High doses of vitamin E and pregnancy could be a potentially dangerous combination. The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E for pregnant women is 15 mg per day. Since many prenatal vitamins contain some vitamin E, there is no reason to take any additional supplementation. High doses of vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding, which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women.
An Overview of Vitamin E and Pregnancy
Pregnant women do not have a higher need for vitamin E, compared to other adults. In fact, most pregnant women will have no problem getting enough vitamin E through their diet. Since many prenatal vitamins contain some vitamin E, there is really no reason to take any additional vitamin E; in fact, too much vitamin E can potentially be dangerous.
Am I Getting Enough Vitamin E During Pregnancy?
The RDA (recommended dietary allowance) of vitamin E for pregnant women is 15 mg per day (about 20 to 30 IU, depending on the type of vitamin E), the same as is recommended for all adults. 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 pregnant women). Some studies have shown that high doses of vitamin E increase the general risk of death, for unknown reasons. Also, high doses of vitamin E could increase the risk of bleeding, a problem which is especially undesirable for pregnant women.
If you are pregnant, it is always a good idea to have a discussion with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including vitamin E supplements.
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.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click