There’s quite an allure attached to prenatal vitamins: Many women have come to believe that taking them, pregnant or not, will help them grow out their hair, nails, and even given them an extra added dose of nutrients that their body must need, right? Wrong. Here, we spoke with medical experts to find out the (sometimes dangerous!) side effects of taking prenatal vitamins when you are not pregnant.
Your hair could fall out.
Taking prenatal vitamins to boost hair growth may not have the results you imagine. “While prenatal vitamins get a lot of credit for a woman’s thick pregnancy hair, these changes are actually due to hormonal differences that cause hair and nails to grow faster and make hair less likely to fall out,” said Megan Casper, M.S., RDN, owner of Megan Casper Nutrition and writer for Nourished Bite.
You could gain an unforeseen B12 deficiency.
One thing to take into consideration is the extra amount of nutrients prenatal vitamins have in them that your body may not need, and therefore harm more than help you. “Prenatal vitamins have more folate and iron than regular multivitamins,” said Christine Greves, M.D., an OBGYN for Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, FL.