Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy

Here's the script from my latest appearance on MyFox8, WGHP:

Dr. Vaughan is here today to talk about something you would not expect her to talk about. Pregnancy.

Anchor: As an integrative physician what is your particular interest in pregnancy?
Dr. V.: First I want to congratulate one staff member who delivered in early April and another staff member who just learned that she is pregnant. I see patients who have difficulty getting pregnant. Sometimes it's due to toxins, nutritional deficiencies or hormonal imbalance.

Anchor: What about nutrients during pregnancy?
Dr. V.: There is a great article in Natural Triad this month called Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy. Emily Saunders, the author, talks about the importance of protein, fiber, Omega 3 fats, folic acid and several other important nutrients.  It’s a good review of what women need in their bodies to have a healthy pregnancy. And she gives specific suggestions of snacks to eat that are healthier. Salty cashews instead of salty chips or a few bites of dark chocolate instead of a Snickers Bar.

The nutrient I find most interesting is vitamin B6 which is useful for treating vomiting during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. Many women take pyridoxine or B6 and it works.  But then there are other women that it doesn't work for. I learned at recent medical meeting that if you look at your toes you will be able to tell what kind of B6 you need to take.
Anchor: Your toes tell you about Vitamin B6?
Dr. V.: Absolutely. Look it up in Wikipedia. If your 2nd toe is longer than your big toe it has a special name. It is called a Morton’s toe. People who have a Morton's toe, sometimes called a bossy toe, do not activate vitamin B6 well.  When we eat B6 or pyridoxine, our body has to add a phosphorus group to it in order for it to be most effective as a cofactor for numerous enzyme reactions. If one cannot add that phosphorus group, the person does not dream well and doesn't remember their dreams. Other predictable symptoms of inability to activate B6 are migraine headaches, depression, and nausea and vomiting early in pregnancy. 
Anchor: So if a woman has a longer 2nd toe than her big toe what should she do?
Dr. V.: Take activated B6 instead of regular B6.  It's called.  Pyridoxil-5-phosphate or P5 P for short. 50 mg once or twice a day is a safe dose. She should start dreaming within a few days and her nausea and vomiting should also calm down. 
Anchor: Thanks, Dr. Vaughan...

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