Prenatal vitamins and weight gain

Prenatal vitamins and weight gain
December 23 19:32 2016

Pregnancy comes with many different changes and life adjustments among them gain of weight, diet changes and taking of supplements like the prenatal vitamins. It is the prenatal vitamins that seem to be a point of interest to both pregnant women and non-pregnant women. There seems to be a popular beliefs or questions rather, that prenatal vitamins cause weight gain during pregnancy. Some people say that it is actually the prenatal vitamins that are responsible for the weight gain and not the pregnancy itself.

To give an answer to those wondering if this is a myth or not, prenatal vitamins are just the same as the ordinary multivitamins that people take in daily. As such they do not cause any significant changes in regards to body weight during and outside pregnancy. To understand better how prenatal vitamins work and why people take them we need to discuss the components of prenatal vitamins.


What are Prenatal Vitamins?

Prenatal vitamins are supplements recommended to pregnant women. These supplements can either be prescribed or sold over the counter. They are quiet similar to the ordinary vitamins that we take daily, meaning even non-pregnant women can also take them. The only difference is that the prenatal vitamins provide the crucial and essential vitamins and minerals that are needed in the healthy development of pregnancy. As such, prenatal vitamins are comprised higher iron and folic acid levels than the ordinary supplements. This is to help with the production of extra red blood cells that are needed to maintain a successful pregnancy.

How do vitamins interact with nutrition?

Now that we have covered the components of prenatal vitamins, it is also important that we discuss how vitamins interact with nutrition and their role in the body. The role of vitamins in the body is to promote chemical reactions within the different systems. Some vitamins interact with cell components and functions to protect and prevent the cell from being destructed by toxic substances. For example, folic acid and iron are essential minerals needed for the production of hemoglobin, a substance found in red blood cells. Vitamin D is needed by the body to produce steroids and other immunity functions.

None of the existing vitamins contain any calories or interact with systems of the body that deal with calories and fats. As such there is no possible biological way that vitamins, whether prenatal or regular, can make you gain weight.


An insight to the differences between prenatal vitamins and regular vitamins

It is understandable that some people might link gaining weight to prenatal vitamins as the majority of people who take them are pregnant women who as you know gain weight considerably. As mentioned above, the major difference between prenatal vitamins and the regular vitamins lies specifically in the quantity of the components found in the two types of vitamins.


Iron and Folic Acid

Prenatal vitamins contain more iron and folic acid than the regular vitamins. The folic acid is needed by the developing baby in order to help with the production and growth of the neural tube. The pregnant mother needs both minerals to produce extra red blood cells that are needed to carry the extra oxygen to the body and the baby. None of these minerals carry energy or interact with the body system in any way that could result in weight gain.


So in conclusion, prenatal vitamins are not responsible for the gain in weight. If you are taking prenatal vitamins and you are not pregnant but you are gaining weight then you should probably talk to your doctor. It is worth knowing that prenatal vitamins can cause constipation, a condition that can make your abdomen feel enlarged and your cloths a bit tighter.



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