We do not recommend prenatal vitamins.
One of our supporters wrote to me for feedback about this particular prenatal vitamin and I forwarded the question to Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation. Her response was: “We do not recommend prenatal supplements. For starters, this one is calling carotenes vitamin A (which they are not, and can actually be very dangerous), and contains EPA, which interferes with DHA and AA. Pregnant women should be following our dietary recommendations and taking a good quality high-vitamin cod liver oil. Best, Sally”
Also, regarding vitamins in general: Sally Fallon Morell considers this statement to be “perfect” … “I am very careful with multi-vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplements. With the majority of patients, I don’t give it at all. I just tell them to implement the diet fully. Once the diet is fully implemented, the nutritional deficiencies just go away because the body knows what to do with vitamins, minerals and amino acids when they come as food. When they come as supplements the majority are synthetic. They don’t come with the right kind of co-factors, the right kind of friends holding hands, so the body doesn’t recognize them. And for most of the common supplements on the market today, the absorption rate is very low.” – Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD
These are some of the recommendations made to fortify a prenatal diet from the Weston A. Price Foundation in their article Vitamins for Fetal Development: Conception to Birth:
- Good maternal nutrition during pregnancy can protect the offspring from diabetes, stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, and memory loss later in life.
- Special preconception and pregnancy diets emphasizing foods dense in particular nutrients were universal among the traditional groups that Weston Price studied.
- Modern science has shown that fat-soluble vitamins are necessary for growth and development; the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is necessary for brain development; the need for biotin during pregnancy increases; folate boosts growth and decreases the risk of birth defects; choline causes a lifelong increase in memory and attention; and the amino acid glycine is required for growth.
- The Weston A. Price Foundation recommends a dose of high-vitamin cod liver oil per day to yield 20,000 IU of vitamin A, 2,000 IU of vitamin D, and 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids (about 1 3/4 teaspoon per day).
- Grass-fed animal fats supply vitamins E and K2; palm oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and freshly ground grains are also sources of vitamin E; fermented foods are also sources of vitamin K2. Leafy greens supply vitamin K1.
- Biotin can be obtained from liver and egg yolks. Raw egg whites should be strictly avoided and cooked egg whites should be consumed in moderation. Egg yolks can be added to smoothies and ice cream to boost biotin status.
- Folate can be obtained from liver, legumes, beets, and greens. Choline can be obtained from grass-fed dairy, egg yolks, liver, meat, cruciferous vegetables, nuts, and legumes. Figure 7 provides examples of how to meet the folate and choline requirements.
- Muscle meats and eggs should be liberally matched with the above folate-rich foods and with skin, bones, and bone broths to obtain glycine.