October 17, 2011

Calcium in pregnancy may halve the risk of pre-eclampsia

We all know that Calcium is not only important to prevent osteoporosis.
Most doctors recommend calcium during pregnancy to protect against birth complications and loss of bone density caused by the developing babies.

A new research about the importance of calcium during pregnancy is now published
in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Researchers gathered data from 21 randomized controlled trials involving 17,000 pregnant women. The studies compared whether taking supplements was any better than a placebo or no treatment at all in having a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

It seems that calcium supplements did not lower the risk of preterm birth or low birth weight but they can help prevent pre-eclampsia, (increased blood pressure) in pregnant women.
The study showed that the frequency of pre-eclampsia in women that used Ca supplements was about -50%.

Stocking up on calcium when young is essential for building strong bones. A diet which has sufficient calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus is important, as are genetic factors and exercise. The recommended calcium intake varies depending on where one is in one's life cycle.
An average recommended daily intake of 800mg is stipulated in the European nutrition-labelling directive.
However certain groups of the population have higher requirements up to 1200 - 1500mg (young people aged 11-24, pregnant and lactating women, postmenopausal women who are not having hormone replacement therapy).

Calcium content of some food 300 mg Ca are found in:
25-30 g hard cheese (emmental, parmiggiano, cheddar, etc)
50 g soft cheese (camembert, brie, etc)
200 g skimmed milk or yoghurt
150 g almonds nuts, dried figs
200 g dried beans
500 g green vegetables (cabbage, leeks, spinach, broccoli), wholemeal bread
0.7 l of certain calcium-rich mineral waters (check with the label)

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