The importance of calcium intake during pregnancy and lactation and the possibilities of its supplementation

Authors: Miloslav Hronek;  Anna Patková;  Věra Josková
Authors‘ workplace: Katedra biologických a lékařských věd Farmaceutické fakulty UK, Hradec Králové
Published in: Prakt Gyn 2015; 19(2): 97-100
Category: Gynecology and Obstetrics: Review Article


This review article discusses the importance of calcium intake and the essential need of this mineral during pregnancy and lactation. This article describes the specifics of its utilization, the regulatory mechanisms and plasma concentration required for the specific activity of tissues. Also the importance during formation of the fetal ske­leton and during lactation for milk production, which is maintained in a stable concentration, independent of the nutritional intake. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of calcium for pregnant and lactating in the Czech Republic are discussed. The value of 1 000 mg/day according to the authors seem to be low, which corresponds to relatively frequent symptoms of its depletion, both during pregnancy and lactation and in relation to the demine­ralization of the breast bone. They are also lower than the recommended RDA by WHO and FAO (1 200 mg/day). Part of this article is an overview of the positive and negative factors affecting the calcium utilization in the intestines, both nutritional intake and in the form of supplements. Finally, recommendations are given for calcium supplementation in pregnant and lactating women: with low nutritional calcium intake, or an aversion to milk or dairy products (eg. lactose intolerance, allergies to milk proteins, different forms of vegetarianism), with symptoms associated with the depletion of calcium , prevention of gestational hypertension, preeclampsia prevention, in cases of osteopenia and osteoporosis, in cases of administration of drugs that contribute to depletion of calcium and bone demineralization (e.g. heparin, corticosteroids, aluminum antacids, anticonvulsants, laxatives).

Key words:
calcium– lactation – pregnancy – recommendations for supplementation – supplementation


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Paediatric gynaecology Gynaecology and obstetrics Reproduction medicine

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