Extra calcium during pregnancy has no benefits, except to prevent hypertension
Most physicians instruct pregnant women to increase their calcium intake, but a new evidence review of potential benefits of calcium supplementation for mom and baby found none, except for the prevention of pregnancy-related hypertension.
Experts agree that during pregnancy, a mothers diet and nutritional status contribute significantly to the health and wellbeing of her offspring. Yet, the effects of supplementation with calcium, or the amounts to supplement, have remained unclear.
A review led by researcher Pranom Buppasiri, MD, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Khon Kaen University in Thailand, shows that calcium supplementation has no effect on preventing preterm birth or low infant birth weight and no effect on bone density in pregnant women. Bupparsiri notes, however, that previous reviews have shown that calcium supplementation does help in the prevention of preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia is a dangerous condition marked by hypertension and protein in the urine that can develop into serious complications for the mother and baby. The definitive treatment for pre-eclampsia is delivery of the baby, often resulting in preterm and/or low birth weight babies.
More than 16,000 women participated in the 21 studies included in the review. The review did find a small difference in average infant birth weight, but the authors were unable to ascertain the clinical significance in the diverse population examined.
Buppasiri and colleagues review appears in the latest issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.
Stephen Contag, MD, a perinatalogist at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore's Institute of Maternal Fetal Medicine called the review confusing and said, There is an inherent confounding effect between the two interventions in that whenever maternal hypertensive disease is prevented, preterm labor is less likely to occur. In other words, calcium supplementation might prevent preterm labor indirectly by preventing high blood pressure. He added that, the definitive treatment for pregnancy related hypertensive disease is delivery, which often occurs preterm depending on the severity and timing of onset.
Contag stated that according to current Institute of Medicine recommendations, calcium supplementation is recommended in addition to dietary calcium intake, in order to achieve recommended daily allowance of 1,000 mg/day.
However, John McDougall, MD, an internist, nutrition expert and medical director of the McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, California, cited a July 2010 study in the British Medical Journal to support the fact that he does not prescribe calcium supplements, because they increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Certainly, taking isolated concentrated minerals, such as calcium, creates physiological imbalances in the body, McDougall said in a commentary regarding the July study. Immediately after consuming calcium supplements, the calcium in the blood increases. Thereafter, the body must adjust to this large burden of minerals. One of the adverse effects appears to be artery damage.
Buppasiri said there were still not enough studies to draw a meaningful conclusion about supplementation. We need more high quality studies to address this review question, especially in low calcium intake populations, he said.
More information: Buppasiri P, et al. Calcium Supplementation (other than for preventing or treating hypertension) for improving pregnancy and infant outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2011, Issue 10.
Provided by Health Behavior News Service
- Calcium during pregnancy reduces harmful blood lead levels Sep 09, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Many older Americans not getting sufficient calcium May 25, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Study adds weight to link between calcium supplements and heart problems Apr 20, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Pregnant women at risk of Vitamin D deficiency Apr 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Drug speeds up slow labor but doesn’t prevent C-sections Jul 15, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Talking on a hands-free device while behind the wheel can lead to a sharp increase in errors that could imperil other drivers on the road, according to new research from the University of Alberta.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 7 hours ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Two mutations central to the development of infantile myofibromatosis (IM)—a disorder characterized by multiple tumors involving the skin, bone, and soft tissue—may provide new therapeutic targets, according to researchers ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
4 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
23 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (9) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Patients with diabetes who are depressed are much more likely to develop episodes of dangerously low blood sugars, or hypoglycemia, than are those who are not depressed, a new study has ...
9 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |