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Prepping the Body for Optimal Pregnancy Conditions - Page 2

post #21 of 119
Quote:
Under optimal conditions, humans can indeed convert carotenes to vitamin A. This occurs in the upper intestinal tract by the action of bile salts and fat-splitting enzymes. Of the entire family of carotenes, beta-carotene is most easily converted to vitamin A. Early studies indicated an equivalency of 4:1 of beta-carotene to retinol. In other words, four units of beta-carotene were needed to produce one unit of vitamin A. This ratio was later revised to 6:1 and recent research suggests an even higher ratio.5 This means that you have to eat an awful lot of vegetables and fruits to obtain even the daily minimal requirements of vitamin A, assuming optimal conversion...

Even worse than vitamin-A vagary is vitamin-A knavery in the form of concerns that vitamin A may be toxic in more than the minuscule RDA-recommended amounts. In fact, so great is the propaganda against the vitamin that obstetricians and pediatricians are now warning patients to avoid foods containing vitamin A!

Recently an "expert" panel recommended lowering the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin A from 5000 IU daily to about 2500 IU and has set an upper limit of about 10,000 IUs for women. The panel was headed by Dr. Robert Russell of Tufts University, who warned that intake over the "upper limit" may cause irreversible liver damage and birth defects—a ridiculous statement in view of the fact that just a few decades ago pregnant women were routinely advised to take cod liver oil daily and eat liver several times per week. One tablespoon of cod liver oil contains at least 15,000 IU and one serving of liver can contain up to 40,000 IU vitamin A. Russell epitomizes the establishment view when he insists that vitamin-A requirements can be met with one-half cup of carrots daily.

The anti-vitamin-A campaign began in 1995 with the publication of a Boston University School of Medicine study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.15 "Teratogenicity of High Vitamin A Intake," by Kenneth J. Rothman and his colleagues, correlates vitamin-A consumption among more than 22,000 pregnant women with birth defects occurring in subsequent offspring. The study received extensive press coverage in the same publications that had earlier extolled the benefits of vitamin A. "Study Links Excess Vitamin A and Birth Defects" by Jane Brody appeared on the front page of the New York Times on October 7, 1995; on November 24, 1995, the Washington Times reported: "High doses of vitamin A linked to babies' brain defects."

When a single study receives front-page coverage, it's important to take a closer look, especially as earlier research discovered the importance of vitamin A in preventing birth defects. In fact, the defects listed as increasing with increased vitamin A dosage—cleft lip, cleft palate, hydrocephalus and major heart malformations—are also defects of vitamin A deficiency.

In the study, researchers asked over 22,000 women to respond to questionnaires about their eating habits and supplement intake before and during pregnancy. Their responses were used to determine vitamin-A status. As reported in the newspapers, researchers found that cranial-neural-crest defects increased with increased dosages of vitamin A; what the papers did not report was the fact that neural tube defects decreased with increased vitamin A consumption, and that no trend was apparent with musculoskeletal, urogenital or other defects. The trend was much less pronounced, and less statistically significant, when cranial-neural-crest defects were correlated with vitamin-A consumption from food alone.

The study is compromised by a number of flaws. Vitamin-A status was assessed by the inaccurate method of recall and questionnaires; and no blood tests were taken to determine the actual usable vitamin-A status of the mothers. Researchers did not weight birth defects according to severity; thus we do not know whether the defects of babies born to mothers taking high doses of vitamin A were serious or minor compared to those of mothers taking lower amounts.

The most serious flaw was that researchers failed to distinguish between manufactured vitamin A in the form of retinol, found in supplements and added to fabricated foods, from natural vitamin-A complex, present with numerous co-factors, from vitamin-A-containing foods. It is well known that synthetic vitamins are less biologically active, hence less effective, than naturally occurring vitamins. This is especially true of the fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, because these tend to be more complex molecules, with numerous double bonds and a multiplicity of forms. Natural vitamin A occurs as a mixture of various isomers, aldehydes, esters, acids and alcohols. Pure retinoic acid, a metabolite of vitamin A used to treat adult acne, is well known to cause birth defects. Apparently pure retinol has teratogenic properties in high amounts as well.

Researchers found that cranial-neural-crest defects increased in proportion to the amount of retinol from supplements consumed during the first trimester of pregnancy (although the total number of defects remained stable up to 15,000 IU daily). Research into vitamin A has indicated that many factors interfere with its absorption and utilization. Inadequate fat in the diet, poor production of bile salts, low enzyme status, and compromised liver function can all interfere with the uptake and usage of vitamin A, especially when given as a supplement in the form of retinol, rather than as a component of whole foods. It may be that the teratogenic effects of commercial vitamin-A preparations are exacerbated in women whose dietary practices and general health status are poor. Some researchers believe that synthetic vitamin A interferes with the proper utilization of natural vitamin A from foods.

Pure retinol is added to many fabricated foods like margarine, breakfast cereals and pizza. The study made no distinction between those women whose vitamin A was supplied by whole animal foods and those who ingested retinol added to margarine, white flour and extruded breakfast cereals—foods which contain many other factors that can cause birth defects. Natural vitamin A provided by liver, eggs, butter, cream and cod liver oil is well recognized as providing excellent protection against birth defects.

Distinctions between synthetic and natural vitamin A have been absent in the extensive media coverage of this study—on the contrary, the newspaper reports contain implied warnings against pregnant women eating liver, dairy products, meat and eggs, but none against eating fabricated foods like margarine and breakfast cereals to which synthetic vitamin A is added. And there has been no media coverage for subsequent studies, which found that high levels of vitamin A did not increase the risk of birth defects. A study carried out in Rome, Italy found no congenital malformations among 120 infants exposed to more than 50,000 IU of vitamin A per day.16 A study from Switzerland looked at blood levels of vitamin A in pregnant women and found that a dose of 30,000 IU per day resulted in blood levels that had no association with birth defects.17
The cod liver oil link addresses a bit of this. Please read the above vitamin A link I posted that I took the above quotes from.

Maybe MT will chime in about this as well.

This information describes how there is NO RISK for natural vitamin A supplementation at all, and that the studies showing problems were done on synthetic vitamin A which is an entirely different animal.

I think the myth that natural vitamin A is toxic has done huge damage to the health of mothers and children. For example studies were done on rats showing lack of vitamin A causes extremely long labors and inability to push their babies out.

As someone who had a 40 hr. labor (and thankfully pushed all 9lbs 13oz of this baby out) and was told NOT to take cod liver oil during pg by my OB b/c of supposed toxicity, I'm pretty p.o.'d about that.

Again, native diets contained something like 30-40 times more vitamin A than the standard diet in the 1930's when Weston Price did his work (so probably even greater disparity now) and were much healthier for it.
post #22 of 119
I had 40 hours of labor and pushed out a 10 pound 2 oz babe over 2 hours!!! I didnt take cod liver oil because of the supposed toxcicity as well. I read that article you posted and i think I will give it a try! I give it to ds and it seems to be helping.
post #23 of 119
Re: fish burps

my neighbor who is due in 2 weeks has this problem too. She is taking pills and if that is the case I'd recommend Carlson's pills for extra A. And also D in winter. It is the natural oil and not synthetic versions.

When do you take the oil? Try different times, at the beginning, middle or right at the end of a meal. In juice or a smoothie can't taste it at all.

And anyone starting CLO should go slow, like 1/4 tsp. at first to get used to it and work up to the dosage you want.

The peach flavored Nordic Naturals really doesn't have that much A or D at all. We do Carlson's or the Blue Ice high vitamin.
post #24 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelaB
I had 40 hours of labor and pushed out a 10 pound 2 oz babe over 2 hours!!! I didnt take cod liver oil because of the supposed toxcicity as well. I read that article you posted and i think I will give it a try! I give it to ds and it seems to be helping.
Yep it took me 2 hours to push DS out too! But that was the best part of labor, the pushing, so don't wanna even know the rest of it.
post #25 of 119
RE: Angela, CLO helping your son

Yes it's excellent both for the nervous system and gut problems.
post #26 of 119
:

wanting to ttc, also wanting to do the best possible-- I'm transitioning us to WAP/NT also, and adding in CLO etc. Having a terrible time finding a way to exercise with a toddler though besides chasing her through the house keeping her from killing herself, I mean.
post #27 of 119
Is there any way to figure out if it's okay to take CLO during pregnancy or not? Or if you should?

My maternal family is from Scandinavia so fish and fish products are like drinking water. I personally loathe fish, in any form, but can stomach capsules of CLO, and I usually take it between October and April. It keeps me cough/cold free.

I don't take it during pregnancy because it's the first thing to make me upchuck, but I know my great grandmother, grandmother and mother drank their tablesppons at breakfast every day, pregnant or not.

I've also noticed that many EFA capsules contain some amount of Cod Liver Oil (Solaray, Solgar, Country Life, etc).

How would you know if you had too much CLO in you? Or not enough? Is there any way to tell?

Or is this another flax oil issue, and some people say it's okay to take, and others say stay away?

So confusing.
post #28 of 119

fish oil

will someone answer the above quesiton? I like to know more about fish oil during pregnanyc. Right now pregnant and taking carlson's cod liver oil....

thanks
post #29 of 119
Thread Starter 
Hello women!!!

WOW! What an incredible amount of info! I think it's going to take a while to digest it all (so to speak ).

So, now I'm all interested in more info re: CLO during pregnancy.

I'm also interested in spirulina and where and if it fits into any of this. Since my acupuncturist recommended it and my cycles have lengthened by 4 days (they were 24 days - now 28-29 days), I'm hesitant to stop taking it.

I do get nonhomogenized, organic milk and eggs from a very good dairy. I'm going to be contacting them to see about the minerals they give their cows - they're a local dairy. And the meat and poultry I purchase are all organic as well. I'm sure I can contact the farms and find out from them as well. And in my city, we have an organization called SLUG (San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners) who might have the information about soil quality around here. What I'm not sure about is what to do then.

MT, you talk about customizing your minerals to the specifics of the soil depletion in your area. How would I go about doing the same thing? Where would I get the minerals? I feel so out of my league here and that I'm just dipping my toe in the proverbial pond.

Again, you women have surpassed even my high expectations - so much information and generosity!!!

Thanks so much - and I'm sure I'll be back for more info! Hopefully one day, I'll be able to contribute as well.

Peace,

Michelle
post #30 of 119
According to the book The Natural Pregnancy Book by Aviva Jill Romm, spirulina is perfectly fine to take during pg.

Regarding fish/flax oils, I have a book that discusses the best sources for the omega oils, but I just loaned it to my doula last night. All I can tell you is that the Nordic Naturals Omega 3-6-9 has the right amounts and the right sources the book recommended for pg. It's the book I mentioned in my first post.
post #31 of 119
JaneS,
Thanks for the concern on the cilantro. I have no amalgam fillings and have used NDF Plus to do a toxic metal/minerals cleanse two years ago. I feel confident that I'm pretty free of the pesty buggers. I consume cilantro in salads and as a soup topper quite often. It's a staple in the hispanic diet, which I grew up with to a large extent. I also use CLO, but the VE Irons brand. It's very high quality, tastes horrible. I hate it, but chase it with some fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice. We also do raw goat milk and sometimes raw cows milk. I like the goat milk better, but impossible to get in the MN winters.
For my last pregnancy, I used a supplement called 5W towards the end of my pregnancy in addition to red raspberry leaf tea, nettle tea and red clover tea as well as lots of fresh veggie juices. My entire labor was 2 1/2 hours. By the time I was sure I was in labor an hour had passed and I pushed for maybe 10 minutes. DS born at home in the dark in the water. I feel that good nutrition and my herbal support really helped make labor efficient. DS had a compound presentation and I think in other circumstances would have been hard to push out...
I love this thread for the wonderful info for all.
One more thing, I feel it's good to take a year to prepare the body before ttc, that's where I'm at in the process.
post #32 of 119
On exercise with a toddler
It sure can be impossible. I try during nap time. DS just turned 1 and I can't do anything around him because he likes to jump on me, crawl all over me, pull my exercise pants down in his attempts to crawl up my legs. If I try push ups, he crawls under "the bridge", so I try to do something for 30-45 min. My older daughter tries to copy me and she loves to exercise.
I did a baby/momma yoga video for a while, but once the baby starts crawling, that get's harder. Hope you find something that works.
post #33 of 119

a book I really like

One more thing. I really like Susun's Weed's book "Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year". I recommend it to anyone who is considering getting pregnant.
post #34 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana
Is there any way to figure out if it's okay to take CLO during pregnancy or not? Or if you should?

My maternal family is from Scandinavia so fish and fish products are like drinking water. I personally loathe fish, in any form, but can stomach capsules of CLO, and I usually take it between October and April. It keeps me cough/cold free.

I don't take it during pregnancy because it's the first thing to make me upchuck, but I know my great grandmother, grandmother and mother drank their tablesppons at breakfast every day, pregnant or not.
Read the above links I posted on Vitamin A and cod liver oil.

I would say your own family shows that it is indeed healthy and good for you!
post #35 of 119
Quote:
Originally posted by JaneS
Read the above links I posted on Vitamin A and cod liver oil.

I would say your own family shows that it is indeed healthy and good for you!
I did read the links, there wasn't too much about CLO, except for in the "Getting It Wrong" part, where there were some quotes that CLO was obselete, because of the other forms of vitamin A we could get.

I know that in many prenatal vitamins, the vitamin A used is beta carotene, and I've also heard that by eating leafy vegetables, yellow fruits and vegetables and other things with vitamin A, that's enough vitamin A.

I have no doubt CLO is wonderful, I've seen it work for years. I just am still not sure it's needed consistently throughout pregnancy, especially if it makes one vomit. Or, if you're getting adequate vitamin A from other sources.
post #36 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katana
I did read the links, there wasn't too much about CLO, except for in the "Getting It Wrong" part, where there were some quotes that CLO was obselete, because of the other forms of vitamin A we could get.

I know that in many prenatal vitamins, the vitamin A used is beta carotene, and I've also heard that by eating leafy vegetables, yellow fruits and vegetables and other things with vitamin A, that's enough vitamin A.

I have no doubt CLO is wonderful, I've seen it work for years. I just am still not sure it's needed consistently throughout pregnancy, especially if it makes one vomit. Or, if you're getting adequate vitamin A from other sources.
I think you missed these:

Cod Liver Oil: Nature's Superfood
http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnut...dliveroil.html

Vitamin A Saga
http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnut...aminasaga.html

Vitamin A is only in animal foods, not in vegetables,that is beta carotene. Not all of beta cartene is converted to A... depends on the strength of your digestive system too. See my quote above.

The question is what is enough vitamin A. It's not the RDA for sure. Price's research showed that the diets of native populations who were disease resistant, cavity free, excellent bone structure and extremely fertile with easy births, contained something like 30 times the amount of vitamin A of modern diets (and probably more of a discrepancy now than in the 1930s).

The RDAs for other nutrients we know are a joke: Vit C for example.

Studies in rats showed longer gestations and longer more difficult labors with vitamin A deficiency. Eyesight, cleft palate and deafness have been correlated as well.

Reading the chapter "Prenatal Nutritional Deficiencies" in Price's book is a eye opener. Now THAT should be what is taught in birthing classes, can you imagine.

Price also talks about nutrient deficiencies in the father passing along to offspring despite the mother's nutrition
post #37 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneS
Vitamin A is also especially important. I disagree with MT's beta carotene suggestions. I thought Vitamin A toxicity was only tested with retinol the synthetic version? Native diets had many many times over the RDA of Vitamin A with excellent disease and cavity prevention.
http://www.westonaprice.org/basicnut...aminasaga.html
This is a tough on. I prefer to err on the side of caution with Vitamin A, but if you want to use CLO, go ahead.

Quote:
Oh dear, why not Kombucha???
I just got a scoby in the mail today!!!!
Unless you sour Kombucha right down to a vinegar that is as good as paint stripper, there is still enough free sugar to upset anyone with yeast issues. Also, pregnant women I have known, find that Kombucha can upset their digestion. I've never been able to stomach tea of any sort during pregnancy, and kombucha reacted the same as tea to my friends who couldn't drink tea, as well. We thought it might be like Kefir and have changed in the culturing, but it didn't. So I feel that people should be careful with it.

Quote:
And on a related note:
I've also been reading about supplementing ascorbic acid/sodium ascorbate only will cause a deficiency in bioflavanoids. Acerola powder is recommended at a lower amount than aa/sa b/c it's more bioavailable. MT, what do you think?
I always add bioflavinoid powder with my vitamin C, 1 part bioflavinoids to 5 parts Vitamin C. But you have to leave it to sit for three minutes, because otherwise the bioflavinoids is gritty. I leave it, three minutes, and the only way I know its there is a slight brown tinge in the water.
post #38 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cenote
So, now I'm all interested in more info re: CLO during pregnancy.
Cod Liver Oil is a tricky one.

Here is how I see it. I have a largish intake of Vitamin A in a day at the best of times. I probably get between 15,000 - 30,000 IU's a day anyway, one way or another, with fish and othre vitamin A foods.

I'm prepared ON TOP OF MY diet, to take another 15 maybe 30,000 IU's max.

But I'm also very sensitive to it. Once my body has enough, if I take it, within 20 minutes, my energy crashes out, and I cark it for three hours.

If I take it the next day, my body does the same thing.

If I don't take it the next day, I don't crash. So for me, I know where the limit is. Some people haven't quite got to the point where they do.

So I find it hard to advise. If looking at your diet, your vitamin A is pathetic then your starting point is 30,000 IU's a day. Which form you take it in is your choice.

I prefer CLO, because its one step less the body has to do so its absorbed quicker. But in my CMA mode, I advise betacarotene if the person is the sort you might get in my face.

It's just a caution I've developed...

Quote:
MT, you talk about customizing your minerals to the specifics of the soil depletion in your area. How would I go about doing the same thing? Where would I get the minerals? I feel so out of my league here and that I'm just dipping my toe in the proverbial pond.
I'd talk to the horse breeders if you have any, the vets, the dog breeders, the agricultural people. Because farmers place great stock in good animal condition, so they often know far more about it than any other group. Also, organic farmers locally. They watch their plants, and will know, for instance, that if brocolli gets a hollow core in the stem, they don't have enough boron in the soil. Most are conscientious enough to do something about it, so ask around. Someone is bound to know something.
post #39 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneS
Studies in rats showed longer gestations and longer more difficult labors with vitamin A deficiency. Eyesight, cleft palate and deafness have been correlated as well.
Usually, people who have vitamin A deficiencies have other deficiencies as well, and one of the most common hand in hand with vitamin A is folic acid, which is responsible for the accurate "photocopying" of DNA.

I don't think its quite accurate to pin everything on Vitamin A, in pregnancy. Yes, in infection, because its role is so specific there.

But in pregnancy, there is a whole lot more going on than in infection. Take anaemia for instance. Why do they give pregnant women iron? That is plain stupid. It's far more likely to be folic acid deficiency, inadequate Vitamin C intake, because without vitamin C, you can't absorb iron, and imbalances in other minerals. With pregnant women, the last thing I consider is iron. The first thing I look at is her gut flora, then other minerals, and sources of B vitamins. Usually I don't have to look further.

But in terms of genetic defects (so called) which are really nutritional defects, while vitamin A is an issue, B vitamins and folic acid to me is a much greater issue, as is selenium. Without your enzyme pathways working properly, Vitamin A isn't going to do very much, because you need them going well to make best use of vitamin A.

So its never a single issue. It's always a balance issue. And if you have a perfect diet, but not enough selenium, you're going places with difficulty, because you can't absorb protein properly.

So yes, Vitamin A is important, but the bigger picture is most important.

Quote:
Price also talks about nutrient deficiencies in the father passing along to offspring despite the mother's nutrition
I think that ties with with the epigenetic principle of demethylation of genes, so if that is the case, and the genes are okay, the demethylation can be reversed if the mother's diet is good enough.

I don't view Price as a be all and end all, because I like to think that there is never ever such a thing as an irreversible problem. I'm walking proof. There is only a solution in disguise. If I'm wrong (but I haven't been yet in terms of myself...) I've not usually lost much since most stones I know of will have been looked under.

Everyone is different and the key is to dispassionately analyse what you eat, where it comes from, learn the signs of various mineral and vitamin deficiences, even subclinically, and remember another thing.

Dr Roger Williams wrote a book many years ago, called "Biochemical Individuality". It's a fascinating read, and everyone has a different "need" for different things. The key is to learn to read your body.

Once you've done that, you won't ask "What is the recommended dose for this?" because you'll know that could range from this, to this, depending on that and the other. So you have to be prepared to think, and no accept any figure as being enshrined in concrete.

There are times when I take enough vitamin C to put you lot on the toilet for 24 hours. But it does squat for me at those times. That's me, not you.
post #40 of 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtezuma Tuatara
I don't think its quite accurate to pin everything on Vitamin A, in pregnancy. Yes, in infection, because its role is so specific there.
I don't think I said this very well. Animal studies have shown that inadequte A, and that was the only variable in feed that was withheld, leads to cleft palate, deafness and problems with eye development.

But I think your point re: balance is very well taken. I just happen to think that the way natural Vitamin A is currently viewed as being toxic is completely ridiculous. The research does not back it at all. It's wrong that many women are now so afraid of Vitamin A. I mean the cod liver oil that I wanted to take during pg was 1500-3000 IU/tsp and my OB just about had a cow.

Instead the current solution in the states is bioengineered (and patentable!) omega 3's from fungus and microalgae. They are now being added to prenatals. The same DHA's in baby formula that is causing explosive diarrhea btw.

If women don't eat butter and eggs and liver, because they are politically incorrect foods, and stay away from fish b/c of the mercury issue, they won't get near the 15-30,000IU that you mentioned? (Since beta carotene is even less well absorbed than is thought). And also the butter and eggs and liver won't contain anywhere near the high amount of vitamin A that they could have if the animals have been correctly pasture fed.

Quote:
I don't view Price as a be all and end all, because I like to think that there is never ever such a thing as an irreversible problem. I'm walking proof. There is only a solution in disguise. If I'm wrong (but I haven't been yet in terms of myself...) I've not usually lost much since most stones I know of will have been looked under.
I'm confused about this statement... I agree with you. But how is Price showing that problems are irreversible?

I was attracted to his book and "Nourishing Traditions" because it is a way to conquer the nutritional deficiencies that one has with food and not supplements. One chapter in his book about The X Factor is all about preventing cavities, reversing tooth decay, and enhancing mineral absorption in people with serious problems.

(I posted in Dental about "Curing Cavities with Nutrition" that describes what the X Factor is and how it is the one nutrient that is present in native diets and mostly missing from modern day diets. It's a fat soluble nutrient, similar to A & D and present in butterfat of cows fed green grass (all mammals' milks with proper diet), fish eggs, organ meats and shellfish.)
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