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Prenatal Vitamins: A Thing of the Past?

August 17, 2016
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Though regarded for years as a must-have during pregnancy, it turns out prenatal vitamins might not be as crucial as traditionally believed. A new study released by the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DBA) shows that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends only 400 micrograms of folic acid each day from inception to the end of the first trimester and 10 micrograms of Vitamin D during pregnancy. While prenatal vitamins increase the intake of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, authors of the study say pregnant women are better off getting important vitamins and minerals from a well-balanced diet. According to Dr. Maja Middleton, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, IL, folic acid is extremely important during pregnancy because it fills the gaps missing from an everyday diet. However, because of the risks from vitamin deficiency such as preeclampsia, restricted fetal growth, low birth weight, neural tube defects and skeletal deformity, Dr. Middleton, along with most other OB/GYN's, plan to continue recommending prenatal vitamins to patients. "Medicine is always changing and evolving and if future studies support the findings in this new study, then we might change recommendations in the future," she says. "But currently, we will continue to recommend use of prenatal vitamins with folic acid and DHA, starting prior to conception."
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