It is widely known that calcium is required for strong bones. But there are other essen...VIEW POST
The Best Prenatal For Healthy Diets
Written by: Seeking Health
Do you work hard at staying healthy?
Are you eating right, exercising, and living a wholesome lifestyle?
If so, you may be thinking supplements like a prenatal vitamin may not be something you need.
Nutrient Deficiencies in Pregnancy
While healthy foods provide many vitamins necessary for pregnancy, some of those vitamins have to be converted by enzymes in your body before they can be used for the development of a child. Due to genetic variations, many women have enzymes that do not work well. This can cause a large portion of women to have lower levels of essential nutrients than desired.
The modern diet is deficient in certain essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D. (1, 2) If you are not eating a healthy and varied diet, you may be missing even more micronutrients essential to fetal development, which can increase the risk of low birth weight, birth defects, preterm birth, and other complications related to not meeting the micronutrient standards for pregnancy. The reality is that relying on food alone could potentially put you at risk for nutrient deficiencies and possible developmental issues in your child. (1, 3)
To play it safe, many women take prenatal vitamins to assure they are meeting their daily nutrient needs and the micronutrient standards required for a healthy pregnancy.
Essential Nutrients for Pregnancy
While many prenatals have potent doses of nutrients, herbs, antioxidants, and amino acids, you may be looking for a prenatal formula that contains just what is needed for healthy growth and development of your baby, and nothing more.
Keep in mind, while many women need nutrient-dense prenatal vitamins, other women do best with just the essentials. These are the essentials needed to grow a healthy, happy baby and to bounce back after your nine-month journey.† (2, 4)
Obtaining these nutrients from a prenatal vitamin eliminates concern about whether the nutrient content of your food is meeting the specific requirements of pregnancy.† (2, 4)
This is why Dr. Ben Lynch formulated Prenatal Essentials, to help you meet your nutrition needs before, during, and after pregnancy.†
Your Prenatal EssentialsPrenatal Essentials is a concise, powerful prenatal multivitamin designed with only the nutrients that are needed for a healthy pregnancy and development of your baby — nothing more.†
This formula is meticulously created with superior forms of nutrients for optimal absorption and utilization.†Prenatal Essentials contains bioavailable, active forms of nutrients to nourish your body and baby’s. When possible, each vitamin is contained in its most active form, to support those whose enzymatic function may not be able to convert food forms of nutrients into their usable forms. Each mineral is chelated, meaning it's bound to an amino acid or another familiar compound to support optimal absorption in the digestive tract.†
Prenatal Essentials includes these key nutrients (and more):
- Active, true folates (as L-5-MTHF and folinic acid)
- Active B12 (adenosyl and methyl forms)
- Active B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate)
- Active B2 (riboflavin-5-phosphate)
- Active vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)
- Vitamin D (vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol)
- Vitamin K2 (as menaquinone-7)
What are True Folates?
Arguably, one of the most important of these nutrients are the true folates.
You are probably wondering...what are true folates?True folates are naturally created by our bodies — they are not man-made. These active, ‘readily available’ forms of folate have already gone through the enzymatic steps needed for them to be used by your body. In contrast, inactive and many man-made, synthetic forms of folate require several enzymatic conversions in your body before they are able to be used.†
These active forms of folate are required for incredibly necessary functions, such as healthy spinal and brain development. Dr. Ben Lynch has studied genetics for over a decade to learn that many people are unable to make sufficient amounts of true folates due to genetic variations or their lifestyle choices.
How Your MTHFR Gene Affects Folate
Let me explain something that may make you rethink prenatal nutrition.
It is estimated that approximately 50% of us have a variation in the gene that is required for obtaining these natural forms of folate — it's called the MTHFR gene.
This gene is responsible for turning food forms of folates into an active form of folate called 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). This form of folate, 5-MTHF, plays a role in hundreds of chemical pathways that support a healthy body and mind.
Let’s step back and think about this for a moment...
50% of the population has a reduced ability to convert folate into the active form 5-MTHF — this form is essential for human health!
Adding insult to injury, many people are eating poor diets and taking medications that further reduce their levels of folate.
Folic acid vs. Folate in PregnancyFolate is one of the most important nutrients when you want to have a child. It helps to properly build, repair, and express your genes — all things you need to grow a baby!
True forms of folates, such as 5-MTHF, are naturally found within our bodies. They are immediately recognized and able to be used without undergoing any additional biochemical steps.
When you get pregnant or want to get pregnant, most doctors prescribe you folate in the form of folic acid.
Folic acid is the man-made version of folate.Many women who take folic acid still end up experiencing an actual folate deficiency and struggle with pregnancy issues.†
Ironic — how is this possible when folic acid is used interchangeably with folate?
This is because folic acid has a slightly different molecular structure than true, natural folates, which causes the body to respond differently to it. When you consume folic acid, it must go through several enzyme conversions in your body before it is turned into the true, usable form of folate.
Not only must it go through several steps to become usable folate (which is enzymatically exhausting), but folic acid can also block and slow folate production. It does this by slowing several enzymes in the folate production process, including one of the most important — the last step, your MTHFR enzyme (See the Folate Pathway on your StrateGene® ).†
If you are part of the 50% of the population who has a variation in your MTHFR gene that shows up on a genetic test like StrateGene®, then you are susceptible to a slowed-down MTHFR enzyme, and therefore a decreased ability to produce the active folates necessary for normal growth and development.
Women who experience a folate deficiency are at risk for having babies with birth defects, such as spina bifida. In those trying to conceive, a folate deficiency may also lead to infertility issues or a high-risk pregnancy. (5, 6)
By taking the true folates found in Prenatal Essentials, you can help your body to bypass these enzymatic steps, such as the MTHFR enzyme, and give your body the folate it needs to support proper growth and development.†
Bioavailable Nutrients for Pregnancy
Besides folate, the other essential vitamins and minerals found in Prenatal Essentials are specifically chosen to support other common genetic variants. For example, this product includes the active form of vitamin A, known as retinyl palmitate, for people who cannot convert beta carotene (the form of vitamin A found in plants) to retinyl palmitate. This occurs from a gene variation in the BC01 gene. Methyl- and adenosyl-cobalamin, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, and riboflavin-5-phosphate are provided for those that have other gene issues as well. This science-backed formulation is why so many women now follow Dr. Lynch to find support for their healthy pregnancies.†Prenatal Essentials is a synergistic prenatal vitamin that supports normal and healthy fetal development. Its bioavailable vitamins and minerals support:†
- Genetic development
- Brain development
- Bone growth and development
- Healthy immune system
What Is ‘Methyl-Free’?
Having helped thousands of women across the globe to support their healthy pregnancy, Dr. Lynch has designed this prenatal vitamin in two slightly different formulations to suit your unique needs: Prenatal Essentials and Prenatal Essentials Methyl-Free.
Though methylated nutrients are necessary for the methylation processes we talked about earlier, not all women tolerate them well.
How do you know if you don’t tolerate methylated nutrients? If you feel anxiety or have other unusual side effects like headaches when you take B vitamins, you may benefit from taking non-methylated B vitamins instead.Non-methylated nutrients, such as folinic acid (a non-methylated form of folate), require the body to ‘methylate’ them on its own. This requires slightly more enzymatic energy, including the use of the MTHFR enzyme, but these forms are still natural, true forms that are much more bioavailable than food forms of folate or folic acid.†
The methylated nutrients that are intentionally removed from our Prenatal Essentials Methyl-Free include:
- Methylfolate (5-MTHF)
- Betaine (TMG)
Other Essential Nutrients for Pregnancy
Prenatal Essentials is designed to give you optimal customization of any additional nutrients needed. There are other important nutrients during pregnancy as well, such as:†
Even your gut microbiome is important to keep in optimal “shape” during pregnancy, for healthy digestion and immune system support.†Prenatal Essentials pairs well with the following products:
- Optimal PC liquid or softgels — Supports healthy cell membrane, brain, and liver function.†
- Optimal DHA — Supports healthy fetal brain development.†
- Optimal Iron Chewable — Supports healthy iron levels in a delicious chewable format!†
- ProBiota HistaminX — A probiotic to support your gut’s healthy response to histamine, and optimal digestion during pregnancy.†
- Optimal Electrolyte — Hydration is more than just water! Electrolytes support normal cellular function and nutrient absorption.†
How to Take Prenatal Essentials
Both versions of our Prenatal Essentials line are a simple, easy option for women, requiring only a two-capsule dose in easy-to-swallow capsules.
Pro tip: Take the product in divided doses to ensure consistent nutrition throughout the day, instead of a large dose all at once. For example, take one capsule with breakfast and one with lunch. Dr. Lynch recommends not taking this product within five hours of bedtime as it may interfere with sleep.
Some days you may be relaxed and have eaten well and only need one capsule, while other days you may need both capsules. The version that you choose and the amount you take depends on your lifestyle day-to-day, and the recommendations of your qualified healthcare professional.
Are you planning to get pregnant within the next year? Dr. Lynch recommends starting your prenatal vitamins well before you start trying to conceive to prepare your genetics for healthy conception. Many health practitioners recommend starting prenatals at least three months before you start trying to conceive, at minimum!
The Bottom Line
We understand that prenatal nutrition can be overwhelming. If you already have a healthy diet and are looking for a prenatal with just the essential ingredients needed to support your baby’s healthy development, then look no further. Prenatal Essentials is a cost-effective and simple 2-capsule serving that will support a healthy pregnancy throughout your 9-month journey and beyond! This prenatal multivitamin has everything you need, and nothing you don’t.†
- Micronutrient deficiencies in pregnancy worldwide: health effects and prevention https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4927329/
- Macronutrient and Micronutrient Intake during Pregnancy: An Overview of Recent Evidence https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6413112/
- Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Polymorphisms and Pregnancy Outcome https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6138472/
- Nutrition Recommendations in Pregnancy and Lactation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5104202/
- 5-MTHF (5-methyl tetrahydrofolate) vs folic acid: a key to pregnancy outcome: a case series https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29882091/
- Folate Metabolism and Human Reproduction https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4175124/