Let’s perhaps back up a bit and talk about pregnancy and nutritional needs. Remember you’re building a new body from scratch and it takes a substantial lift to get all the building blocks assembled. There are 6 key ingredients that are commonly lacking from our diets when you consider a pregnancy: vitamins A and D, folate, calcium, iron and omega-3 fatty acids.
To determine the nutritional intake of pregnant women in the US and evaluate the underlying unmet needs the researchers evaluated population-based survey data. The data from the NIH Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) program. which is an organization that has research programs supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is focused on understanding the effects of a broad range of early environmental influences on child health and development, including nutrition. This group is pulling data from 44 states, 180+ institutions, and 1200 researchers. A wide swatch of the US with a large number of participants.
In the supplement industry, there are companies that try to put everything but the kitchen sink in a pill or capsule to make the label look impressive. The problem with this approach is the limits on the size of the actual pill/capsule and the clear understanding that a bit of a mineral or vitamin is probably not adequate. We call this doing the fairy dust number on the consumer.
If you were to look at calcium it’s a relatively bulky product that takes up a lot of space. On the opposite side of the coin, you’re going to want a soft gel for the omega 3 with different considerations on the packaging. And let’s not even start down the road of the different forms of folate. Yes, it matters…. and we haven’t even started to consider that this study doesn’t address the issue of absorption. If you take a pill or capsule it matters when and with what other foods are present and more to determine if you’re getting the full benefits.
The other overwhelming manufacturing consideration is the size and format of your supplement. You can only fit so much in a swallowable pill or capsule. the alternative is to have someone take an increased number, up to 6 per day as an example. With the nutrient load that’s necessary for most pregnancies, it’s just not possible to use a single pill, period !
Where most supplements are lacking:
- Over-the-counter and supermarket brands are not adequate.
- A big-name brand, even on television, or one having an advertising budget including free samples at your healthcare provider, is no substitute for quality.
- It will take more than one pill to provide an adequate level of nutrients needed for your pregnancy.
- Quality manufacturers are available, but you need to know the differences or talk to someone with this knowledge
- Have you had real nutritional evaluation or testing to know where you need to fortify your diet ?
- Eating for two takes some planning, have you seen a qualified healthcare practitioner who’s been trained in optimal nutrition during pregnany ?
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