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Centrum Cardio and Pregnancy

There is currently no evidence to prove that it is safe (or unsafe) for pregnant women to take Centrum Cardio. Theoretically, problems could occur in a male fetus; the plant sterols in Centrum Cardio decrease the amount of DHT in the body, which is important for male genital development. If you are taking Centrum Cardio and pregnancy occurs, talk to your healthcare provider about which multivitamin is best for your situation.

An Overview of Centrum Cardio and Pregnancy

Centrum Cardio® is a non-prescription multivitamin that contains plant sterols (phytosterols), which are effective at lowering cholesterol and promoting heart health. Although a normal intake of plant sterols through a healthy diet is considered safe, foods or supplements with added plant sterols (such as Centrum Cardio) are not usually recommended for pregnant women. Also, a prenatal vitamin (either over-the-counter or non-prescription) is a much more appropriate choice for pregnant women.

Is Centrum Cardio Safe During Pregnancy?

There is no evidence that Centrum Cardio is safe (or unsafe) for pregnant women. Theoretically, plant sterols could cause problems during pregnancy based on their effects on certain hormones. Some plant sterols may block the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone), thereby decreasing the amount of DHT in the body. Because DHT is important for male genital development, if high doses of plant sterols are taken during pregnancy, it (theoretically) could cause problems, such as abnormalities of the external genitals of a male fetus. However, this has not yet been shown to be a problem, and it is likely that large doses would be necessary to produce such effects.
A prenatal vitamin (a vitamin designed especially for pregnant women) is a much better choice, compared to Centrum Cardio. You should not take Centrum Cardio in addition to a prenatal vitamin, as you will exceed the recommended amounts of many different vitamins and minerals.
If you are pregnant, it is always a good idea to have a discussion with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including Centrum Cardio. Because the full risks are not currently known, it is generally recommended that pregnant women avoid taking Centrum Cardio.
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