Pregnancy and Vitamin C Supplements
Should you take a Vitamin C supplement while pregnant?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is unfortunately not produced within our own bodies - we must obtain it from other sources. It can be derived from fruits and vegetables, including melons, bananas, strawberries, tropical fruits, citrus fruits, citrus juices, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, red peppers, and potatoes. As an antioxidant, it fights the effects of free radicals (environmental toxins that can wear us down), and improves our cholesterol, energy, and metabolism levels. If we do not have enough of this vitamin, scurvy can develop. Scurvy is a serious condition which can lead to bruising easily and then difficulty healing from those bruises and other injuries, weak muscles and bones, gum disease, and in extreme cases, death.
Several Supplements Are Available for Pregnant Women
So you're not too fond of the fruits, juices, and vegetables that provide Vitamin C. Although you will most likely be taking a prenatal multivitamin, discuss your diet and nutritious needs with a doctor - a vitamin C supplementation may still be needed. If that does become the answer, you have several options to choose from: ones that contain only vegetarian derivatives, ones that contain bioflavonoids (derived from the white part beneath citrus peels, and adding to counteracting any damage within the body), and forms or shapes including tablets, wafers, capsules, powders, liquids, and lollipops. The availability of specific types may vary according to source or location, but can be purchased at health food stores, pharmacies, vitamin departments, and online suppliers. Comparison shop for types/brands, prices, and bulk amounts.
Follow the Instructions to Insure Proper Adherence to RDA
Follow the label's instructions; the FDA's Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for pregnant women is approximately 80-85 mg. Vitamin C is water soluble, so daily excess unused amounts in your body will be released through urine. As with everything you ingest while pregnant, vitamin C supplementation crosses over through the placenta and right to baby, aiding in his or her immune system and bone and teeth development. It also helps your absorption of iron and preventing anemia (especially important because your body is now working for your in utero child or children), and may help lower the chances of premature birth, high blood pressure, and other pregnancy and labor related complications. As for side effects, your bladder is already extra sensitive, and so extra amounts of Vitamin C may cause irritation. You may also experience a laxative effect, difficulty in processing the B12 vitamin, and because it is an acid, wearing tooth enamel thin. Exceeding the RDA to a serious degree may also cause your baby to develop what is known as rebound scurvy after birth, if a similar dose of vitamin C is not then supplemented to the baby's diet. Therefore stick to the doctor's and supplement's recommendations for a healthy amount to take.
Possible Benefits for the Child Also Exist
Vitamin C supplements also may help enhance neurotransmitters responsible for cognitive and mental functions, and may aid in decreasing blood lead levels, and possibly decreasing the chances of developing allergies, colds, and breathing problems. It boosts your immune system, and adds to your baby's proper growth and health. As with other supplements such as polysaccharides, find one that best fits your needs and taste preferences, as well as your finances, and start adding Vitamin C supplements to your pregnancy diet today.