Resveratrol and Pregnancy

Resveratrol Supplements: Safe for Pregnant Women?

Resveratrol and Pregnancy
Resveratrol and Pregnancy

In recent years, a substance called resveratrol has received increased amounts of media attention. Along the way, the question of whether resveratrol supplements should be taken by pregnant women has surfaced.

First, some background: Resveratrol, found in great concentration in the skin of red grapes, has been touted by many as being a strong antioxidant.

The theory is that it can slow damage to the body, particularly heart disease, by combating free radicals and other unhealthy bodily substances.

Most people ingest the majority of their resveratrol consumption through drinking red wine.

However, since the amount of wine consumption required to reach even 20 milligrams of resveratrol is prohibitive, many people are turning to supplements to achieve the desired dosage.


Consult a Doctor

Should pregnant women take resveratrol supplements?

When deciding, don’t rely solely on online research. Information found on the Internet can be inaccurate, or even deliberately misleading. The best person to consult is your doctor, whether you are currently pregnant or are simply considering becoming pregnant.

Incidentally, most doctors agree that it is OK for pregnant women to have a couple glasses of wine per week.

Does Resveratrol Work?

There are solid arguments both for, and against, pregnant women taking resveratrol.

For one, resveratrol has not yet been definitively proven to provide substantial health benefits to people. Some studies undertaken with mice, rats, and other animals have had promising results, but none of those trials involved animals in a state of pregnancy.

Of the limited resveratrol studies to date that have involved people, no clear proof has emerged that resveratrol has the desired impact on pregnant mammals. Over time, such proof might surface. However, currently it does not exist.

To date, resveratrol is an unproven substance for animals who are pregnant.

On the other hand, the theoretical human benefits of resveratrol are so great that one would desire to pass those benefits onto their child. If the long term benefits of resveratrol prove to be true, it could offer another level of protection to a baby who is still in the womb.

Effects on Pregnant Women

Another issue is that of side effects. Some supplements, while reasonably safe for the majority of the population to take, have negative effects on pregnant women.

It is possible that resveratrol is among them. So far, no one knows for sure.

The long-term side effects of resveratrol consumption by people in general have yet to be established, although there are no short term side effects of resveratrol other than the positive benefits we have seen from resveratrol’s antioxidant benefits.

While resveratrol might hold no special risks for pregnant women, it is also possible that it could interfere with oral contraceptives, affect the development of the fetus, and/or negatively interact with vitamins or other substances ingested by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Although we can speculate only positive side effects for the baby, the true answers just are not known right now.

Conclusion

Given that resveratrol supplements have not yet been proven to achieve the desired results, and that their effects on pregnant women are unknown, is using them worth the risk?

It seems advisable that any women who are pregnant, are trying to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding, should ask their doctor before they take that chance. Again, I mention the fact that most doctors agree that a glass of red wine a couple times a week is perfectly fine for pregnant women.

For those who are not pregnant or seeking to become pregnant, resveratrol can offer quite a wide range of antioxidant and overall health benefits.

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