How Can You Protect Your Bones During Pregnancy?
What Supplement Should Be Taken During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a miraculous thing. In fact, pregnancy is the most important feature that makes women superior to men. Because only a woman can give life to a new soul.
However, during pregnancy, women should be very careful and pay attention to what they eat and drink. She should consume healthy foods as much as possible, and she should continue her pregnancy until the happy day of the birth and, in fact, until the end of the breastfeeding period, without any vitamin or mineral deficiency.
During pregnancy, the nutrition of the mother is as important as herself, and it is also very important for her baby. If the mother is malnourished, anemia in the mother, low birth weight and growth retardation in the baby, even congenital diseases and stillbirth risks may occur (1).
Our nutritional needs vary according to our age, gender, diseases, activity and of course whether we are pregnant or not. Among these situations, pregnancy is the most important period for both the mother and the baby. For this, it is useful and important to make the right supplement during pregnancy and even before planned pregnancies (2).
What Supplements Should We Take to Protect Our Bones During Pregnancy?
Supplementation is very important during pregnancy in terms of bone health. If the mother does not take supplements for bone health, the results may not be good for both her own bones and the bones of the baby. Because if supplements are not taken to support adequate bone development during pregnancy, the body can meet the need by melting the existing bones to meet the baby’s needs (1). At the point where it cannot meet the needs, there may be problems in the development of the baby. Therefore, in this article, we will examine which supplements should be taken to protect our bones during pregnancy.
Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium, which is the main ingredient of bones, and vitamin D, which increases bone formation, are actually essential for bone development at all ages (3). Calcium supplementation supports bone health in healthy individuals. Thus, bone resorption can be delayed (3,4)
Calcium during pregnancy is important not only for bones but also for different functions. In case of calcium deficiency during pregnancy, the risk of preeclampsia, called gestational blood pressure, may increase, and growth retardation may be observed in the baby (1).
On the other hand, in cases where sufficient calcium is not taken during pregnancy, the body meets the calcium needed to protect the health of the baby by dissolving the mother’s bones with cells called osteoclasts (1).
However, since taking calcium alone cannot give sufficient results, it has been observed in studies that it is necessary to add vitamin D to it (5). The reason for adding vitamin D to calcium is that vitamin D facilitates the absorption of oral calcium from the intestines (3). In addition, if there is a vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, the health of both the mother and the baby may be affected by this deficiency (1). For this, it is recommended by experts to take calcium and vitamin D together during pregnancy.
In vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, the risk of gestational blood pressure (preeclampsia), gestational diabetes (gestational diabetes), low birth weight in the baby, bone resorption and osteoporosis in the mother, low potassium amount (hypocalcemia) and high blood pressure (hypertension) may increase (6).
Tooth decay is observed in some mothers after the pregnancy period. The main reason for this is that in case of calcium and vitamin D deficiency, the calcium needed by the baby is activated by the osteoclast cells, which break down the bones, from the mother’s bones. For these reasons, dental caries and tooth loss that may occur in the mother can be prevented with the right calcium and vitamin D supplementation (1).
In addition to calcium and vitamin D, vitamin K is also recommended during pregnancy. Vitamin K has an important effect on bone formation (7).
In addition, by reducing the excretion of calcium, which is the basic substance of the bone and which should be taken as a supplement, by the kidneys, it can increase its ability to stay in the body and therefore be taken up and used by the bones (7).
Taking vitamin K supplements during pregnancy increases infant development. It has been observed that the risk of low birth weight decreases in infants of mothers who take vitamin K (8).
In addition, according to the APPGAR score, in which pediatricians evaluate whether the babies are healthy at birth, it has been reported that the babies of mothers who took vitamin K during pregnancy had a higher APPGAR score. In other words, it has been observed that it may be “healthier” (8).
Magnesium acts as an important mineral in bone development. Basically, it is involved in the regulation of vitamin D and parathormone levels, which provide the body’s calcium balance (9).
Since our body does not produce magnesium, we have to take it from the outside (10). Magnesium deficiency may be observed if sufficient magnesium is not taken (11). In magnesium deficiency, the activity of cells called osteoclasts, which break down bones, increases. This accelerates bone resorption and bone loss (9).
Magnesium also increases calcium absorption. Thus, oral calcium is absorbed more efficiently from the intestines and mixed with the blood (9), thus increasing its effectiveness and efficiency.
Magnesium, which should be taken with calcium and vitamin D to protect bones during pregnancy, also increases in cases such as breastfeeding. Therefore, magnesium supplementation is important before, during and after pregnancy (12).
Zinc is a very important rare element. Our body needs zinc from the immune system to be active for many different mechanisms. Unfortunately, we have no other source of zinc other than food to meet our body’s need for zinc.
Zinc accelerates bone formation by increasing the activity of osteoblast cells working in bone formation. For this reason, it may be beneficial to always take it as a supplement to protect bone health (13).
Studies have shown that more than 80% of pregnant women have a deficiency in zinc intake (14). Therefore, it is necessary for pregnant women to be aware of zinc deficiency. Because, developmental delay and congenital diseases can be observed in the baby in zinc deficiency (14).
Copper, like zinc, is a rare element in nature. Our body uses copper in many different mechanisms. Again, unfortunately, copper, similar to zinc, cannot be taken except from foods.
Many diseases can be observed in copper deficiency, from anemia to neutropenia, which is characterized by a decrease in white blood cells, which is the most basic cell of our immune system, to osteoporosis (14). Copper is especially important in the construction and metabolism of bones, so it is beneficial in strengthening bones (15).
Boron is an element where the majority of the world’s reserves are in Turkey. It is a rare element such as copper and zinc, and our body has to take it from outside the pipe.
Boron takes an active part in the metabolism of calcium, magnesium and vitamin D, which has an effect on bone development and health, and contributes to the process (16). In addition, boron increases bone growth by stimulating bone metabolism and supports bone development (13).
Selenium is a rare element and our body gets what it needs from outside. Since it is difficult to meet the selenium need with food, external supplementation may be recommended for individuals who need it.
Bone resorption will increase in selenium deficiency, so bone resorption may be observed (13). In addition, it is stated that selenium supplementation may be beneficial to prevent osteoarthritis, which is observed with age-related damage to the joints (17).
In pregnancy, the importance of selenium is different. In case of selenium deficiency during pregnancy, undesirable conditions and discomforts related to pregnancy can be observed. Selenium deficiency during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, especially during pregnancy, and the baby’s nervous and immune system to be damaged and not sufficiently developed (19).
Where Can I Find Supplements To Protect Bones During Pregnancy?
It is very important to protect the bones during pregnancy. Because the mother’s body has to provide calcium as well as everything else for the development of the baby. In cases where the mother cannot get the vitamins and minerals that the baby needs with food, she can provide by melting her own bones. In this case, bone and tooth loss of the mother can be observed in the first place. When the situation progresses, there may be conditions such as developmental delay in the baby.
While calcium and vitamin D are the most well-known active ingredients in the protection of bones, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, copper, boron and selenium are also necessary for bone protection during pregnancy.
Taking these supplements one by one may force you to comply with the treatment and in terms of cost. For this reason, there are combined products that contain them all.
When choosing combined products, you can choose products containing all of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, copper, boron and selenium, especially products that contain the highest elemental calcium in terms of calcium, which is essential for bone, in the form of calcium carbonate (19).