Pregnancy is one of the main periods in woman's life when we try to live as healthy as possible. Clearly, first trimester can overwhelm you with not very pleasant morning sickness or other symptoms when you glad to eat whatever and whenever. But, regardless of stage of your pregnancy, your doctor will prescribe you pregnancy vitamins. And since most of them have a daily recommended dose of all the necessary nutrients, we think that we're covered.
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Nowadays, market offers us all kinds of pregnancy vitamins: organic, vitamins with DHA, or simply Folic Acid. For a very long time I consumed one of the top brand's prenatal vitamins that I bought in Whole Foods. They were organic and that's all I wanted to know. Hey, isn't organic the best? But, as I recently started digging into this topic, I discovered that pregnancy vitamins have a lot of pitfalls which not many of us are aware of. And the main catch here is in the ingredients, which we think are just pure vitamins. But unfortunately all that glitters is not gold.
The main revelation for me was that you don't need a Folic Acid. In fact, you need a Folate which is a purest form of Folic Acid, found in fruits and vegetables, mainly in leafy greens. We all know, how important Folic Acid during pregnancy is, there are no doubts. But few of us know that Folic Acid listed as one of the ingredients, - is the synthetic form of Folate. And taking synthetic Folic Acid doesn't give the same benefits as consuming a natural Folate. A couple of studies made on synthetic Folic Acid prove that women who take it, increase their breast cancer risk by 20-30%! Scary, right?
Next time you go to refill your pregnancy vitamins, make sure it has Folate, not Folic Acid.
Another ingredient that you should pay close attention to - is vitamin B12, which is responsible for metabolizing Folic Acid.
Most conventional pregnancy vitamins contain B12 in a form of Cyanocobalamin. It is a cheap synthetic compound that isn't present in plants or animal tissues. Neither it is found in nature. Cyanocobalamin has a cyanide group. Cyanide has always been known as poison. And although it contains insignificant dose of it, you still don't want it in your body. Cyanocobalamin is hard for your body to absorb and not beneficial to your liver.
In contrary, another form of B12 - Methylcobalamin is much better and healthier alternative to a synthetic Cyanocobalamin. Numerous studies have shown that Methylcobalamin stays longer in your body, hence providing more continues benefits than Cyanocobalamin. In addition, Methylcobalamin has many advantages over Cyanocobalamin. It's not toxic, it absorbs better and is crucial for your nervous system health.
Stay away from corn and soy
What's also important is to make sure that your vitamins don't contain any soy or corn products. Unless your vitamins are organic, most soy and corn in America is genetically modified. And there were numerous researches on negative impacts of GMO products on health.
So far, after a thoroughly researching this topic, I found just one brand of pregnancy vitamins that contained natural Folate as well as B12 in a form of Methylcobalaminwhich. It is Garden of Life mykind Organics Prenatal Multi. Also, these vitamins are free from soy, corn and all vitamins are derived from organic food blend.
While many people say that if you eat a balanced diet rich in fruits and veggies, you can skip taking prenatal vitamins. But despite considering myself a healthy eater, I have those days when veggies are not on my plate and by taking a vitamin, I can at least be confident that I received my daily portion of necessary nutrients.
I hope that after reading my post, you got some understanding of the dangers of prenatal vitamins and of ingredients that should be avoided in your pregnancy vitamins. And if they are still listed on a label, make sure to stock up on a healthier alternatives next time you need a refill.