Abstract: Hormonal contraceptives may produce side effects that deter women from their use as a method of family planning. In nutritionally vulnerable populations these effects may be more pronounced due to micronutrient deficiencies and health status. Previous studies have been unable to resolve whether micronutrient supplementation may reduce such side effects. Aim: In a longitudinal study, 1011 women obtaining oral contraception through the public health system in rural Cambodia were allocated to either intervention or control groups, receiving either daily Vitamin B6 supplement or care as usual (without placebo). Results: The intervention participants (n = 577) reported fewer side effects in three categories: nausea/no appetite, headache, and depression compared with control group participants (n = 434). Conclusion: Women taking Vitamin B6 supplement were less likely to report side effects in a nutritionally vulnerable population. Underlying nutrition status should be considered by clinicians and reproductive health policy makers in the context of providing contraceptive services. Further investigation into micronutrient supplementation, particularly with B6, in reproductive-aged women using hormonal contraception should be conducted in other settings to determine the potential for widespread adoption.
Keywords: pyridoxine; Vitamin B6; combined oral contraceptive; side effects; family planning
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Var, C.; Keller, S.; Tung, R.; Freeland, D.; Bazzano, A.N. Supplementation with Vitamin B6 Reduces Side Effects in Cambodian Women Using Oral Contraception. Nutrients 2014, 6, 3353-3362.
Var C, Keller S, Tung R, Freeland D, Bazzano AN. Supplementation with Vitamin B6 Reduces Side Effects in Cambodian Women Using Oral Contraception. Nutrients. 2014; 6(9):3353-3362.
Var, Chivorn; Keller, Sheryl; Tung, Rathavy; Freeland, Dylan; Bazzano, Alessandra N. 2014. "Supplementation with Vitamin B6 Reduces Side Effects in Cambodian Women Using Oral Contraception." Nutrients 6, no. 9: 3353-3362.