Prescription Prenatal Vitamins Versus Over-the-Counter Prenatal Vitamins
October 4, 2016
There is no disputing that pregnant women should take a prenatal vitamin. Women should begin prenatal vitamin supplementation at least one month before conception. However, if a pregnancy is unplanned, an expecting mother should start taking prenatal vitamins as soon as she knows she is pregnant.
When it comes to prenatal vitamins, many women choose the lowest-cost option they can purchase over the counter. However, there are several benefits to taking a prescription prenatal vitamin instead of an over-the-counter generic. Below are the unique benefits that patented ingredients in Prenate® vitamins provide and why they are different from over-the-counter prenatal vitamins.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) monitors and regulates the manufacturing process and ingredients in the Prenate® Vitamin Family. Supplements that are considered pharmaceutical grade are 99% pure, which means they contain no binders, fillers, dyes, or unknown substances. By not settling for anything less than pharmaceutical-grade supplements, expecting mothers are assured that their supplements contain the nutrients they need and no added or harmful fillers.
Surprisingly, the over-the-counter supplement industry is not regulated by the FDA. Although supplements are consumed, they are not regulated like the foods that we eat. However, the FDA does monitor and regulate pharmaceutical prenatal vitamins. This means that expecting mothers can rest easy knowing that the quality of ingredients in the Prenate® Vitamin Family is backed by the FDA.
Patented Ingredients with Proven Benefits
Prenate® Vitamin Family products contain patented nutrient forms with scientifically proven benefits. Some over-the-counter prenatal vitamins may contain folic acid, iron, and calcium. However, they do not contain patented nutrient forms:
- Quatrefolic® is a patented form of folic acid that is found in Prenate Chewable®. It is bioavailable to all women regardless of their ability to process folic acid.
- Sumalate® is a patented form of iron found in several Prenate® Vitamin Family products, including Prenate Mini® and Prenate Pixie®. It is about three times more bioavailable than common iron forms. This means that a smaller dose is more efficient.2-4 Plus, patients report less nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain with Sumalate® than other common iron forms.3,5,6
- FormiCal® is a patented form of calcium formate. Several Prenate® vitamins contain FormiCal®. It is gentle on the gastrointestinal tract.7 Plus, it is absorbed more rapidly and more efficiently, and to a greater extent than calcium citrate and calcium carbonate (common forms of calcium in over-the-counter prenatal vitamins).7
- Lactospore® is a commercial probiotic preparation containing L(+) lactic acid producing microbial preparation from Bacillus coagulans, MTCC 5856 (earlier known to be Lactobacillus sporogenes) found in Prenate® Restore. Probiotics are invisible “good bacteria” that have health benefits for both mother and baby.8,9
Prescription Prenatal Vitamins to Support Mother & Baby
This post is brought to you by the Prenate® Vitamin Family, a line of prescription prenatal supplements designed to enhance preconception, prenatal, and postpartum nutrition in women. Talk with your doctor about how taking a daily prescription prenatal or postnatal vitamin could help support a healthy pregnancy and postpartum wellness.