Monday, June 1, 2015

Is Shakeology Safe While Pregnant or Nursing?

I'm a Beachbody Coach, a mother of two and a nursing mother. I started drinking Shakeology while still nursing my first and continue to drink it during my second pregnancy and while nursing her.  So, you can understand that I've been asked a LOT whether it’s safe to consume Shakeology while pregnant or nursing. 

I always appreciate that the question is asked, but I can't help but wonder if this same attention is given when choosing the rest of their meals. Do they ask the same question about processed foods with dyes and preservatives - or meat that includes hormones or that infamous "pink slime"?  

Now, just to clarify, I’m not a medical professional or nutritionist, I have researched the topics extensively and I've also taken the ingredients of Shakeology to TWO gynecologists, TWO pediatricians, and ONE nutritionist. So if you aren’t interested in the details, and just want the short answer: Yes. Shakeology is safe for pregnant and nursing moms and their babies–unless the mom has a sensitivity or allergy to an ingredient OR another medical condition that would prevent someone from drinking it. So for those who just want the short answer, you don’t have to read any further, but you should :)

For nerds like me, here are more of the nitty gritty details. It’s important to note that only 6 percent of all physicians in the US receive formal nutrition training (statistic quoted from the film “Food Matters”) and many do not learn about breastfeeding, either. 

I have heard time and time again, that women have been advised NOT to drink Shakeology, due to the amount of vitamin A in it. This proves to me that the doctor is only partially educated on the matter. It is true that high amounts of vitamin A in the form of retinol–which is preformed vitamin A from animal sources–have been correlated to birth defects. 

HOWEVER, the vitamin A in Shakeology is in the form of plant-based beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body. No studies at all have suggested that beta carotene has any correlation to birth defects. The rate of conversion of beta carotene to vitamin A is drastically reduced when higher amounts are ingested, preventing toxicity and teratogenicity. The Teratology Society concluded that beta carotene is not a teratogen (substance that causes birth defects) according to an excellent article by the Illinois Teratogen Information Service.

Shakeology is made from all natural ingredients, none of which are contraindicated for pregnancy or breastfeeding. Check out this video about where the ingredients come from. 

You should ALWAYS seek advice from a medical care provider, however–based on the fact that most gynecologists have not had formal nutrition training, it is important to find a nutritionist with the training or do your own research as well. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions and find out the reasons for any medical advice you receive. t is important to remember that doctors do not always agree on what’s best, and they are there to advise, not the ultimate decision maker. You are the only one in charge of your body, your baby and the health of both of you!

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