Intake of vitamins during the early stages of pregnancy has been shown to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
However, it is possible that the connection arises from the generally health practices of people who take vitamins.
Dr Reem Hasan, a professor at the University of North Carolina, insisted that the results of the study need to be replicated before any generalized inferences can be drawn.
In a report in the American Journal of Epidemiology, Dr. Hasan notes that although vitamins and supplements for pregnant women are chiefly aimed at decreasing the risk of birth defects in the baby, their study indicates that vitamins are also effective in preventing miscarriages.
Dr. Hasan’s team interviewed nearly 5000 women in the early stages of pregnancy over a period of eight years.
The research showed that almost 95% reported taking vitamin supplements either before their pregnancy or at some time during the first trimester of their pregnancy. About 50% of the women also reported having taken vitamin supplements before conception.
After analysis of the data, the team found that the risk of miscarriage was reduced by more than 55% in the cases where the women had taken vitamin supplements.
According to Dr. Hasan, this reduction in risk was unaltered by other factors such as hormone use, age, marital status, number of previous pregnancies, race, ethnicity, smoking status, and level of education.
“As miscarriage happens very early during a pregnancy, it is important for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, to take vitamin supplements along with a healthy and balanced diet.” Dr, Hasan advised. He also called for further research in the subject in order to determine other factors besides vitamins which might have an impact on miscarriages.