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(Updated 5-19-07)
(Information sharing, not a medical site.)

Here are some excerpts or quotes found from the University of Maryland Medicine, the Miscarriage section regarding nutrition and pregnancy, plus personal notes. This is not a medical specialist sight, and this is for information sharing only.

Click here for the University of Maryland web page.

"VITAMIN B COMPLEX, INCLUDING FOLIC ACID: (find supplements in food form if you can; you can do a search to find out what foods these have in them)<

Many naturopathic and other doctors suggest using Vitamin B complex (50 milligrams a day) with additional vitamin B6 and Folic acid (800 to 1000 micrograms a day) for women planning to become pregnant and for those who are pregnant."

Quotes: "These preventive measures are supported by studies that suggest a connection between recurring miscarriages and problems metabolizing methionine and homocysteine in the body. Methionine is an amino acid, a building block of protein. Homocysteine is a by-product of the breakdown of methionine."

"Abnormal use of homocysteine by the body leads to a rise in levels of this compound which, in turn, may play a role in spontaneous abortion and the development of defects in the neural tube (the structure in the fetus that later becomes the central nervous system)."

"Folic acid, Vitamins B6 and B12, and Betaine all play a role in the proper use of methionine and homocysteine." (Note: Homocysteine is also considered to be a factor for those with heart conditions.)

"In addition, a fetus, a newborn, and a pregnant woman all need more Folic acid and B12 than other people; therefore, taking the supplements mentioned both before and during pregnancy is valuable, and may prevent miscarriage in the case of elevated homocysteine levels."

"Moderate to high caffeine intake may also be related to elevated homocysteine levels."

Quotes continued: "Some substances—including caffeine and pesticides—easily cross the placenta from the woman's body to her fetus. Their impact on pregnancy is not entirely understood."

"Caffeine stays in a pregnant woman's body much longer than in non-pregnant healthy adults. It stays in newborns even longer. A study of 3135 pregnant women showed that moderate-to-heavy caffeine users (those who had at least 151 mg daily) were more likely to have late first- or second-trimester spontaneous abortions compared with nonusers or light users."

"Light caffeine use (1 to 150 mg daily) increased risk for abortion only in women who had a history of previous spontaneous abortion. (One cup of coffee has 107 mg of caffeine, one cup of tea has 34 mg, and one glass of cola has 47 mg, assuming all are caffeinated beverages.) Coffee was the main source of caffeine in moderate-to-heavy users. Light users were more likely to get caffeine from tea and other sources." (Note: tea usually has a smaller percentage of caffeine, depending upon what type it is.)

"In addition, as mentioned in the subsection, Vitamin B Complex, Including Folic Acid, researchers have recently reported that higher caffeine intake may be related to higher levels of homocysteine. This may contribute to the increased risk of spontaneous abortion in moderate coffee drinkers, but further research is needed."

"COENZYME Q10:" (Note: this is an antioxidant, like Vit. E)
Quotes: "Studies suggest that coenzyme Q10 levels are lower in women who have had a recent miscarriage. Similar to methionine and homocysteine described above, the production of coenzyme Q10 in the body also depends on folic acid, vitamin B12, and betaine."

"Therefore, the same supplements that support methionine metabolism (namely, folic acid, vitamin B12, and betaine) maintain normal Coenzyme Q10 levels in the body." (Note: CoQ10 is good for cellular support for all cells in the body, and is also considered to be good for the heart. Check the health page for more info. on this.)

"MAGNESIUM AND SELENIUM: (Note: magnesium is in greens, grains, and seafood. for more info. on magnesium check the health page.)
Quotes: "A small study of infertile women and women with a history of miscarriage suggests that low levels of magnesium may impair reproductive function, and may contribute to miscarriage."

"Oxidation, a process that is damaging to cell membranes, can lead to loss of magnesium. The same study suggests that the antioxidant selenium protects the cell membrane, thereby maintaining appropriate levels of magnesium. The authors of the study suggest taking both magnesium and selenium supplements."
(Note: magnesium is in some heart meds. and can help slow down a heart that's beating too rapidly. So too much of it would not be good for someone who's already taking heart meds. to slow it down. Yet magnesium helps the body with many things, so it's important to get the right amount. Magnesium also helps calcium to work better in the body. For example, if 500 mg. of calcium is taken, about half that of magnesium would be about 200 or so mg./milligrams of magnesium.)

"Women who have miscarried have lower levels of selenium than women who carry a pregnancy to full term."
Although the authors of the above-mentioned study do not specify the exact amount to take, the recommended doses are generally 300 to 400 mg or milligrams per day of Magnesium, and 200 mcg / micrograms per day of Selenium. Micrograms are a much smaller amount than milligrams. You can check the dosage in your prenatal vitamin bottle and discuss appropriate nutrient supplementation with your healthcare provider.


"OTHER ANTIOXIDANTS: (Note: olive oil, some nuts, etc.)
Quotes: "Vitamin A, vitamin E, and beta-carotene levels tend to be lower in women who have miscarried as well; these nutrients are generally found in prenatal vitamins. Discuss the pros and cons of their use with your healthcare provider before becoming pregnant or if you are already pregnant."

(Note: Too much vitamin A would not be good, though, as it can lead to other birth defects - a normal amount is good through foods and supplementation; ask the doctor if unsure.
Also, for diabetics their bodies are known for having a harder time converting beta carotene from foods into Vitamin A, so they would probably benefit from a Vitamin A supplement.

(Note continued: I've read elsewhere that Vitamin E can help balance the hormones. B vitamins also help with mental clarity and can affect the hormones. The mineral Zinc can especially work for men, but can also help women with the body's hormone production (taken in small amounts). If the hormone levels are off, there could be a problem with conceiving, and later miscarrying. Check with the doctor first and get hormone levels checked. There are also hormone kits available at pharmacies and elsewhere.

A HORMONAL IMBALANCE CAN LEAD TO A MISCARRIAGE. Here's a link regarding progesterone details, click here. Dr. Mercola about natural progesterone. You can also find more health information if you click the Health button on this site.

If you go to Dr. Mercola's site at http://www.mercola.com and do a search for "miscarriage" there should be several links on the topic. And Dr. John Lee was an expert on hormones. If you go to this link at http://www.johnleemd.com/store/resource_hormonetest.html it has info. on how to check out your hormonal balance. And local pharmacies probably have some hormone kits.

(Note: Vitamin E cream might be beneficial, use on the inner arms where the skin is thinner and it will go to the bloodstream within about 3 hours. Jason Naturals has 5000 units and 25000 units, but I've only tried the lower amount, and not relating to a pregnancy, but for hormonal balance relating to thyroid problems. You can check with you doctor first. A small amount of Vitamin E can be good for the heart and circulatory system, but too much (maybe 800 IU or more) could thin the blood and would not be good for those who are taking blood thinner meds.)

"FISH POLLUTANTS (heavy metals, other pollutants, etc.):
Quotes: "Eating fish contaminated with pollutants, namely persistent organo-chlorine compounds (POCs), may increase pregnancy risk, although it is not clear whether eating contaminated fish contributes to spontaneous abortion."

(Note: When eating fish, remove the skin side of the fish and avoid eating it. The skin might contain toxic heavy metals. Otherwise, fish can be a good source of protein and essential fatty acids like "Omega 3's from salmon. And if chlorine is risky, it would be good to have a water filter that helps to remove it before drinking.")

Quotes: "Western herbs may help clear up underlying endocrine problems. They may also help reduce stress, but these have not yet been studied in relation to spontaneous abortion specifically."

(Note: I've seen health stores sell pregnancy tea with specific herbs in them like raspberry herb that has been said to be good for the uterus. Most herbs are not recommended for pregnancies, since they could be toxic in large amounts, similar to some medications. It's best to find a reference book with pros and cons about herbs, so you can see what side effects you might have. And you can check with a doctor, although not all will be familiar with herbs unless they are into alternative remedies. They might have someone to refer you to, like a Nutritionist, though. A Dietician might view it differently, and they are like food chemists.)

GOOD QUALITY WATER: I prefer filtered water, boiled first and then cooled off. Distilled water gets boiled first, but then there's the lack of minerals that need replacement with health supplements. I've actually taken a variety of different types of water, and have alternated with them, instead of taking just one kind. So I've taken filtered water, reverse osmosis and distilled water, bottled water, and I avoid tap water. Tap water can be pretty bad, contaminants, maybe parasites, ugh! Clove capsules are known to help fight parasites, available at www.swansonvitamins.com and probably elsewhere. A large amount might not be good for those who are pregnant. Garlic in large amounts can also be toxic for pregnant women, so it's best to eat certain things like that in low doses if at all.

Quotes: "There is only a 1% chance of recurring miscarriage; however, the risk increases significantly with each subsequent loss. Possible complications from spontaneous abortion include infected pregnancy tissue, which could lead to pelvic abscess, septic shock, or even death. Depression and guilt are common feelings that may follow a miscarriage; as mentioned earlier, there are times when counseling is appropriate."

(Note: Some research suggests that Vitamin D can help those with depression. Sunshine helps the body to produce this, so it's important to get fresh air and sunshine as well. The sun helps the body to produce Vitamin D, which is considered to be a hormone.

For myself I've also found B-50 complex vitamins to help with depression, hormonal balance, and mental clarity. Can't prove it here, though.

Quotes: "The information from their website is provided as a public service by the university of Maryland Medical System, a regional health care delivery system that includes an academic medical center (the University of Maryland Medical Center in downtown Baltimore) as well as five community and specialty hospitals and outpatient sites throughout Baltimore and central Maryland."

Quotes: "This information is not intended to be a substitute for individual medical advice in diagnosing or treating a health problem. Please consult with your health care provider about your health care concerns. If you would like to make an appointment with a University of Maryland physician, please call 1-800-492-5538"