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.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Plasma Nutrition technology found to significantly boost bioavailability of whey protein

21 Jun 2018 --- A University of South Florida study has found that Plasma Nutrition’s Ingredient Optimized technology can make whey protein more bioavailable than high DH hydrolyzed whey protein. The research was conducted on a double-blinded randomized cohort in a crossover design and compared the effects of 25g of non-hydrolyzed ioProtein whey protein isolate (WPI) to 25g of a high-DH hydrolyzed whey protein. The results show that ioWhey Protein is more bioavailable than hydrolyzed whey protein, demonstrating a 58 percent increase in leucine absorption and 60 percent increase in BCAA absorption.

Nutrition & Health News

Zero proof that probiotics can ease your anxiety, research reveals

21 Jun 2018 --- Those hoping to alleviate their anxiety with the use of probiotics should probably put down that yogurt spoon or supplement bottle and call a professional instead. This is according to researchers from the University of Kansas who reviewed available research, finding evidence that probiotics can reduce anxiety in rodents, but not in humans. The researchers reviewed data from 22 preclinical studies involving 743 animals and 14 clinical studies of 1,527 individuals, and found that probiotics did “not significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety in humans and did not differentially affect clinical and healthy human samples.”

Nutrition & Health News

New technology opens up space for creatine in liquid delivery forms: Prinova

20 Jun 2018 --- Microencapsulation technology, developed by AnaBio and distributed by Prinova, offers new potential for Creatine to be used in liquid applications. Typically, the sports nutrition ingredient is highly unstable in water which reduces its effectiveness in ready-to-drink products.

Nutrition & Health News

Low maternal selenium may have consequences for mother's heart health in later life: Cypress Systems

18 Jun 2018 --- By increasing their risk of preeclampsia, mothers with low selenium levels may also be at increased risk for heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure later in life, a Cypress Systems executive summary suggests. The summary calls for higher levels of supplementation of high selenium yeast to combat heart health threats.

Nutrition & Health News

DSM’s Nutrition Improvement focus: Fresh thinking on global nutrition and food fortification

15 Jun 2018 --- “We work with our customers and the larger malnutrition-fighting community to treat and prevent malnutrition,” Anthony Hehir, Director of DSM’s Nutrition Improvement Business Segment, tells NutritionInsight. Using its solid science and technical heritage, DSM is striving to fight global malnutrition through its “business with a purpose” approach. NutritionInsight spoke to Hehir, gaining an insight into what drives the company’s staple food fortification technologies, research and future nutrition endeavors. 

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