Prenatal supplements: the facts you need to know
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.