In response to a study, “Effect of Maternal Multiple Micronutrient vs Iron–Folic Acid Supplementation on Infant Mortality and Adverse Birth Outcomes in Rural Bangladesh,” published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement:
Statement by Duffy MacKay, N.D., senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN:
“This new, large study reinforces the importance of vitamins and minerals for pregnant women and their babies, demonstrating that supplementing with multiple micronutrients (the scientific term for essential nutrients required in small amounts) may offer positive, immediate and long-term health benefits. The clinical trial, which evaluated outcomes for 22,405 babies, found significant reductions in both preterm births and low birth weights of babies born to women supplementing with multiple micronutrients. In addition, supplementing with multiple micronutrients resulted in a non-statistically significant reduction in stillbirths.
“This study also demonstrates how supplementation can be impactful on a global level. There are many under-nourished populations around the world and we commend the researchers for investigating nutritional interventions in a population with a clear need—and we encourage research like this to continue. At the same time, it’s important that we not lose sight of U.S. government data that shows there are serious nutrient shortfalls in our own backyard. Taking a multivitamin is valuable for all women of childbearing age, not only in malnourished populations across the globe, but certainly also for Americans.
“The dataset in this study is large and we encourage researchers to consider future analyses and evaluation of further outcomes in this study population looking into how the specific nutrients used in the study, and nutrition in general, can play a positive role in good health. It’s encouraging to learn that women can do something so simple as adding the right micronutrients to their diets via a multivitamin to help protect their babies’ future health. We encourage women who are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant to talk with their doctors about how they can benefit from a prenatal multivitamin and other dietary supplements.”