Breastfeeding women need slightly more vitamin E than other adults. The recommended dietary intake of vitamin E for breastfeeding women is 19 mg per day. Since the vitamin is found in a variety of commonly consumed foods, breastfeeding women will probably have no trouble getting enough vitamin E.
An Overview of Vitamin E and Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding women have a slightly higher need for vitamin E, compared to other adults (including pregnant women). However, most breastfeeding women have no trouble getting enough vitamin E though their diet.
Vitamin E and Breastfeeding Recommendations
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin E for breastfeeding women is 19 mg per day (about 30 to 40 IU per day, depending on the type of vitamin E). Since vitamin E is found in a wide variety of commonly consumed foods, most people don't have any trouble getting enough vitamin E.
Although high-dose vitamin E supplementation (more than 400 IU per day) was popular in the past, many healthcare providers now recommend against such use for all people (including breastfeeding women). Some studies have shown that high doses of vitamin E increase the general risk of death, for unknown reasons. The effects of maternal high-dose vitamin E supplementation on breastfed infants have not been studied.
You should talk with your healthcare provider about vitamin E and breastfeeding. Each woman's situation is different, and you and your healthcare provider understand your situation best. After considering what you want and expect, as well as your current health situation, you and your healthcare provider can make a shared decision about vitamin E and breastfeeding that is right for you.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Jellin JM, editor. Pharmacist's Letter/Prescriber's Letter Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Web site. Available at: http://naturaldatabase.com/. Accessed February 1, 2008.
National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. Dietary supplement fact sheet: vitamin E (1/23/2007). NIH Web site. http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamine.asp. Accessed February 1, 2008.
Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin E, and Carotenoids. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2000. Available at: http://www.nap.edu/books/0309069351/html/. Accessed February 1, 2008.
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