According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG),
it is advisable to take one prenatal vitamin a day. This typically
- Vitamin C (80 mg for ages 14-18, 85 mg for ages 19-50)
- Calcium (1300 mg for ages 14-18, 1000 mg for ages 19-50)
- Vitamin A (750 mg for ages 14-18, 770 mg for ages 19-50)
- Vitamin D3: 400-600 units
- B6: 1.9 mg
- B12: 2.6 mg
- Folic Acid: 600 mg
- Iron: 27 mg
- Choline: 450 mg
Besides those listed above, ACOG does not explicitly say whether or not it is
safe to take herbal or other dietary supplements such as the ones listed in
Supplements such as B1 (1.4 mg), B2 (1.4 mg), B3 (18-35mg), and zinc (11-13
mg) are recommended by the American Pregnancy Association.
Magnesium supplementation during pregnancy may reduce fetal growth restriction
and pre‐eclampsia and increase birthweight. (See below for dosing.) The
need for magnesium increases during pregnancy, and most pregnant women likely
do not meet this increased need. Magnesium deficiency or insufficiency
during pregnancy may pose a health risk for both the mother and the newborn,
with implications that may extend into adulthood of the offspring.
Vitamin C, D3, zinc, and B complex
Taken within recommended daily dose, are considered safe in pregnancy since
they are part of recommended prenatal vitamin supplementations.
Magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids (mercury-free source): Safe and
A daily dose of 300-400 mg magnesium is safe and beneficial in pregnancy.[3;4]
Data derived from observational studies have found that omega-3 fatty acid
consumption during pregnancy either in the diet or via supplements is
associated with improved neurodevelopmental outcomes in the child.
(600 mg daily) appears to be safe in pregnancy. [6;7]
Melatonin, Curcumin and Resveratrol: No evidence to support reproductive
safety in humans
Clinical evidence on melatonin use in pregnancy is scarce, and most studies
have been done on animals and in vivo. Even though a few clinical studies on
pregnant women show melatonin as being risk-free, when considering the
extensive and not yet known effects on fetal development, it should not be
used by pregnant women before further studies.[8-11]
Curcumin and Resveratrol
Although the safety of Curcumin and Resveratrol have been proven with no
adverse effects on reproductive performance or embryos in animal models, there
is a lack of human data to demonstrate their safety and efficacy in
No human data is found for spermidine use during pregnancy.  The serum
level of spermidine is increased during a normal pregnancy.  Without
evidence showing the safety and therapeutic use of spermidine during
pregnancy, spermidine should not be recommended for this population.
Supplements to avoid
Should be avoided in pregnancy. No human studies have been found on quercetin.
There have been a few studies done on animals and molecular docking with
controversial findings, and a couple of them are concerning. A study in
mice suggested that prenatal quercetin exposure resultsin epigenetic changes
and increased iron storage in the liver in adulthood. In another study,
prenatal exposure to quercetin was linked to increased cancer risk.
Nigella sativa (Black Seed Oil)
Should be avoided in pregnancy. Nigella sativa should be avoided during
pregnancy because it can stimulate menstruation and has been used as a
1. Nutrition in Pregnancy (ACOG.org). https://www acog
org/womens-health/faqs/nutrition-during-pregnancy [accessed 2022 Aug.
2. Pregnancy Vitamins and Nutrients (APA). https://americanpregnancy
[ 2021 [cited 2022 Aug. 21];
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randomized control trial. Adv Biomed Res 2017; 6:109.
4. Dalton LM, Ni’Fhloinn DM, Gaydadzhieva GT, Mazurkiewicz OM, Leeson H,
Wright CP. Magnesium in pregnancy. Nutr Rev 2016; 74:549-557.
5. Coletta JM, Bell SJ, Roman AS. Omega-3 fatty acids and pregnancy. Reviews
in Obstetrics and Gynecology 2010; 3:163-171.
6. Amin AF, Shaaban OM, Bediawy MA. N-acetyl cysteine for treatment of
recurrent unexplained pregnancy loss. Reproductive Medicine Online 2008;
7. Miller BM, Wells KK, Wells CB, Lam XT, Carney ME, Kepko DS et al. Exposure
to the dietary supplement N-acetyl-L-Cysteine during pregnancy reduces
cyclophosphamide teratogenesis in ICR mice. J Clin Nutr Food Sci 2018;
8. Voiculescu SE, Zygouropoulos N, Zahiu CD, Zagrean AM, Davila C. Role of
melatonin in embryo fetal development. Journal of Medicine and Life 2014;
9. Kuhne BA, Vazquez-Aristizabal PV, Fuentes-Amell M, Pla L, Loreiro C,
Gratacos E et al. Doccosahexaenoic acid and melatonin prevent impaired
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improves endothelial function in vitro and prolongs pregnancy in women with
early-onset preeclampsia. J Pineal Res 2018; 65:e12508.
11. Carloni S, Favrais G, Saliba E, Albertini MC, Chalon S. Melatonin
modulates neonatal brain inflammation through endoplasmic reticulum stress,
autophagy, and miR-34a/silent information regulator 1 pathway. J Pineal Res
12. Sebastiani G, Navarro-Tapia E, Almeida-Toledano L, Serra-Delgado M,
Paltrinieri AL. Effects of antioxidant intake on fetal development and
maternal/neonatal health during pregnancy. Antioxidants 2022; 11:648.
13. Tamba RP, Moenadjat Y. Oral spermine supplementation in gestated rabbit: A
study on villi height of immature intestines. Front Surg 2021; 8:721560.
14. Hussain T, Tan B, Ren W, Rahu N, Kalhoro DH, Yin Y. Exploring polyamines:
Functions in embryo/fetal development. Animal Nutrition 2017; 3:7-10.
15. Zhang J, Peng Q, deng Y, Sun M, Zhao Y, Zhang W. The preventive effects of
quercetin on preterm birth based on network pharmacology and bioinformatics.
Reproductive Sciences 2022; 29:193-202.
16. Vanhees K, Godschalk RW, Sanders A, van Schooten FJ. Maternal quercetin
intake during pregnancy results in an adapted iron homeostasis at adulthood.
Toxicology 2011; 290:350-358.
17. Vanhees K, de Bock L, Godschalk RW, van Schooten FJ. Prenatal exposure to
flavonoids: Implications for cancer risk. Toxicological Sciences 2011;
18. Salarinia R, Rakhshandeh H, Oliace D, Ghasemi SG, Ghorbani A. Safety
evaluation of Phytovagex, a pessary formulation of Nigella sativa, on pregnant
rats. Avicenna J Phytomed 2016; 6:117- 123.
19. Ahmad A, Husain A, Mujeeb M, Khan SA, Najmi AK, Anwar F. A review on
therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa: A miracle herb. Asian Pac J Trop
Biomed 2013; 3:337-352.
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