Monday, September 19, 2005

Prenatal Vitamins and Stress

My sample size is 2, me and a friend, so this isn't statistically sound, but it's not a bad idea in general and it worked for us. Professional women in high stress jobs occasionally (weekly?) need to race to the bathroom. It could even be diagnosed as IBS. However, I notice that it doesn't happen if I take my prenatal vitamins. I think the mix of B vitamins must be just right to combat stress! (I don't feel stressed by my job, but it's not a low-stress job either. But if I miss my vitamins one day, and there's any work tension, bye-bye lunch.) Here's the mix I like ...

Vitamin A 4000 IU (as Vitamin A acetate and beta cerotene) or less

Vitamin C 120 mg (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin D 400 IU (cholecalciferol) or less

Vitamin E 22 mg (dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate, at least 10 mg)

Folic Acid 1 mg (up to 800mcg without a prescription)

Vitamin B1 1.84 mg (thiamine mononitrate, at least 1.5 mg)

Vitamin B2 3 mg (riboflavin, at least 1.6 mg)

Niacinamide 20 mg (vitamin B3)

Vitamin B6 10 mg (pyroxidine hydrochloride, at least 2.6 mg)

Vitamin B12 12 mcg (cyanocobakamin, at least 2.2 mcg)

Calcium 200 mg (calium sulfate) or more

Copper 2 mg (cupric oxide)

Iron 27 mg (ferrous fumarate) or less

Zinc 25 mg (zinc oxide, at least 15 mg)

For comparison, here's the USRDA recommendations for adult women, with values for pregnant or lactating women in parentheses.

Vitamin A 800 mcg RE where 1 RE=1 mcg retinol=6 mcg beta carotene

Vitamin C 60(70) mg

Vitamin D 5(10) mcg, 10mcg cholecalciferol=400 IU

Vitamin E 8(10) mg

Vitamin K 65 mcg

Folate 180(400) mcg

Vitamin B1 1.1(1.5) mg Thiamin

Vitamin B2 1.3(1.6) mg Riboflavin

Vitamin B3 15(17) mg Niacin

Vitamin B6 1.6(2.2) mg Pyridoxin

Vitamin B12 2.0(2.2) mcg

Calcium 800(1200) mg

Phosphorus 800(1200) mg

Magnesium 280(300) mg

Iron 15(30) mg

Zinc 12(15) mg

Iodine 150(175) mcg

Selenium 55(65) mcg

If you eat reasonably well, you probably get Vitamin A in your diet, and you don't want Vitamin A toxicity. Likewise, if you see sunshine without sunscreen, you probably don't need to worry about Vitamin D, so I don't mind having less of those in my multivitamin. Also, some of the trace minerals, like Selenium and Molybdenum, aren't good for in large quantities and do occur in "real" food. So I prefer not to have trace minerals in my multivitamin because I love green salads and Farmers Market produce.

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