Calcium Helps Prevent Major Pregnancy Complications

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Title: Founding Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

Study found calcium cuts major pregnancy complications such as eclampsia and preterm delivery

Researchers with the World Health Organization (WHO) Calcium Supplementation Trial Data Safety and Monitoring Committee in Switzerland conducted a worldwide study on 8,500 pregnant women with low calcium intake. All these pregnant women were randomly assigned to take calcium supplements or placebo. Researchers found that a daily supplement of 1,500mg calcium significantly reduces major pregnancy complications such as eclampsia and severe gestational hypertension by 25 percent. Preterm delivery, mother death rates and newborn death rates were also significantly lowered. The results of this study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in March 2006.

Editor’s Note – Need Sufficient Calcium during Pregnancy

Calcium deficiency is common among women – especially among pregnant women. This global study showed that calcium is not only important for bone health, but also for the prevention of major pregnancy complications. The author of the study suggested that calcium may help dilate and relax the blood vessels, hence cutting the risk of these pregnancy complications. The recommended level of calcium for pregnant women is 1,200 mg. A glass of milk or calcium-fortified drinks such as soymilk or orange juice contains approximately 300 mg of calcium. For some women, it is difficult to reach this level by diet alone; therefore calcium supplements may be needed.


calcium, pregnancy


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