Multivitamins And Pregnancy


Multivitamins have always been known to be useful as dietary supplements and promote healthy living. Now, a recent research on multivitamins has found them to be beneficial for pregnant women. The new study propagates the idea that if pregnant women are given multivitamins, they are likely to considerably lower the perils related to babies born with poor weight.

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The research, described as a meta-analysis, claims to have collected information from 13 earlier researches that compared new born babies whose mothers were given multivitamin supplements with the infants whose mothers only took prenatal iron-folic dietary enhancements or a placebo (dummy pill). Recently, the findings of the research undertaken by Dr. Prakesh Shah and his associates at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto were printed in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

According to Dr. Prakesh Shah, poor birth weight and associated impediments are deemed to be the most widespread reasons for the death of children below the age of five years all over the world. At the same time, Dr. Shah asserts that it is possible to lower the scale of the undersized and poor weight births by as much as 17 per cent.

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The research paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal states that it was found that women who were given micronutrients during their pregnancy gave birth to infants whose weight at the time of birth was 54 grams or two ounces more compared to the infants born to women who did not take multivitamins, but only iron-folic supplements during their pregnancy. The authors of the research paper guess that around 75 million infants are born in developing nations every year and most of the mothers of these babies at the most receive only iron-folic acid supplements all through their pregnancy. In addition, the researchers observed that if all these women are given multi-micronutrient supplements for the period of their pregnancy, according to a modest estimation, it may possibly help to avoid 1.5 million underweight births around the world each year.

However, commenting on the findings of the research undertaken by Dr. Prakesh, two physicians from at the Aga Khan University in Pakistan reminded that the study suffered from a number of drawbacks. In fact, Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta and Dr. Batool Azra Haider of the Aga Khan University pointed out that the plans of action regarding the prevention and control of maternal malnutrition and micronutrient insufficiencies are top on the agenda of pre and ante-natal care in the developing nations. Nevertheless, the two physicians agreed that the present strategies followed by these countries needed numerous intercessions.

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Talking about the interventions in the strategies, doctors from the Aga Khan University felt the necessity of prepared food supplements or provisional transfer of cash to tackle the food insecurity of the families where there may be pregnant women, micronutrient involvement to take care of anemia caused by scarcity of iron in the blood stream and other shortcomings. At the same time, Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta and Dr. Batool Azra Haider emphasized on the actions that need to be initiated to lower the yoke of maternal contagions/ infections such as HIV and malaria.

What you should know about multivitamins?

Basically, multivitamins are a blend of several dissimilar types of vitamins and they occur in several foods as well as different natural sources. They are used to supply vitamins to people who generally do not take them through their diet. In addition, multivitamins are also employed to treat lack of adequate vitamins (vitamin deficiencies) caused by ailments, meager nutrition, digestive problems, pregnancy and several other conditions.

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It is never advisable to take multivitamins in doses in excess of what has been prescribed. In addition, unless you have been advised by your physician otherwise, you should essentially take only one multivitamin product at one time. In fact, taking the same kind of vitamin products at the same time may lead to severe side effects or a vitamin overdose.

In case you suspect that you have taken an overdose of vitamins, you should immediately look for medical attention. Remember taking vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E or vitamin K in excess may result in severe or even life-threatening adverse effects. Multivitamins also contain specific minerals and if you take the vitamins in excessive dosage it may result in symptoms of severe overdose.

Here is another advice. Never take multivitamins together with milk or any other dairy product, antacids containing calcium or calcium supplements. In fact, calcium may make it more difficult for the body to assimilate specific elements contained in the multivitamins.

Prior to using multivitamins, inform your physician regarding your entire medical problems as well as allergies. In a number of instances you will be advised not to take multivitamins. Or there may be a need to adjust your dose or take particular preventative measures.

In the case of pregnant women, it may be necessary to adjust their dosage of multivitamins. If you are already pregnant or planning to get pregnant talk to your physician before you start taking multivitamins. When taken in excess, a number of vitamins as well as minerals may cause harm to the fetus. A prenatal vitamin has been formulated particularly for pregnant women and it is advisable that women should take this particular type of vitamins during pregnancy after consulting with their physician.

It has been found that multivitamins have the aptitude to pass onto the breast milk and, thereby, cause harm to nursing infants. Hence, nursing mothers should not use multivitamins without consulting their physician.

Side effects of multivitamin

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decides the dose of every nutrition in the United States, to ensure that each one of the nutriments lower than the higher tolerance level, as well as the utmost every day intake, do not cause any hazard of an overdose of multivitamins. Provided the multivitamins are taken as per the directions on the product label, there is no side effect. However, taking them in excessive amounts or in dosage larger than what has been recommended or even using them for an extended period may cause a number of severe negative effects. Such adverse effects may vary from headaches to stomach disorders to even more acute complications like hemochromatosis (a fibrotic condition of the liver).

While multivitamins are considered to be the most excellent options to deal with dietary imbalances, it is also essential to take certain precautionary measures while using these medications, because they also may result in some side effects.

Findings of several scientific studies have hinted that using large doses of vitamin A, vitamin E as well as beta-carotene for an extended period of time may possibly cut short the life span of an individual. In fact, people who smoke regularly are comparatively more susceptible to this risk.

Similar to deficiencies, taking vitamin A in excess may also result in birth defects because it contains elevated levels of retinol. Hence, it is advisable that pregnant women ought to always stay away from using multivitamins. In case, it is necessary for women to take multivitamins during pregnancy, they should take them only after checking with their physician.

As the multivitamins contain iron, which also possesses some damaging properties, taking these medications in excessive amounts may result in severe overdose. What is more important is that taking multivitamins in excess may also result in negative effects on one's health owing to the micro-nutrients contained by them.

Findings of several studies have also shown that multivitamins have an inclination to react with a variety of health conditions, in addition to medicines, causing negative effect on the body. Occasionally, interaction between some medications, which are otherwise safe and multivitamin supplements that with high iron and calcium content may result in a number of negative effects on the patient's body, thereby, having an effect on the pace at which a specific drug is absorbed by the body.

Ingesting vitamin C in excessive amounts may also result in the formation of stone in the urinary tract that may ultimately result in renal or kidney failure. Similarly, taking too much vitamin C may also cause metabolic acidosis that may set off dehydration in our body.

Even excessive intake of iron may result in iron intoxicity, which is also known as iron poisoning, and this may ultimately lead to the liver's fibrotic condition called hemochromatosis.

The major side effect of using multivitamins comprise acute back ache, muscle pain, hair loss, peeling of the skin, internal hemorrhage, rigorous headache, in addition to appetite loss. Centrum multivitamin side effects comprise symptoms like headaches, pain in the bones and joints as well as considerable weight loss.

However, scientists are yet to prove the occurrence of a number of the side effects discussed above. For example, intake of too much vitamin K may get in the way of the process involving the blood clot formation in humans. Usually, the recommended dose of multivitamins ought to have 100% or less of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for every element. However, multivitamin intake has turned out to be a widespread occurrence following the introduction of appetizing multivitamins.

It is important to note that taking any supplement in excessive amounts and for extended periods may lead to detrimental effects on our body. Since this also holds true for multivitamins, it is important to be aware of the negative effects caused by their excessive use as well as the symptoms related to these side effects, because it will help you to undertake the primary diagnosis quite easily. This, in turn, will help you to begin early treatment.


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