Vitamin and mineral needs during the oral contraceptive therapy: a systematic review

Giulia Dante, Alberto Vaiarelli, Fabio Facchinetti


Objectives: There is growing evidence that women using OCs change in serum trace elements and vitamins. Nowadays, in many cases, side effects associated with low levels of micronutrients are not considered during oral contraceptives (OCs) therapy. This review aims at checking the present literature in order to verify the evidences. Our purpose is to underline this aspect contributing to improve the therapeutic approach with OCs.

Methods: Systematic literature search was performed in electronic databases, covering the period from January 1967 to January 2012.

Results: Ninety-five articles were located; a cross sectional randomized and three RCTs studies were considered eligible.

Conclusions: A decrease in the serum concentrations of zinc, selenium, phosphorus and magnesium have been reported in OC users. Such reductions were proportional to the duration of contraceptive use. These reductions may imply a reduction in the probability of having a pregnancy and/or an increase of serious illness for the unborn. In this regard, a supplementation with the above compounds could be useful in OC users, namely for reducing side effects.


Oral contraceptive pill, Nutritional requirements, Vitamins deficiency, Micronutrients deficiency, Serum trace elements

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