Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin A
. . . should you be worrying about getting too much, or too little?
The following is an excerpt from The Willner Window radio program, which can be heard every Sunday on WOR (710 AM) from 2 to 4 pm, or over the internet at www.wor710.com.
Arnie: Good afternoon everyone, this is .... Welcome to The Willner Window. For those of you who might be first-time listeners, the focus of this show is nutritional supplements–vitamins, herbs, homeopathic remedies–and their proper usage. With me this afternoon is . . Before we start taking your calls, I want to call your attention to a recent study that was published in the Journal of Nutrition.
According to the study, iron and magnesium deficiencies can be linked to birth defects. I think this is important because we have been saying for many years now that both iron and magnesium are nutrients that often get overlooked when it comes to supplementation.
Sam: First, let’s get back to the study. Folic acid is well known for its ability to prevent birth defects such as spina bifida; however, it appears from this study that other nutrients may also play a critical role in this area.
Dutch researchers examined maternal nutritional intake in 106 women who gave birth to infants with spina bifida. They compared that to data on 181 controls.
Mothers with affected offspring–those with birth defects—had significantly lower intakes of plant proteins, iron, magnesium and niacin. The researchers concluded low preconceptional intake of these nutrients was associated with a 2- to 5-fold increased risk of having a child with spina bifida.
Arnie: Now, this highlights a couple of things we have talked about before.
First, we have complained that some women are overly frightened by their doctors when pregnant, afraid to take optimal nutritional supplements because of misguided advice. They are cautioned against too much vitamin A, for example, and mistakenly think that beta-carotene is a problem. Or they think that they should avoid vitamin A altogether.
Dr. Podell: As we have pointed out before, too little vitamin A can possibly lead to birth defects just as too much vitamin A can possibly lead to birth defects. And carotenoids are not the same, from this standpoint, as vitamin A.
We should be careful to avoid focusing our attention on one particular nutrient, just because it happened to be the subject of the most recent study, or news story, and remember that all of the vitamins, minerals and essential oils work together in promoting optimal health and preventing deficiencies.
During pregnancy, and at all other times as well, a good balanced multivitamin and multimineral supplement is essential.