Pregnant women, please do not forget your supplements


Fetal and infant health can be adversely affected by maternal micronutrient deficiencies. In South Asia, infant mortality rates are still high due to preterm births and maternal malnutrition resulting in low birth weight. A particular study was performed in Bangladesh involving 44, 000 pregnancies which was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.

A team led by Dr. Keith P. West Jr., of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a study in which pregnant women in Bangladesh were randomly assigned to receive supplements containing 15 micronutrients or iron-folic acid alone, taken daily from early pregnancy to 12 weeks postpartum. Among the 22,405 pregnancies in the multiple micronutrient group and the 22,162 pregnancies in the iron-folic acid group, there were 14,374 and 14,142 live-born infants, respectively. At six months, multiple micronutrients did not significantly reduce infant mortality; there were 764 deaths in the iron-folic acid group and 741 deaths in the multiple micronutrient groups.

In conclusion, multiple micronutrient supplementations resulted in a non-statistically significant reduction in stillbirths and significant reductions in preterm births and low birth weight.

The original publication can be accessed here.

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Scientist-entrepreneur-manager-journalist: -Co-founder, Author; Former Assistant Editor and Director, Biotechin.Asia, Biotech Media Pte. Ltd.; -Founder & CEO, SciGlo (; -Programme Management Officer, SBIC, A*STAR (former Research Fellow). --Sandhya graduated from University of Madras, India (B.Sc Microbiology and M.Sc Biotechnology) and received her Ph.D from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. She worked on oxidative stress in skin, skeletal, adipose tissue and cardiac muscle for a decade from 2006-2016. She is currently working as a Programme Management Officer handling projects and grants at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Earlier to this she was a Research Fellow in the Fat Metabolism and Stem Cell Group at SBIC. Sandhya was also the Vice President and Publicity Chair of A*PECSS (A*STAR Post Doc Society) (2014-2016). Recently she founded a platform for scientists - SciGlo ( and is a startup mentor at Vertical VC (Finland). She is an ardent lover of science and enjoys globe trotting and good vegetarian food.


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