Many mothers-to-be purchase expensive vitamin tablets in a bid to give their little bundle of joy the best start in life.
But they are wasting their money as there is no evidence they improve the baby’s health, a new study has warned. It also found that high levels of vitamin A could even harm the child.
Pregnant women are bombarded with adverts for vitamin and mineral supplements, but they should ignore the marketing hype, instead focusing on improving their diet, the researchers said.
The conclusions were published in a review of the available evidence published in the BMJ’s Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.
Dr James Cave, the journal’s editor, said: ‘We found no evidence to recommend that all pregnant women should take prenatal multi-nutrient supplements beyond the nationally advised folic acid and vitamin D supplements, generic versions of which can be purchased relatively inexpensively.
‘The primary focus should be on promoting a healthy diet and improving the use of folic acid supplements, which have a poor uptake, particularly among those from lower income families.
He continued: ‘For most women who are planning to become pregnant or who are pregnant, complex multivitamin and mineral preparations promoted for use during pregnancy are unlikely to be needed and are an unnecessary expense.
The review of studies on vitamins found only folic acid (pictured) and vitamin D supplements were necessary for pregnant women