Are you pregnant or hope to be very soon? It is an incredibly joyful season of life, but picking out prenatal supplements can be very confusing and many women don’t know what to look for.
Health professionals advise women to take a prenatal supplements with folic acid and DHA. However, they usually give very little guidance about dosage. Even more, few offer how to pick the highest quality supplements for you and your baby.
When it comes to prenatal care, we have done extensive research. We believe there are 4 things that are foundational to supplementation. You can find 3 of these nutrition supplements in a high-quality multivitamin:
and Omega 3’s.
Everyone involved in prenatal care agrees dosage and quality are incredibly important. Many studies conclude a healthy pregnancy must include the following:
.8 to 1 milligram of folate,
2000-4000 IUS of Vitamin D,
27 milligrams, and
2000 milligrams of Omega 3’s per day.
Even with the highest quality multivitamins, additional supplementation may be necessary.
Sadly, some of the most commonly purchased prenatal vitamins miss the mark. Our goal is to help you get educated so you can make the best decision for you and your baby! Here are a few things you need to be on the lookout for when selecting prenatal supplements.
Folate vs Folic Acid in Prenatal Supplements
Folate is a key ingredient to a healthy pregnancy. It prevents neural tube defects and serious abnormalities of the brain and spinal cord for baby. Did you know folate helps mom too!
Folic Acid and Folate are often confused as being one in the same. Folic acid is the man-made form of folate. The problem with folic acid is that 40-60% of people can’t utilize it in their bodies. Some people have a genetic mutation called MTHFR. This mutation stops the conversion process of folic acid into folate. And without that conversion process, folic acid as essentially useless.
Since folate is in its natural state, you don’t have to worry about whether or not your body can convert it. It's already active and useable.
We examined 3 of the most commonly purchased multivitamins from a major pharmacy. None of them used the active form of folate. It was actually hard to find a multivitamin at the pharmacy that was purely using folate. Some used a little bit but were still primarily using folic acid.
Here at Nutrition World, we only offer multivitamins and nutrition supplements that contain the active form of folate. This ensures that your body can use the folate you are taking.
Ingredients to Be Aware Of in Nutrition Supplements
We cannot stress enough the importance of clean, high-quality nutrition supplements. Sadly, many of the vitamins available are loaded with toxic ingredients or low-quality nutrients. Here are a few key things to look for.
Though Vitamin B12 is essential, Cyanocobalamin is not ideal. It’s a synthetic form of B12 and has to go through the process of converting into methylcobalamin to be used by the body. Save your body a step and look for a multivitamin using methylcobalamin.
Research has shown that stearic acid can suppress your T cells. Stearic acide is what they add to magnesium to create magnesium stearate. Your T cells support your immune system. Without fully functioning T cells your body can destroying cell function by collapsing the cell membrane.
Soy is one of the most heavily sprayed crops with glyphosate. Glyphosate has shown to have carcinogenic links. Soy is also the #1 most genetically modified crop in our industry. GMO’s are very new to our culture so a long term history on their health effects are not yet well recorded.
Research associates both red 40 and yellow 5 dyes with problems in children. These problems can lead to allergies, hyperactivity, learning impairment, irritability, and aggressiveness.
The American Cancer Society is now recognizing Talc as a harmful ingredient. Talc contains asbestos and is linked to an increased risk of cancer. Unfortunately, talc was used in Johnson & Johnson Body powder for decades. This has caused an increase in childhood cancers. Recently lawsuits were made against its use and it was banned.
Many people choose their vitamins by cost alone. At what point is health worth compromising for saving a few bucks? And isn't that even more important when you’re growing a little human?! For as little as $1 per day, you can get an incredibly high-quality multivitamin that you can feel good about. Come by and see us and learn more about what makes our prenatal vitamins different.
Proper Amounts of DHA
There are over 1196 scholarly articles published on fish oil during pregnancy. Omega 3’s are essential long chain fatty acids that are needed for optimal health and development of your baby. These fats are not synthesized by the human body and therefore MUST be obtained from your diet or supplementation. Research indicates that the two most beneficial omega 3’s are EPA and DHA. They both naturally occur together and work together to benefit the body. DHA is a primary structural component of the human brain, the cerebral cortex, skin, and eyes. DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid that is found in fish and various forms of algae, for those who are vegetarian, while EPA supports the heart, immune system, and inflammatory response.
So, what suggestions do we have in terms of dosage? Two large studies have shown that women who consume 600-800 mg of omega 3’s daily reduce their risk of preterm birth by more than 40%.
Lastly, it is important to know the sourcing of your Omega-3s. All fish oil is not created equal. Purity is becoming a major issue given the amount of pollution in our oceans. Look for products that have 3rd party verifications checking for contaminants and heavy metals. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, choose a clean, sustainable algae-based omega.
Other Pregnancy Nutrition Tips
Always talk to your doctor before beginning any prenatal supplement regimen while pregnant.
Drink lots of water! Try to drink 10 cups per day.
Eat well. Eat whole foods and balanced meals. Avoid lots of sugar.
Final Prenatal Supplement Thoughts
We cannot stress enough the importance of knowing the quality of your prenatal supplements for not only your baby’s health but yours as well. Fetal development plays such a huge role in the health of the child after delivery. There are many “healthy” children born to women who have not closely monitored their prenatal supplement regimen. But if you're looking for optimal health for you and baby, proper supplementation can help. As always, Nutrition World in Chattanooga is at the forefront of holistic health. We carry the top of the line nutrition supplements for both you and your sweet baby. Come by and see us!