Multivitamins and supplements have reputations as health boosters especially for individuals who are vulnerable to illnesses like pregnant women and old people. A new research, however, said expecting mothers should still be careful when it comes to taking multivitamins and supplements.
Vitamins Can Come From Other Sources Too
A study conducted by a group of researchers from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia said that there are plenty of misconceptions about multivitamins and supplements. Many women don't know about these risks, and so they end up spending money on supposedly healthy products that won't benefit them at all, News Medical reported.
In fact, the vitamins that our body need is already present in the food we should be eating. If you are the type of person who consumes healthy foods often, chances are you don't need multivitamins and supplements anymore, according to Business Insider.
Basically, eating healthy foods is better for your body than relying on multivitamins and supplements alone. For instance, green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, and E; avocados and bananas are laden with potassium; citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, and fish and nuts contain omega-3s.
Benefits And Dangers
Studies conducted in recent years found that women who took multivitamins and supplements have shortened lives, Business Insider further reported. Other studies found that vitamin E supplements increase men's prostate cancer risk, while others raise the likelihood of cancer, kidney stones, and heart disease.
Folic acid, however, is an important B vitamin essential for pregnant women and those who want to get pregnant. Folic acid helps our bodies create new cells, and is known for lowering pregnant women's neural-tube problems and preventing defects in the baby's brain, spinal cord, and spine, according to a separate report from Business Insider.
The National Institutes of Health advised pregnant women to take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. This is because their bodies, as well as the growing baby in their wombs, need this important nutrient more.
It's also vital for pregnant women to take folic acid in its natural form, or folate. It can be found in brown rice and green leafy vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, okra, avocado, beans, peas, and lentils.
Aside from folic acid, experts advise pregnant women to take micrograms of vitamin D each day, according to the National Health Service. Vitamin D regulates the body's calcium and phosphate, which are nutrients that keep the body's bones and teeth health. Vitamin D can be found in salmon, sardines, mackerel, and eggs.
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