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How PregnancyPlus™ Compares with Prescription Prenatal Vitamins

Most prescription prenatal vitamins contain higher levels of folic acid than non-prescription formulas. (Typically, prescription prenatal vitamins contain 1000 or more micrograms of folic acid, while non-prescription formulas are not allowed to exceed 800 micrograms.)

"The recommended daily dose for folic acid in
pregnancy is 600 mcg and the FDA has suggested to
limit the total folic acid intake (supplement plus food) for most women to no more than 1 mg (or 1000 micrograms). By taking a supplement already containing
1 mg (1000 mcg) this upper safe limit is easily exceeded when you consider that a certain amount of folic acid will be consumed naturally in the diet (through leafy greens, enriched grains, etc.)."

That's why PregnancyPlus™ contains 600 micrograms of folic acid – the precise amount recommended by the Institute of Medicine for pregnant women - and a balanced part of our "Just Right" Formula.

The Importance of Folic Acid During Pregnancy

Folic Acid (part of the vitamin B family) is very important for a strong pregnancy and healthy fetal development. Folic acid has been shown not only to decrease the risk of neural tube birth defects like spina bifida, but it has also been shown to reduce other birth defects like congenital heart conditions. It is especially recommended that women increase their intake of folic acid even before trying to conceive - and with a “just right” formulation of folic acid (600 mcg), PregnancyPlus™ provides the ideal dosage for pregnant and trying-to-conceive women.

What Are Neural Tube Defects?
Neural Tube Defects (NTDs) are among the most serious, common birth defects. NTDs occur when the neural tube of a fetus does not grow properly early in pregnancy and the baby is born with a serious birth defect. Spina bifida is the most common NTD.

Every year, approximately 2,500 babies are born with NTDs in the US, and many additional NTD-impacted pregnancies result in miscarriage or stillbirth. NTDs occur in the first three to four weeks following ovulation/fertilization. Therefore, it is important for women to make prenatal multivitamins (containing folic-acid) a daily, dietary cornerstone during preconception, well before conception. To achieve a satisfactory folic acid level it is suggested to begin folic acid supplementation at least 1-2 months prior to conception. As many pregnancies are unplanned, experts even recommend that all women of childbearing age make increased amounts of folate (folic acid) a central and routine part of their diet.

Folic Acid and the Prevention of Birth Defects

Numerous scientific studies emphasize the importance of folic acid and multivitamin supplementation in preventing birth defects and NTDs. Results of the Czeizel Study (1996) - using a periconceptional folic acid-containing multivitamin - indicate a "significant prevention of neural-tube defects, urinary tract and cardiovascular defects, in addition to a decrease in the rate of limb deficiencies and congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis". In this study, fertility was slightly improved after periconceptional multivitamin supplementation.

In a study by MRC Vitamin Study Research Group (1991), deficiencies of folic acid during pregnancy were associated with low birth weight and an increased incidence of neural tube defects. In this study, "women who were at high risk of giving birth to babies with neural tube defects were able to lower their risk by 72% by taking folic acid supplements prior to and during pregnancy".

In addition, a recent study found a link between Down syndrome and folic acid, showing that mothers of children with Down syndrome often cannot efficiently metabolize the B vitamin, folic acid. Further studies are being conducted to show if taking folic acid may prevent Down syndrome, which is responsible for a large percentage of miscarriages as well.

How Does Folic Acid Support a Healthy Pregnancy?
Folic Acid is a water-soluble B-vitamin - which means that it does not remain in the body for very long, so a regular, daily dosage is required. During pregnancy, the body's requirement for this vitamin increases - and PregnancyPlus™ helps you meet these new nutritional needs.

In pregnancy, folic acid supports the development of the body's "building blocks" - our DNA and RNA - as well as the synthesis and growth of proteins, tissues, and developing cells. With the rapid growth that takes place during the early part of pregnancy, there is a vital need for adequate folate levels in the bloodstream, especially at conception. PregnancyPlus™ prenatal multivitamin meets these needs.

For the complete "Just Right" formula, click here!

- Czeizel AE, Toth M, Rockenbauer M. Population-based case control study of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy. Teratology 1996; 53:345–51.
- Czeizel AE, Toth M, Rockenbauer M. Population-based case control study of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy. Teratology 1996; 53:345–51.
- MRC Vitamin Study Research Group. Prevention of neural tube defects: results of the Medical Research Council Vitamin Study. Lancet 1991;338(8760):131–7.
- Mazza D. How folate can help prevent birth defects. Aust Fam Physician 28(7):719, 1999. PubMed
- Mazza D. Preventing congenital malformations. Aust Fam Physician 28(7):717-8, 1999. PubMed
- Ulrich M, Kristofferson K, et al. The influence of folic acid supplement on the outcome of pregnancies in the county of Funen in Denmark. Part III. Congenital anomalies. An observational study. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 87(2):115-8; discussion 103-4, 1999. PubMed
- Abnormal Folate Metabolism and Mutation in Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase Gene May Be Maternal Risk Factors for Down Syndrome; James, S. Jill, et al; American Journal For Clinical Nutrition, volume 70, number 4, October 1999


Prenatal Vitamins
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Tea for Two'
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Nursing Blend
Designed to meet the nutritional needs of nursing women and aid in boosting milk production. Endorsed by a leading lactation specialist and MD, Nursing Blend is the ideal supplement for breastfeeding women.



  Information on this site is not meant to substitute for the advice of a physician or medical professional and should not be not used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. For complete terms of use, please click here.  

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