Prenatal supplements study suggests industry should review formulations

d76cc094-6008-4312-b515-13e7f2655dc5articleimage.jpg

31 Aug 2017 --- Prescription and nonprescription prenatal supplements significantly differ in terms of declared composition and nutrient strength, but they have labels that are similarly unclear in the information given about aspects of use such as dosing, according to a study in the September 2017 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“The industry should review their product formulations, especially the amounts of nutrients provided, in light of changes to Daily Values (DVs) in the new food and dietary supplement labeling regulations that were published last year,” Scientific Consultant Leila G Saldanha, Ph.D., tells NutritionInsight, suggesting possible industry action based on the study’s findings.

The results of the study come at a time when prenatal supplements are often recommended to pregnant women to help them meet their nutrient needs. Many products are available, which means it is difficult to choose a suitable supplement because little is known about their labeling and contents to evaluate their appropriateness, according to the study.

The study, therefore, aimed to determine differences between prescription and nonprescription prenatal supplements available in the US regarding declared nutrient and non-nutrient ingredients and the presence of dosing and safety-related information.

Significant differences
Using two publicly available databases with information about prenatal supplement products, information from prescription and nonprescription product labels were extracted and evaluated. For the 82 prescription and 132 nonprescription products, declared label amounts of seven vitamins and minerals, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the presence of other nonnutrient components, and the presence of key safety and informational elements as identified in two Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG)’s 2003 reports were compiled and compared.

Compared with nonprescription products, prescription products contained significantly fewer vitamins and minerals. Declared amounts of folic acid were higher in prescription products, whereas vitamin A, vitamin D, iodine and calcium were higher in the nonprescription products. Amounts of iron, zinc and DHA were similar.

Virtually all products contained levels of one or more nutrients that exceeded the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for pregnant and lactating women. Product type also influenced ingredients added. Fewer prescription products contained botanical ingredients (6 percent prescription versus 33 percent nonprescription) and probiotics (2 percent prescription versus 8 percent nonprescription). Only prescription products contained the stool softener docusate sodium.

More discussion and research needed
The conclusion section of the paper recommends that pregnant women discuss their choice of prenatal product with their health care provider. “Given the wide variety of types and amounts of nutrients in prescription and nonprescription prenatal products marketed in the United States, including a statement to that effect on the label, would help ensure that the product selected is appropriate to meeting a woman’s nutrient needs,” adds Saldanha.

Further research could also be done into the excessive amounts of some nutrients that some supplements seem to contain.

“Some prenatal supplements provide more than the recommended amounts of one or more nutrients,” offers Saldanha. “With the possible exception of iron and folic acid, we do not know the potential effects of high intakes of these nutrients on the health of the mother and fetus in the short and long term.”

Prenatal health has been in the news recently with the news that researchers have uncovered why prenatal alcohol exposure increases the likelihood of addiction. Recently, DuPont and Happy Family have also partnered on a prenatal probiotic.

Related Articles

Business News

Frutarom finalizes AB-Fortis micro-encapsulation technology acquisition

13 Dec 2017 --- Frutarom has acquired AB-Fortis activities, including a patent-protected micro-encapsulation technology that enables delivery of iron with increased biological absorption. Frutarom announced the signing of an agreement with AB-Biotics S.A. of Spain for the acquisition of the activity of AB-Fortis in November.

Business News

Kappa Bioscience moves to expand vitamin K2 presence in US with new appointments

13 Dec 2017 --- Kappa Bioscience AS, maker of K2Vital vitamin K2 MK-7, has appointed Garnet Pigden and New Jersey-based D2C to head-up the continued development of Kappa’s position in the US market. The appointment spans the establishment of strategy, infrastructure, partnerships and key accounts in support of an overall objective of solidifying vitamin K2 in mainstream US markets and channels, according to Kappa.

Business News

Enzymotec and Frutarom merger gets shareholder green light

12 Dec 2017 --- The shareholders of Israeli specialty chemicals company Enzymotec Ltd. have approved by large majority the merger transaction between Frutarom and Enzymotec. The transaction was approved at Enzymotec’s General Meeting by 99.9 percent majority of shareholders present at the meeting and entitled to vote, Frutarom Industries Ltd. reports.

Nutrition & Health News

Energetic growth: Energy boosters add pep to the nutritional space’s step

11 Dec 2017 --- Busy schedules can cause consumers to go through an “energy crisis” – prompting their desire to reach for products that might offer some support to their energy levels. Energy boosters are certainly showing signs of growth in all regions tracked by Innova Market Insights. A CAGR in supplement launches of +208.8 percent in South America from 2012 to 2016 is particularly noteworthy, while Europe is top of the pile worldwide with 28.8 percent of its supplement launches having an energy claim in 2016 and its CAGR amounting to a strong +86.7 percent.

Business News

Lakeview Equity invests in nutritional solutions provider NutriScience Innovations

11 Dec 2017 --- Lakeview Equity Partners, LLC, a US$40 million Milwaukee, US-based private equity fund, has invested in NutriScience Innovations, LLC, based in Trumbull, Connecticut, US. NutriScience is a cGMP-certified global supplier of nutritional and functional ingredients to companies that manufacture nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, and dietary products.

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/prenatal-supplements-study-suggests-industry-should-review-formulations.html