Purpose: Prenatal multivitamins are recommended in pregnancy. This study assessed food and supplement intakes of folate, vitamin B12 (B12), vitamin D, and choline in pregnant women living in Southern Ontario in comparison with current recommendations.
Methods: Women recruited to the Be Healthy in Pregnancy RCT (NCT01693510) completed 3-day diet/supplement records at 12–17 weeks gestation. Intakes of folate, B12, vitamin D, and choline were quantified and compared with recommendations for pregnant women.
Results: Folate intake (median (min, max)) was 1963 μg/day dietary folate equivalents (153, 10 846); 90% of women met the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) but 77% exceeded the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) (n = 232). B12 intake was 12.1 μg/day (0.3, 2336); 96% of women met the EAR with 7% exceeding the EAR 100-fold (n = 232). Vitamin D intake was 564 IU/day (0.0, 11 062); 83% met the EAR, whereas 1.7% exceeded the UL (n = 232). Choline intake was 338 mg/day (120, 1016); only 18% met the Adequate Intake and none exceeded the UL (n = 158).
Conclusion: To meet the nutrient requirements of pregnancy many women rely on prenatal vitamins. Reformulating prenatal multivitamin supplements to provide doses of vitamins within recommendations to complement a balanced healthy diet would ensure appropriate micronutrient intakes for pregnant women.