Our newest product is the Revive+ Immunity Blend. It was formulated to protect against pathogens and decrease inflammatory responses to the body’s healthy tissues. The impressive lineup of plant-based ingredients is no doubt a powerful addition to a healthy lifestyle. However, just like the release of any new product, the question arises, “is it safe for nursing and pregnant women?”
Research is limited on many medications, herbal and prescription, as to their safety in pregnancy and lactation. Clinical trials are not done on these groups of women, nor is the use of these products regulated by the FDA the same way.
However, based on the information available, here’s what we do know about the specific ingredients in Revive+.
Quercetin Powder is one of the most abundant antioxidants in the diet and found in many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It helps to combat free radicals in the body which lead to chronic inflammation and disease. Consuming quercetin through whole foods is most likely safe for pregnancy and nursing mamas. However, quercetin is also a powerful iron chelator and crosses the placenta, accumulating in the fetus. Therefore, consuming too much may have detrimental effects on the unborn child later in life.
When nursing, take caution when and if taking in supplemental form as consuming too much is possible when combined with whole foods. The effects on nursing mothers aren’t as well known, but what is known is that quercetin is transferred through breast milk to the nursing child.
Stinging Nettle is a dark leafy plant high in iron. It has been used to treat inflammation, arthritis, and joint pain. Furthermore, it is a natural antihistamine and used to combat allergies and asthma. Due to its high levels of iron, stinging nettle has been used to fight postpartum fatigue and is believed to help increase breast milk production. It appears to be safe for nursing mothers. Mild side effects include upset stomach and diarrhea. However, pregnant women should NOT take this supplement as it can cause uterine contraction and possibly miscarriage.
Milk Thistle Extract
Milk Thistle Extract is commonly used to help the liver filter out toxins and bacteria in the body. It’s used to treat liver problems, reduce cholesterol, and improve insulin sensitivity. As a result, it can aid in weight loss efforts. Milk Thistle may be effective at treating morning sickness in pregnancy, but as always, talk to your doctor before taking any prescription or over the counter supplements.
Bromelain is found in the stem and fruit of pineapples. It is very effective as an anti-inflammatory. Bromelain is an enzyme that thins our blood and digests proteins. Because of this ability, it’s been said that pineapple can induce labor, early labor or miscarriage if eaten early in pregnancy. Bromelain ripens the cervix which can cause it to open before the it’s time. However, the amount of bromelain found in pineapple is quite low. While pineapples need not be avoided for fear of miscarriage, supplementing with bromelain is quite different and therefore not recommended for pregnant mamas.
Not much is known about bromelain supplementation in breastfeeding women, but one theory says that bromelain can induce menstruation and therefore not conducive to lactation and preserving milk supply.
Among these powerful herbs in Protea’s Revive, there isn’t sufficient information for or against use of olive leaf extract, Turkey Tail Mushroom Extract and Organic Lion’s Mane Extract in pregnant and nursing women.
Both Echinacea and Chlorella were classified as “probably safe” when taken during pregnancy and nursing, but it’s still best to speak to your doctor before taking any over herbal supplements. Not enough is known about these herbs and their safety or efficacy in pregnant and nursing women.
As with any supplement or medicine, exercise caution when deciding which to take. Again, talk to your doctor about what is right for you. Do your due diligence before starting any new supplement; herbal or otherwise.