Pre­na­tal sup­ple­ments: the facts you need to know

Monthly Chronicle - - Health & Well-being -

so es­sen­tial to life that our body is able to man­u­fac­ture lim­ited amounts, which is one of the rea­sons it has flown un­der the radar of ‘es­sen­tial’ nu­tri­ents.

Re­search now shows that cho­line in­take is crit­i­cally im­por­tant, es­pe­cially dur­ing preg­nancy and breast­feed­ing, yet the lim­ited amounts our body pro­duces are not suf­fi­cient and 90% of us are not get­ting enough.

Cho­line works along­side fo­late in the healthy de­vel­op­ment of the neu­ral tube and sup­ports healthy growth of the pla­centa as well as re­duc­ing risk of mis­car­riage. Cho­line also plays a key role in brain de­vel­op­ment with stud­ies show­ing im­prove­ments in learn­ing and me­mory.

The rec­om­mended ad­e­quate in­take for cho­line prior to con­cep­tion is 425 mg in­creas­ing to 440 mg dur­ing preg­nancy. Prac­ti­tioner. If iron is re­quired, it is best taken in smaller (5 – 25 mg) di­vided doses in the form of an iron amino acid chelate. If your iron sup­ple­ment is caus­ing con­sti­pa­tion, it is likely not be­ing prop­erly me­tab­o­lized and/or the dose is too high.

The rec­om­mended in­take (RDI) for iron in the pre­con­cep­tion pe­riod is 18mg in­creas­ing to 27 mg dur­ing preg­nancy. The Up­per Safe Limit (UL) is 45 mg/day. Many over the counter iron sup­ple­ment pro­vide doses much greater than the up­per safe limit. So I rec­om­mend get­ting your lev­els checked and get­ting ad­vice from your health­care pro­fes­sional.

Of course get­ting enough of th­ese key nu­tri­ents is not the only fac­tor to con­sider for a healthy preg­nancy. In the next in­stal­ment I will dis­cuss im­por­tant diet and life­style fac­tors you need to be aware of dur­ing pre­con­cep­tion and preg­nancy.

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