Health & Spirit

Pregnant women miss the mark on prenatal supplements

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In 2014, when four-time 800-meter national champion Alysia Montano was 34 weeks pregnant she ran that distance in 2 minutes 32.13 seconds -- 35 seconds slower than her personal best. And this year, she and other female athletes went public with just how tough it was to balance their career and wanting to be a mom, when their sponsor, Nike, suspended their pay for taking a pregnancy leave. (Nike has since revised its policies.)

Now, a new study shows that women can find it equally challenging to get the right balance of needed nutrients while pregnant. That increases their risk of premature birth and birth defects/developmental problems, and even cancer, in their offspring.

Recent research found that around 70% of U.S. pregnant women age 20 to 40 don't get the estimated average requirement of vitamins and minerals. Especially lacking (even in women who take a supplement): vitamins D, C, A, B6, K and E, and minerals choline, iron, folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc. What's over-the-top? Many pregnant women get too much sodium; 40% exceed the upper limit for iron; 33% are over on folic acid.

The solution? Have your doc check your nutrient levels and consider consulting a nutritionist. Eat seven to nine servings of veggies, fruit and 100% whole grains daily; stick with lean meat based proteins (no red meats). Take a prenatal multivitamin and omega-3 DHA as soon as you're thinking about getting pregnant. Check nutrition labels for added folic acid so you don't exceed your upper limit.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Mike Smith The Barn Cathy Ed Gamble Rubes Cul de Sac