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Motherisk News: Motherisk researchers compare prenatal multivitamin supplements with separated and combined iron and calcium


October 25, 2004

Motherisk researchers compare prenatal multivitamin supplements with separated and combined iron and calcium

Motherisk researchers have completed a study that compared two prenatal multivitamin supplements. One supplement contained both iron and calcium (HICA)(Materna), while the other contained no calcium and a lower dose of iron (LI)(PregVit).

Iron levels in blood samples collected from healthy women who participated in the study, showed that both of the multivitamins delivered similar amounts of iron, even though one of the multivitamins contained nearly half the dose of iron. This research is reported in a recent issue of the Journal of Obstetric Gynaecology Canada.

The study measured iron levels in the blood of 12 healthy women who were given HICA and LI separately on 2 different occasions. Blood samples were taken at 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 hours after administration of each supplement. The results showed that the relative absorption over the 8-hour time period was significantly higher for LI than for HICA. Researchers concluded that the absorption of iron from the low-iron-containing supplement was similar to that from the supplement with almost twice the amount of iron, due possibly to the exclusion of calcium in the LI product. While offering similar amounts of iron, the LI supplement may be better tolerated by women who are sensitive to iron-induced adverse effects.

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