Just like you, I have heard that old wives tale about taking prenatal vitamins just for your hair and nails, so many times that I believed that it worked. The truth is that taking prenatal vitamins when you are not pregnant or planning to get pregnant can actually hurt you. Check out when to start taking prenatal vitamins and when are prenatal vitamins most important.
There is actually no scientific evidence that will show that taking prenatal vitamins will help your hair and nails. It also won’t make them grow faster. Sure, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence, but nothing that can actually be proven. So, you need to be skeptical about any type of claim about someone taking prenatal vitamins to get amazing nails or hair.
The fact is during pregnancy you will have increased estrogen levels that will keep your hair and nails in the growing phase, so less hair falls out and your nails will keep growing. Hence the reason that pregnant women have amazing, thick hair and great nails. The hair hasn’t changed, it just isn’t being lost like it used to.
In order to keep your hair and nails looking great, you need to ensure that they don’t break and give them what they need in order to keep healthy. If you aren’t getting the right amount of minerals and vitamins then you need to talk to your doctor about getting an average multivitamin. When your body gets what it needs, you will certainly see an improvement in your skin, nails, and hair.
So to answer the question, you shouldn’t take a prenatal vitamin if you aren’t pregnant.
From everything that I have researched, if you are healthy and taking prenatal vitamins it won’t do you a lot of harm, it won’t benefit you, and it may screw some things up with your body.
Here is why you shouldn’t take prenatal vitamins if you aren’t pregnant or planning on getting pregnant
A prenatal vitamin can interact with medications that you are taking. This can also happen with supplements and herbs that you may take, but the truth is that prenatal vitamins are disruptive. Before you take anything besides your medication, check with your doctor.
Parental vitamins also do not have a lot of calcium. It only contains up to 300mg. Healthy adults need at least 1000mg daily. A prenatal vitamin is meant to be a supplement and not a replacement of calcium in your diet.
Prenatal vitamins also have a lot of folic acid in them, a lot more than you would need. Pregnant women need at least 600mcg of folic acid daily in order to lower the risk of neural tube defects. Healthy women only need 400mcg. Getting extra won’t hurt you but it isn’t recommended because too much folic acid can hide a serious B12 deficiency, which is something that has to be treated immediately.
Prenatal vitamins also have extra iron, which is more than you need if you aren’t pregnant and having too much iron is a real problem. When you are pregnant you will need at least 27mg daily to beat anemia. The average healthy adult needs 18mg and when you are in your 50’s it goes down to 8mg.
What I am saying is that pregnant women have different needs and prenatal vitamins are made to help those needs. If you aren’t pregnant or looking to become pregnant, just take a normal multivitamin that is designed for your age group.