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Pregnant Women Should Take Multivitamin Supplements

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Monday, June 08, 2009

Defeat Diabetes ® News--Low birth weights are closely associated with many infant mortality's, as well potentially being associated with future incidence of diabetes and heart disease in adulthood. Currently, many doctors recommend pregnant women take iron-folic acid supplements to limit risk of low birth weights, but a recent meta-analysis study has found that taking multivitamins during pregnancy may be more effective to this aim.
The current analysis, which took into account data from previous past studies, is not definitive or specific, since all past studies had different procedures and different compositions of "multimicronutrient supplementation." Nonetheless, the current researchers believe that multivitamin supplementation could save many infants from mortality, as "low birth weight and related complications are considered the most common cause of global infant mortality under the age of 5 years, " says study author Dr. Prakash Shah.
More specifically, Dr. Shah and co-authors estimate that "With the possibility of reducing low birth weight rates by 17%, micronutrients supplementation to pregnant women, we believe, offers the highest possible return for the investment. These results are synthesized findings from 15 studies published worldwide." This speculated 17% reduction in low birth weights worldwide would save the lives of approximately 1.5 million babies annually, and would ultimately help limit adult incidence of conditions connected to low birth weight, such as diabetes.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Shah, Prakash. Barnhardt, Kim. Canadian Medical Association Journal news release. June 2009.

Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes ® News. Read more of his original content articles.

Copyright © 2009 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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