Pregnancy supplements are the latest target in an ongoing attack on popular natural healthcare products.
In a move set to create confusion and fear amongst new mums, the Therapeutic Goods Administration wants warning labels placed on pregnancy multi-vitamins advising women against taking them – without providing any explanation.
The warning, proposed by the TGA – Australia’s drug and medicines watchdog – would read:
“Not to be taken in first trimester of pregnancy unless under medical advice”.
It wrongly implies that these supplements are unsafe and that message could scare mums-to-be off taking these vitally important vitamins and minerals, which could put their baby’s health at risk.
Folate, iodine, and vitamin B3 are proven to be critical in preventing neural tube defects and other developmental problems.
Already not enough women take these supplements which is why the NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) has advised that pregnant women and those planning a pregnancy should take a daily folic acid supplement. At least one month before and three months after conception, as well as eating a healthy and varied diet as recommended in the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
This advice was also issued by Australia’s Chief Medical Officer to Australians in 2015.
Just weeks ago new Australian research showed vitamin B3 – one of the key ingredients in pregnancy supplements – can be as important as folate during the first trimester of pregnancy.
The landmark finding from researchers at the Victor Chang Institute in Sydney found taking Vitamin B3 supplements could significantly prevent miscarriages and birth defects including heart, kidney and spinal defects.
The TGA’s deadline for introducing the new warning labels is January 1 next year.
Just days ago, Your Health Your Choice revealed the TGA is also heavily targeting other popular natural medicine products including stress and sleep formulas.