TUESDAY, June 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Even with dietary supplements, a substantial number of pregnant women in the United States are not meeting recommendations for vitamins D, C, A, B6, K, and E as well as folate, choline, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and zinc, according to a study published online June 21 in JAMA Network Open.

Regan L. Bailey, Ph.D., R.D., from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and colleagues analyzed usual dietary intakes of 1,003 pregnant U.S. women (aged 20 to 40 years) participating in the 2001 to 2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The researchers found that most pregnant women used a dietary supplement (mean, 69.8 percent). However, more than 10 percent of pregnant women had a total usual intake less than the estimated average requirement for magnesium (mean, 47.5 percent), vitamin D (mean, 46.4 percent), vitamin E (mean, 43.3 percent), iron (mean, 36.2 percent), vitamin A (mean, 15.5 percent), folate (mean, 16.4 percent), calcium (mean, 12.9 percent), vitamin C (mean, 11.5 percent), vitamin B6 (mean, 11.5 percent), and zinc (mean, 10.9 percent). For potassium (mean, 41.7 percent), choline (mean, 7.9 percent), and vitamin K (mean, 47.9 percent), some pregnant women exceeded the adequate intake. Most women exceeded the tolerable upper intake level for sodium (mean, 95.0 percent), while some exceeded it for folic acid (mean, 33.4 percent), iron (mean, 27.9 percent), calcium (mean, 3.0 percent), and zinc (mean, 7.1 percent). Supplement use lowered the prevalence of an at-risk intake from foods alone for iron (mean, 80.3 percent), while supplement use increased the risk for excessive iron and folic acid intakes.

“Improved dietary guidance to help pregnant women meet but not exceed dietary recommendations is warranted,” the authors write.

Several researchers disclosed financial ties to Nestle Nutrition, which funded the study.

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