Prenate Vitamins: Helping Moms Meet Their Folic Acid Needs
January 5, 2018
Folic acid is one of the most important nutrients a woman can take to protect the health of her baby. If taken before and during early pregnancy, folic acid may help prevent up to 70 percent of several specific and serious neural-tube birth defects.1 As a line of prenatal vitamins that contain bioavailable folic acid, Prenate® Vitamin Family is working to reduce the instance of birth defects related to low levels of folic acid, as well as other nutritional deficiencies.
The Case for Folic Acid
Folic acid is a B vitamin that is present naturally in foods. Foods that are naturally high in folic acid include leafy green vegetables such as spinach or mustard greens, broccoli, asparagus, beans, and oranges.2
Low folic acid levels are linked to neural tube defects. These are birth defects of the brain and spine, such as spina bifida and anencephaly. While not all neural tube birth defects are due to folate deficiency, many may be prevented by consuming adequate levels of folic acid before and during early pregnancy.1
Neural tube birth defects occur within the first few weeks after conception. Unfortunately, many moms-to-be don’t start taking supplements until their first prenatal visit. In addition, the rate of unplanned pregnancy in the United States – at nearly 50 percent – means that many women aren’t taking folic acid before conceiving, as doctors generally recommend.8 For these reasons, all women between the ages of 15 and 45 should take a daily vitamin that contains at least 400 mcg of folic acid.3
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), folic acid supplementation increases the likelihood of full-term births.4 Folic acid supplementation also lowers the risk of preterm birth.4 Obtaining folic acid through natural food sources and supplementing with folic acid from a daily prenatal vitamin help give babies the best start in life.
Obstacles to Overcome
Unfortunately, many women of childbearing age do not obtain enough folate from their diet alone. Even when intake of folic acid from dietary supplements is included, 17 percent of women ages 19 to 30 do not meet average daily requirements.5
Some women who take folic acid have a genetic predisposition that makes their efforts futile. An enzyme called methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) helps make folic acid usable by the body. Women who have an MTHFR mutation have a highly reduced ability to convert folic acid to a usable form. It is estimated that 53 percent of women have this genetic mutation that does not allow them to properly process and absorb folic acid.6,7
Meet Your Needs with Prenatal Vitamins with Folic Acid
There is a solution that can help mothers ensure they are meeting their folic acid needs and supporting the growth and development of their babies. The prescription prenatal vitamins offered by the Prenate® Vitamin Family contain a form of folic acid that is absorbable for women who have a genetic predisposition which impairs proper metabolism of folic acid. The Prenate® Vitamin Family’s line of prenatal vitamins contains L-methylfolate, which is a form of folate that is bioavailable regardless of a woman’s MTHFR status. Every Prenate® product meets or exceeds recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for daily consumption of folic acid. These products contain 1 mg folate as a blend of bioavailable L-methylfolate and traditional folic acid.
The guidance of a health care professional is critical to ensure that women have access to prescription prenatal vitamins that offer a form of folate that allows their bodies to absorb it. Prescription prenatal vitamins, such as the Prenate® Vitamin Family, can supply moms with the highest level of folic acid from a supplement. The folic acid in Prenate® offers women the ability to receive the folic acid they need, even if they have the gene mutation that inhibits folic acid metabolism. Talk to your doctor to see if the Prenate® Vitamin Family’s prenatal vitamins with folic acid are right for you.