Yesterday’s post explored pre-conception from both the woman’s and the man’s point of view (well, the way I saw it anyway). Today, I want to provide a brief rundown of recommended vitamins and supplements for women trying to get pregnant. These tips are from Before Your Pregnancy: A 90-Day Guide for Couple on How to Prepare for a Healthy Conception by Amy Ogle, M.S., R.D., and Lisa Mazzullo, M.D.
Most prenatal vitamins will contain these and other essentials for preconception periods. The following are recommended vitamins and supplements for healthy, well-nurished women. Always see your doctor first about the proper regiment for you.
Folic Acid (Vitamin B)
Folic Acid is a vitamin B supplement. It is known to reduce the risks of such fetal and birth defects as spina bifida, and anencephaly, which is incomplete brain development. Folic acid supplements should begin at least one month prior to conception to ensure effectiveness. Women are recommended to take 400 mcg (micrograms) daily for preconception.
Other Vitamin B Supplements
Vitamin B1 plays a role in converting carbohydrates into energy and is necessary for proper function of the nervous system. Women are recommended to take 1.1 mg daily during preconception.
Vitamin B2 assists the body in its use of energy from different food sources. Women are recommended to take 1.1 mg daily during preconception.
Vitamin B6 promotes amino acid and protein metabolism and a healthier nervous system, immune system, red blood cells and cardiovascular system. Women are recommended to take approx. 100% of the daily value for Vitamin B6 during preconception, while never exceeding 100 mg.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for normal red blood cell formation. It also needed to help maintain the nervous system and cardiovascular health. B12 is especially important for vegetarians. Women are recommended to take approx. 2.4 mcg daily during preconception.
Niacin (Vitamin B) assists the body in its use of energy from different food sources and is essential to maintaining a healthy nervous system, skin and digestive tract. Women are recommended to take 14 mcg daily during preconception.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B) is necessary for the metabolism of fats, protein, and carbohydrates. Women’s recommended daily dosage during preconception is 5 mg.
Biotin (Vitamin B) is also necessary for the metabolism of fats, protein and carbohydrates. 30 mcg is considered an adequate dosage of daily intake during preconception. A recommended dosage has not been established.
Vitamin A assists with the maintenance of healthy bones, skin, and gastrointestinal and urinary tracts. It also plays an essential role in maintaining vision. Women are recommended to take 2300 IU (international unites) or 700 mcg RAE (Retinal Activity Equivalents) daily during preconception.
Vitamin D strengthens bones and teeth by assisting the utility function of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Women are recommended to take 200 IU daily during preconception.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties. It works with Vitamin C to protect cell membranes from damage. It is not well-established that Vitamin E can reduce the risk of miscarriage or age-related decreases in fertility. Women are recommended to take 15 mg (milligrams) daily during preconception.
Vitamin K plays an important role in normal blood clotting. It also assists with placing calcium into the bones. Women are recommended to take 90 mcg daily during preconception.
Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Selenium, Other Minerals
Iron helps our immune system and assists the oxygen-carrying compounds hemoglobin in red blood cells. Women are recommended to take 18 mg daily for preconception.
Zinc promotes metabolic processes, growth, immune system function, tissue health and a healthy appetite. Women are recommended to take 8 mg daily during preconception.
Calcium maintains bone and teeth strength. It also helps to maintain muscle-contraction, blood pressure regulation, and immunity. The safe and adequate intake of calcium is 1000 mg daily during preconception. A recommended dosage has not been established.
Selenium is an antioxidant working in conjunction with Vitamin E for the protection of cells. Women are recommended to take 55 mcg daily during preconception.
Other minerals and their recommended daily doses for preconception include:
Phosphorus: 700 mg.
Magnesium: 310-320 mg
Iodine: 150 mcg
Copper: 900 mcg
Manganese: 1.8 mg
Fluoride: 3 mg
Chromium: 25 mcg
Sodium: minimum of 500 mg daily, no recommended dosage established.
Chloride: minimum of 750 mg daily, no recommended dosage established.
Potassium: minimum of 2000 mg daily, no recommended dosage established.
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