Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dietary supplements to avoid during pregnancy

January 11, 2013 by  
Filed under After

Prenatal vitamins are usually recommended, since they are an important source of folic acid and other essential nutrients required for the baby to develop properly.  With the growing popularity of herbal medicine, many pregnant women will decide to take herbal supplements during pregnancy. After all, pregnant women seek what is best for their unborn baby!  Sometimes the woman already took some of these supplements before getting pregnant and doesn’t consider the possible danger of keeping doing so.   Other women will turn to herbal supplements to relieve some of the discomfort that comes with pregnancy.   Be careful however, the fact that these products are known as natural medicine or herbal medicine doesn’t mean that they are necessarily safe.  Being pregnant implies extreme caution when it comes to choosing dietary supplements or medications. A vitamin for pregnant women, even if it is designated as such, should not be taken without checking with a doctor first.

Here are some products to avoid during pregnancy because they can potentially harm the baby’s health:

• The quinine;  it is found in many beverages such as tonic water providing the little bitter taste that make these drinks so popular. Some experts have found that pregnant women who drink more than 1 liter of tonic water a day can give birth to a baby who may suffer from weaning symptoms. These symptoms would include tremors that could last up to two months after birth.  The BRF (German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment), recommends that pregnant women should avoid drinks containing quinine.

• Ginseng: one of the active components of ginseng, ginsenoside Rb1, have been singled out by researchers from the Chinese University of Prince Of Wales Hong Kong. The researchers measured the effect of this component on fetal development in rats and found that it affected the embryonic development of the fetus. Whenever the dose was increased, the level of embryonic abnormalities also rose. No study has been conducted on human embryos, but it is believed that ginsenoside Rb1 Ginseng could have the same effect on humans. Ginseng contains more than 20 ginsénocides, and studies have shown that each had specific properties. The combined effects of these components may have a different effect than one of them ingested individually. Ginseng is a plant widely used in herbal medicine because it has many attractive properties for health, yet pregnant women will be wise to avoid it.  These studies should not stigmatize Ginseng as dangerous though, because it has many qualities. But during pregnancy, it is best to avoid it.

• Ginko Biloba: this is another supplement that it’s best to avoid during pregnancy. Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit found one of the constituents of Ginkgo Biloba within the placenta of women who took supplements of Ginko during pregnancy. This particular ingredient is an alkaloid called colchicine. In medicine, this element is used for its anti-inflammatory properties but it can be fatal in high doses. Some research show that colchicine could harm a growing fetus. The potential problem with Ginko Biloba is that colchicine can build up in the uterus, like caffeine when taken in excess of the recommended doses. There are apparently no studies linking Ginko Biloba to pregnancy complications; only the accumulation of Colchicine was noted. Nevertheless, caution is in order and this supplement should be avoided during pregnancy.

As mentioned above, there are vitamins for pregnant women. They are specially designed to provide the future mom with everything she needs to favor the proper development of the fetus.  A growing unborn takes a lot from the female body. Although profitable, taking vitamins for pregnant women is not enough. A good diet must accompany the vitamin supplements for pregnant women. It should be noted that taking vitamins after delivery, while maintaining a good diet, helps to get fit and lose the kilos accumulated during pregnancy.

Pregnant women should be very careful about the supplements she decides to take during pregnancy.  In fact, it is recommended to ingest the least possible amount of drugs during pregnancy and the physician should always be consulted before taking anything; first and foremost for the baby’s health.  It is small and fragile and sensitive to components that are harmless to you.  So when it comes to choose prenatal vitamins; don’t settle for OTC products and rely on a professional instead!

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