2nd Trimester

Danger of chicory root extract

I was just putting groceries away and noticed one of the ingredients on the protein bars that I eat daily is chicory root extract. So I googled it to see if it was safe during pregnancy, and of course it's not. While I assume it's not safe when taken in large doses, and the amount in a protein bar is fine, I am paranoid about eating them now as taken in large doses it causes bleeding/miscarriage. Apparently Fiber One products contain this too, as does the Kashi cereal I have been eating. I have been eating these protein bars almost daily since even before I was pregnant, and I'm now 25 weeks along, but scared to eat them anymore. What do you all think?

Re: Danger of chicory root extract

  • I wouldn't but I'm a paranoid freak. I was eating them ALL the time. (fiber one brownies), got Preggo, then had a chemical pregnancy. Obviously not saying that's why I had a chemical but because it was in conjunction, I won't eat them any more.
  • I wouldn't worry about it. I've NEVER heard of a doc recommending his patients avoid protein bars or Kashi cereal. And the amt of the extract in those foods is almost certainly small.

    But if it bothers you, don't eat any more. Easy peasy. :) 

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  • I've never heard of that ever.  Never was in any of the literature my doctor has sent home with me of all the "don'ts" of pregnancy.

    My thought is that you'd probably have to have an incredibely high dose of it to put you at risk for anything.  I think if we all went through our cupboards and started googling ingredients, we'd find a lot of scary stuff on the internet.  I'd go by the instructions your doctor gave you and not be paranoid.

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  • I wouldn't worry about it.




  • imagejfresh:
    From what I have read about roots and pregnancy, the reason why they are not recommended is because they don't know side-affects, not because they are dangerous. I eat Kashi products all the time, I actually had never thought to look at the ingredients in Kashi stuff!! You may just want to bring one of the protein bars with you to your next appointment to show your doctor the ingredients. I would assume they will say it's perfectly fine, but it's never a bad thing to double check.


    This.  I also ate Kashi cereals every day my entire first trimester and prior to getting pregnant and about 3 times a week now.  And I don't measure out a serving, I fill up the cereal bowl.  Normal to be paranoid about it, though.

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  • imageMedhp00:

    I didn't look this up yet, but what is chicory root used for? Is it to add fiber or as a sugar substitute? I wonder if it may induce contractions (which I believe is ONE of the various reasons we are told to caution against using "laxatives"). I'm just curious and thinking out loud :).

    I would take the advice of the PP and ask your doctor. 

    It is to aid in digestion by adding fiber. And yes, in large doses it can cause contractions. I'm just curious as to what constitutes a large dose. Thanks for your responses. I have an OB appt. next week and I will ask then. I usually try not to be the overly cautious pregnant woman who won't eat anything, but once I realized how many things I was consuming on a daily basis with chicory root extract in them, I got kind of worried. I think my decaf coffee blend might contain it too.

  • Even though I was told that a small amount won't hurt me or the baby, I stopped eating those bars that contained that ingredient. There are several brands out there that do not contain chicory root extract and I've switched to those. My favorite is the Nature Valley bars (the original, as I think the chewy and other types have the chicory in them).


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  • When talking about large doses, think medicinal amounts. So you don't want to go to your local supplements store, buy a bottle of chicory root extract, and dose yourself with it. The amount that is in a protein bar isn't going to do anything. I'm almost certain that what you're seeing on the internet is that you want to avoid using herbs and extracts as supplements. I don't believe it's referring to the food additive. You can call your doc just to be safe, but I am 99.9% sure that's what your doc is going to say.
  • I would be careful.  I was drinking a coffee substitute before and during my last pregnancy thinking it was better for me and the baby than coffee.  I ended up having a miscarriage at 6 weeks.  Was that the reason? I don't know but I don't see any studies saying it is safe and several things saying it causes misscarriages.  I am now erroring on the cautious side for my second pregnancy.  I was eating kashi cereal yesterday and looked at the ingredients and saw Chicory Root on there.  Augh!  I had no idea!  Gotta be careful with everything it seems!  Even if your doc says it's ok, ask for studies to prove that.  They can't know without studies.  Good luck and healthy babies to all! 
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