benefit from an increased availability of choline-containing prenatal supplements.


Main Citation:

Masih SP, Plumptre L, Ly A, et al. Pregnant Canadian women  achieve recommended intakes fo one-carbon nutrients through prenatal supplementation but the supplement composition, including choline, requires reconsideration. J Nutr 2015; epub ahead of print.

Supporting Citations:

Cavalli P. Prevention of neural tube defects and proper preiconceptional supplementation. J Prenat Med 2008; 2(4): 40-41.

Ciappio ED, Mason JB, Crott JW. Maternal one-carbon nutrient intake and cancer risk in offspring. Nutr Rev 2011; 69(10): 561-571.

Jiang X, West AA, Caudill MA. Maternal choline supplementation: a nutritional approach for improving offspring health? Trends Endocrinol Metab 2014; 25(5): 263-273.

You are signed in as:
whn May 11, 2017 10:46 AM
Under the snow peak, Zhuo is the lake. "Why? So why do this? I just want to be a mother, want to have a child of their own, but you are not willing to pay, every time you are affixed to the fine do not shoot, God, I hate you! I hate you! You are a ruthless selfish person. "A stunning woman stands in the water naked upper body, while crying while patting the lake, chest full of breasts with the body twist Rhythm of the shaking, emitting a white holy luster. The shore of a Qiu must go back and forth pacing, watching a woman in the water sprinkle soared, heart disgust: "You crazy woman, really want the child to be crazy, two people more comfortable, have children do? "Said the air Xiu Xiu turned away, and ignored the woman's crying. "Trained and trained !!" see her husband and ignore their own to leave alone, the woman heartbroken, crying for a while slowly came to the shore. "Call" Suddenly the lake rises in a bucket-like thick snake tail, snake body up to two scales scales glittering, the woman every step of the chest breast and snake around the swing is really good look, line to the lake only to find this stunning woman Turned out to be the first snake body, upper body naked near ten feet, the snake is more than two feet long, on the shore to drive clouds to the east away. Wanshan ancestors, the top of the Kunlun, jade virtual peak of a Tsing Yi old man sigh: "Oh! And quarreled, and nearly nearly eight thousand eight hundred and thirty back! I was this sister is really hard, married the fool Every day to know what Jiugong gossip, stood such a beautiful wife do not accompany the woman is the need to coax you! You do not have time to accompany her, according to her request to give birth to a child to the companion, but not willing to pay A trace of God, really a stubborn and selfish guy, three days to quarrel, has been quarreling for more than a million years, so when the day is a head ah? "Think of this thing between husband and wife is not easy to intervene , Helplessly shook his head and turned to the hole and walked. Line to the way suddenly paused the body, smile soon as: it seems trouble or come to the door, and want to hide can not hide ah! "Brother!" Midwive came a woman's call, come is just in the lake crying people first snake body stunning woman, the old man has always been feeling that the arrival of those who stopped to wait for. Old man slowly turned the body, asked to smile asked: "Shimei today how free to see my old man? Is not and Fuxi quarreled?" Women down the cloud Jiao Jiao said: "Brother, I am not a special trip to To see you, nor to listen to you say that thousands of times all the way, I just come to you to help find a child's way. "" What is the way to find my child! "Old man at the foot of a staggering," Shimei You still bypass my old bones it! If it was Fuxi know that it is not Grilled my skin. "The old man frightened, hand pendulum and rattle like. Woman's face crimson, snapped: "Brother, where do you want to go! Old right! I just come to you to find a child's magic, not to say that you and that ... ..." "What Old man gas beard Alice, Long said: "chaos beginning to this point, I have lived for three million years, and now alone or alone in vain, you! You actually said that I am not serious "The old man angry big sleeves flushed back, the woman was covered with" Puchi "smile. The original, the chaos opened to the beginning of this also five people, they are Hongjun, Pangu, Nu Wa, Pan Xing, Fu Xi, because Hongjun is the birth of the first world of wisdom, behind a few people more or less Have been educated by Hongjun, so everyone is consistent with the Hongjun respect for the big brother. Later Pangu and the plate Xing two fight for the brother of a war, then that war to play the darkness, broken mountains and rivers, sun and the moon without light, the final panic body into a towering Kunlun will be calm in the abyss, can be described as a lose-lose The Now this world also Hongjun, Nu Wa, Fu Xi three, this old man is Hongjun, the first snake body of the woman is of course Nu Wa. So this Hongjun think not single is immune, Nu Wa is laughing for this
0 Replies » Reply