Does Your Prenatal Vitamin Have This?
Whether it’s your first pregnancy, you’ve been pregnant before, or you’re trying to conceive, you probably already know that taking a prenatal vitamin is highly recommended. With so many options available and different brands with various claims, it’s hard to know which is best. While each woman will have different needs, there are still necessary vitamins and minerals to look out for when choosing a prenatal supplement.
The Importance of Folate During Pregnancy
One of the most crucial nutrients women can consume during pregnancy is folate. Folate is a B vitamin that protects babies from developing brain and spinal cord abnormalities (neural tube defects) like spina bifida. Folate also helps lower the risk of preterm birth.
Natural folate is found in foods like leafy greens, cauliflower, beets, broccoli, and lentils. However, most people don’t eat enough folate-rich foods in their diets, and during pregnancy a woman’s need for folate increases. This is why supplementation is so important.
Folic Acid vs. Folate in Prenatal Vitamins
When it comes to the average prenatal vitamins on the market, several brands contain the synthetic form of folate, known as folic acid. What most people are unaware of is that 40–60% of our population have a genetic variant that prevents them from converting folic acid into methylfolate, the predominant usable form that the body needs. This MTHFR deficiency can make unmetabolized folic acid toxic.
It’s important to know if you have this gene defect so you can take the proper prenatal supplement. I happen to be a part of that population and found out thanks to the annual deep blood work my doctor conducts. However, it’s not standard protocol—most people don’t get the type of DNA testing that is needed to tell whether they have one, two, or no MTHFR gene variants, even though it’s believed that 3 out of 5 Americans have the genetic inability to absorb folate.
My Favorite Prenatal Supplement
Because most women have no idea if they have the MTHFR gene variants, your safest bet is to use a prenatal supplement with folate, rather than folic acid. (If you’d like to know for sure if you have this variant, ask your healthcare provider for methylation, or MTHFR, testing.)
When I was researching prenatal vitamins, my doctor advised me to look for brands that list the most biologically active form of folate in their ingredients—5-methyltetrahydrofolate, 5-MTHF, or L-5-MTHF. That’s when I found Thorne Basic Prenatal supplements.
Thorne Basic Prenatals can be taken during preconception and continued all the way through nursing, and since I just weaned Dries, that means I’ve been taking these supplements for a few years now! I appreciate that there are no unnecessary additives or coatings, just the nutrition you need to nourish yourself and your little one at every stage of your pregnancy and beyond.
Learn More About Thorne Basic Prenatals
*Before you take any supplements, talk to your health care practitioner, especially if you have existing medical conditions or are already pregnant.