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Clinical Updates (9)

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Choline Missing From Prenatals

The American Medical Association recently voted to recommend that all prenatal vitamins include appropriate amounts of choline. Getting adequate choline may reduce the risk of birth defects in children, but most women don't get enough and prenatal vitamins typically provide little to none. Find out how to get adequate choline from supplements and/or foods in the Choline Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks. Also see the "Prenatal Vitamin" section of the Multivitamin Supplements Review.

Folic Acid & Risk of Autism

Supplementing with adequate (and not excessive) folic acid around the time of conception is associated with a lower risk of autism in offspring, and a recent study suggests this may be particularly important for women who take antiepileptic medication. For details, see the "Folate" section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review >> (Also see information about getting folic acid from prenatal vitamins in the "Prenatal" section of the Multivitamin Review.)

Vitamins Needed by Pregnant Women

A recent analysis of nutrient intakes by pregnant women across the U.S. revealed the vitamins and minerals they were getting too much or too little of. Get the details in the Prenatal section of the Multivitamins Review, which includes our tests of prenatal supplements.

High Blood Pressure Risk With Too Much Folic Acid During Pregnancy

While it is important to take folate during pregnancy, a new study suggests that too much folic acid from supplements increases the risk of high blood pressure in mothers. See the details in the Folic Acid section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review.

Also see our Top Pick among prenatal vitamins, which provides adequate (but not too much) folic acid, in our Multivitamin and Multiminerals Supplements Review.

Take Choline When Pregnant

It was recommended last year that women take a choline supplement when pregnant. Adding momentum to this recommendation is a recent study showing that giving pregnant women a larger amount of choline than normally considered adequate resulted in improved information processing speeds in their infants. Currently, choline is not found in most prenatal vitamins. For more information, see the During Pregnancy and Lactation section of the Choline Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks among products.)

Not Enough Iodine in Prenatal Supplements

There is growing concern about inadequate iodine intake among pregnant and nursing mothers. Find out how much should be taken as a supplement -- and which vitamins do or don't have it -- in the update to the Multivitamin and Multimineral Supplements Review >> 

How Important Is Prenatal Vitamin D?

Does high-dose vitamin D during pregnancy improve motor skills and cognition in offspring? Learn what a recent study showed in the What It Does section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for vitamin D.

DHA & Preterm Birth

Can the risk of preterm birth be reduced when pregnant women supplement with an the omega-3 fatty acid? See what a new study found in the What It Does section of our Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among fish oil supplements, including prenatal products.

Lower Cognitive Function in Kids Linked to High Prenatal Folic Acid

Children of mothers who took high amounts of folic acid around the time of pregnancy had lower cognitive and verbal scores when tested at 4 to 5 years of age, according to a new study. Similarly, as we reported last year, pregnant women with higher levels of folate (from folic acid) had offspring with higher rates of autism. While it is important that pregnant women get a moderate amount of folic acid to prevent spinal cord defects, higher amounts should be avoided. See the Folate section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review for details.