Are Prenatal Vitamins Safe If You’re Not Pregnant?
The popular saying you eat for two about pregnancy. And while you may not actually need many more calories, your dietary demands are growing.
They often take a prenatal vitamin to guarantee that waiting moms receive enough vitamins and minerals. The risk of prenatal vitamins for complications such as neural tube defects and anemia is reduced.
With so many benefits, you can easily wonder whether you should take them, even if you don’t expect or try to become pregnant. But most of your nutrients should come from your food — not a vitamin — if you don’t think of bringing a little one into the world.
Here is an overview of the hazards and advantages of prenatal vitamins.
What are vitamins that are prenatal?
Your local pharmacy’s vitamin aisle includes a vast range of vitamins for various sexes and ages. Prenatal vitamins are specifically targeted at females who are pregnant or pregnant.
The idea of prenatal vitamins is that some of the dietary and vitamin requirements of women rise with pregnancy. A child requires certain nutrients in particular to grow. Expected moms don’t always bring in their daily diets sufficient nutrients. Prenatal vitamins are intended to bridge the dietary divide.
It should be noted that prenatal vitamins are a healthy diet supplement for expectant mothers. They’re not a substitute for a healthy diet.
How do prenatal vitamins differ from conventional multivitamins?
There are many distinct kinds of prenatal vitamins available on the market. Although all prenatal vitamins have no particular formula, it is probable that prenatal vitamins contain at least the main nutrients:
Calcium – Pregnant and adult females need 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily, the Mayo Clinic reports. Typically, prenatal vitamins contain 200 to 300 mg of calcium. This adds to the calcium needs of a woman but does not take into consideration all of her everyday calcium needs. For all females, calcium is essential because it retains its bones.
Folic Acid – Sufficient follic acid is associated with the reduction of neural tube abnormalities such as spina bifida. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends to take 600 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid from all sources each day to the pregnant women (and to the pregnant). Since this amount of follic acid from food alone can be hard to obtain, a supplement is suggested.
Follica foods (also known as folate) include beans, green leafy vegetables, asparagus and broccoli. Many fortified foods such as cereal, bread and pasta also have folate.
Iron – This mineral is needed to build fresh red blood cells in the body. Because during a pregnancy a female improves her blood volume, iron is an absolute must. Pregnant women need 27 mg of iron a day, according to Mayo Clinic. This is 8 mg more than non-pregnant females.
Other vitamins and minerals are often contained in prenatal vitamins. These might include:
- omega-3 fatty acids.
- vitamin E.
- vitamin A.
- vitamin C
When should I bring vitamins prenatal?
Talk to your doctor always before you start taking prenatal vitamins. If you try to conceive or are pregnant, your doctor will probably advise you to bring them.
While prenatal vitamins can be purchased over the counter, physicians can also prescribe them. The risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies in females carrying multiple, pregnant teens and pregnant females who have a history of substance abuse is greater. For these females, prenatal vitamins are especially essential.
Doctors often suggest that lactating females also continue to take prenatal vitamins after delivery. Prenatal vitamins can also serve as an addition to lactating females who have to produce breast milk with a lot of nutrients.
Even if you don’t try to get pregnant, you might still want to take a folic acid supplement. This is because half of the pregnancies are not scheduled in the United States. As the brain and the spinal cord form at the early phases of pregnancy, follic acid is essential. Women of infancy may also consume more folate-rich foods as an option to a supplement.
If I don’t want to get pregnant, can I take prenatal vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins are particular to the requirements of females who are pregnant and breast-feeding. They are designed to address the prevalent dietary shortcomings that a pregnant female might have. But they’re not meant for women (or men) who don’t expect or lactate.
If you take too much follic acid every day, it can mask a deficiency of vitamin B-12. Excess iron may also be a issue. Too much iron is connected with issues of health such as constipation, nausea and diarrhea.
Excess quantities of nutrients such as vitamin A from synthetic vitamins could be poisonous for the liver of a person.
Again, it is better if you use your diet to get these nutrients than a pill. Most females should skip prenatal vitamins for these reasons unless their physicians tell them otherwise.
Prenatal vitamin misunderstandings
Many females argue that prenatal vitamins influence the development of hair and nails. Some people say that taking prenatal vitamins thickens or speeds up the hair, and nails could also develop more or more strongly.
But these claims have not been demonstrated according to the Mayo Clinic. The use of prenatal vitamins is unlikely to produce the required outcomes for better hair or nails. They might also have negative side effects.
The Bonus Tip
If you plan on taking prenatal vitamins and are not pregnant, breastfeeding or attempting to conceive, you should first assess your diet. Many people eating a balanced diet don’t have to take a multivitamin. A balanced diet consists of lean proteins, fat milk, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables.
But bear in mind that there are always exceptions why a vitamin or mineral supplement may be necessary. Your physician might have discovered certain nutritional shortcomings in your diet. In this situation, a supplement intended to treat your particular deficiency is generally better.
Knowing the possibly negative symptoms can assist you to determine whether surplus vitamins or minerals have any side effects.