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Vitamin B6 in Pregnancy:

This is also known as pyridoxine. There has been a lot of interest on this Vitamin and the role it might play in preventing a number of pregnancy complications including pre-term labour and pre-eclampsia. So far, there is no conclusive evidence that it is beneficial in any of the areas studied. There is therefore no evidence currently to recommend Vitamin B6 supplementation during pregnancy.

Zinc in Pregnancy:

Zinc is one of those mineral supplements that continue to be controversial. The traditional advice was that taking Zinc supplements could help reduce the risk of pre-term delivery, a low birth weight baby or even prolonged pregnancy. There is certainly no evidence as far as influence on birth weight is concerned and benefit on the other two areas is modest at best.

What is more, there are studies that suggest zinc supplementation during pregnancy could interfere with the child’s mental development.

Deficiency of zinc is very uncommon where a balanced diet is consumed. This makes the need for zinc supplements in developed societies highly questionable. In developing societies where chronic food shortages may exist, zinc supplementation may be considered as part of general nutritional supplementation for expectant mothers.

Calcium supplements in Pregnancy:

The importance of having adequate calcium in the diet during pregnancy cannot be over-emphasized. Calcium is the mineral that is used to build bones. It is also essential in the development and function of other body parts and organs including teeth, nerves and the heart.

Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt are rich in calcium. You can also get plenty of dietary calcium from fish and many fortified varieties of bread, cereal and other food products.

When there is deficiency of calcium during pregnancy, it is actively mobilised from the mother’s bones so as to satisfy the needs of the fetus. This is of-course harmful to the mother’s health as the bones are weakened.

Supplements in the region of 1000mg are advocated during pregnancy to ensure adequate supply for both mother and baby.


There is also fairly strong evidence that calcium supplementation may actually reduce the complications of pre-eclampsia which is an additional benefit.



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Last update: August 11, 2012

Dairy products are a rich and reliable source of calcium