Research: TSUI and colleagues, D

Listed in Issue 71


TSUI and colleagues, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA, examined the usage patterns of dietary supplements during pregnancy.



A survey was distributed to pregnant women touring the University of California San Francisco Birthing Center or receiving care at the university’s Women’s Health Clinic between November 1999 and March 2000.


150 surveys were completed. 20 women (13%) used dietary supplements during pregnancy. The most common products were: echinacea (8.9%), pregnancy tea (8.9%) and ginger (6.7%). The most common reasons for starting or discontinuing use of dietary supplements were to relieve nausea and vomiting (25%) and avoid potential harm to the fetus (25%). All side effects were mild. They included gastrointestinal discomfort with elderberry (n=1); taste disturbance with echinacea (n=1); and intestinal gas with borage seed oil (n=1). Most patients (75%) informed their primary care provider of their use of dietary supplements.


There is low usage of dietary supplements among pregnant women. However, usage is a concern because of lack of safety data. Most patients use dietary supplements to relieve gastrointestinal symptoms. Most disclose their usage to their primary care provider.


Tsui B et al. A survey of dietary supplement use during pregnancy at an academic medical center. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 185 (2): 433-7. Aug 2001.

ICAN Skyscraper

Scientific and Medical Network 2

Cycle Around the World for Charity 2023

Climb Mount Kilimanjaro Charity 2023

Cycle from Milan to Venice for Regain 2023

top of the page