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Is it safe to take zincovit in pregnancy?

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Practicing since : 2008
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My wife is pregnant (5 weeks), She has been taking Zincovit 1 tablet each day 3 months in a row. It has 1 mg folic acid and 5000 IU Vitamin A besides other minerals and vitamins. While folic acid is good for pregnancy, I am shocked to know that Vitamin A is bad.
Can you please explain about it whether this intake is bad or good and what we can do ?
Posted Mon, 12 Nov 2012 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Asra Ishtiaq Ahmed 49 minutes later
Hello there.

Thanks for writing.

ZINCOVIT is a multivitamin with Vitamin A, D,E and minerals.
Multivitamin are NOT necessary in pregnancy.
The only vitamin which is essential during first 3 months of pregnancy is FOLIC ACID.

Vitamin A is present in many forms like retinol, retinyl esters and beta carotene.
Beta carotene is safe but the other two should not be consumed beyond a limit. This is because they can be "teratogenic" that is can damage the development of cells in baby, leading to the development of conditions like defect in spine, raised intracranial (head) pressure and urinary tract malformations.
"Retinoid embryopathy XXXXXXX a syndrome of anomalies involving the face, ear, heart, central nervous system and thymus of the baby can occur with excess retinol use. The damage occurs when used in the initial months of pregnancy.

Total dose of vitamin A (as retinol or retinyl esters)from foods and supplements should not exceed 10,000 IU.
So you need to calculate the total dose of vitamin A as retinol obtained from foods (like liver) along with the multivitamin which should not exceed 10,000 IU. Its not easy to keep a record of all this.

So its better to avoid such multivitamins as they are not required and neither essential.
The only essential vitamin is FOLIC ACID which comes as FOLVITE tablet . It comes as 5mg tablet and has to be taken once daily.
Needs of other micronutrients are well met with a balanced diet. Nothing can replace a balanced diet so ensure your diet is good.
You should avoid all unnecessary medications in pregnancy as the side effects of many are not known.

I hope I have answered your query.

Take care.
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