Is Prenatal Oxylent a complete Prenatal multivitamin?
Yes, Prenatal Oxylent is a complete daily prenatal multivitamin. Adding a packet of our vitamin drink mix to water creates a refreshing sparkling drink that delivers a full-spectrum prenatal formula—including folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D3, choline, and a full panel of Albion Minerals, which is one of the highest regarded mineral manufacturers in not only the natural health industry but among both naturopathic doctors and the pharmaceutical industry as well. Albion Minerals’ patented chelate structure has been proven to deliver up to twenty times higher bioavailability than typical minerals, as well as greater safety, tolerability, and non-interactivity with other nutrients. This includes Albion’s Ferrochel® iron, which also causes less constipation and gastrointestinal upset than typical forms of supplemental iron.
Of course, individual nutritional needs can vary significantly, which is why we always recommend having your micronutrient status tested by your healthcare provider, so you can be aware of any particular nutrients which may need supplementing in addition to a full-spectrum daily prenatal multivitamin like Prenatal Oxylent.
I am a nursing mother; should I be taking Prenatal Oxylent, or will the regular Adult be okay?
We suggest that you continue to take Prenatal Oxylent as long as you are nursing. While Oxylent is also an excellent source of vital nutrients, Prenatal Oxylent is formulated with the particular nutritional needs of pregnant and nursing women in mind. For that reason, the nutrient profile of our Prenatal Oxylent vitamin drink is slightly different from Oxylent. It includes specific nutrients that are particularly important for moms and nursing babies: Iron, choline, and vitamin A, for example. For more information on each of the nutrients included in our Prenatal Oxylent, see our vitamin supplement guide.
You should always consult with your healthcare provider before using any dietary supplement, of course.
Why or what is it that makes Oxylent great for preconception and lactation?
Our Prenatal Oxylent vitamin powder is great for lactation because it is formulated with the particular nutritional needs of nursing women and their developing babies in mind. For that reason, the nutrient profile of Prenatal Oxylent differs from Oxylent to include specific nutrients that are especially important for moms and nursing babies. These include: Iron, choline, and vitamin A, as well as higher levels of B vitamins.
B vitamins are well known to be essential for neurodevelopment, and the brain is at its most vulnerable during the period of rapid growth that continues into the postnatal period. Similarly, the body’s high demand for choline continues into the postnatal period, and infants are shown to maintain high levels of choline through the first 12 to 24 months.
Our Prenatal Oxylent daily multivitamin is great for preconception (and periconception) for similar reasons. The folic acid, iron, choline, and higher B vitamins are particularly important for preparing the body for pregnancy and during the period immediately surrounding conception, which is vital to the development of the fetus. In fact, The American Pregnancy Association recommends that women start taking folic acid before conception.
In addition, one recently published study linked taking a prenatal daily multivitamin during the 3 months before pregnancy through the first month of pregnancy with healthy neurological development in the child. Interestingly, the link between prenatal vitamin intake and healthy neurological development was found to apply only to the pre- and periconceptional months—no associations were found for vitamin intake during months 2 through 9 of pregnancy.
Why is there only 19% percent of the daily (DV) amount of calcium in Prenatal Oxylent, especially when a pregnant woman should take 1000 mg per day?
Pregnant women should take 1000 mg of calcium a day, but no prenatal multivitamin supplement will contain the entire recommended daily amount. There are a number of reasons for this. One reason is the size of calcium, which is a bulky mineral that prohibits being able to fit 1000 mg of calcium in a daily serving size. In conjunction with this, the fact is the body would not be able to absorb 1000 mg of calcium at one time. Studies show that as the quantity of an individual dose of calcium increases, the percentage of absorbed calcium goes down dramatically (regardless of the form of calcium used).1
Another reason is that calcium, since it is a polyvalent cation, is well known for interacting with other minerals (particularly iron and zinc) and inhibiting their absorption; the presence of a large amount of calcium decreases the absorption of other equally important minerals.
Finally, perhaps the most important reason is that prenatal vitamins are intended to complement (not replace) a healthy diet. Research shows that most people, pregnant women included, fulfill the majority of the recommended calcium intake through diet. For these reasons, most prenatal multivitamins contain between 125–300 mg of calcium.
At first glance, Prenatal Oxylent may seem to be on the low end of the 125–300 mg range provided by most prenatal vitamins; however, that is not actually the case once you consider the superior absorption offered by the form of calcium in Prenatal Oxylent:—Albion Minerals® patented form of calcium. In a study evaluating seven different forms of calcium, Albion’s patented form of calcium was shown to have the highest percent absorption. Its bioavailability was even higher than the calcium in milk.2 By using superior-quality Albion Minerals, we are able to ensure that your body is able to absorb the calcium contained in Prenatal Oxylent.
- Harvey JA, et al. Dose dependency of calcium absorption. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 1988;3(3):253–258.
- Heaney RP, et al. Absorbability of Calcium Sources: The Limited Role of Solubility. Calcified Tissue International 1990;46(5):300–304.
The package says that you can take one or two packets of this vitamin drink mix a day. Two packets would give me 1600 mcg of folate a day. Is that too much?
Vitalah recommends you always consult your health care provider and consider your own health history and status when choosing a daily multivitamin. In general, 1600 mcg of folate/folic acid daily is well within safe daily intakes. In fact, folic acid/folate recommendations are as high as 4000 mcg/day for women with a family history of neural tube defects.
A primary reason that The Food and Nutrition Board advises limiting daily folic acid intake to 1000 mcg is the fact that when individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency consume large amounts of folic acid their underlying B12 deficiency is masked, leaving them at risk of developing neurological damage if it continues too long. The Board’s recommendations also note that this B12 deficiency is very rare in women of childbearing age, making the consumption of folic acid above 1000 mcg per day unlikely to cause problems.
Here’s a link to the Board’s published recommendations if you’d like to read them yourself.
If I chose to take one prenatal packet a day, could I supplement with additional calcium and vitamin D? Are there brands that your company recommends?
We do recommend Nordic Naturals’ Prenatal DHA as an excellent source of the omega 3 DHA that is so crucial during pregnancy. It also provides 400 I.U. vitamin D. However, Pplease note that one of the things that makes Prenatal Oxylent unique is the amount of vitamin D it provides: Prenatal Oxylent provides 800 I.U. of vitamin D3, which is twice as much as many prenatal vitamins and supplements.
The form of calcium we choose for Prenatal Oxylent is Albion Minerals’® patented form of calcium. It has been scientifically shown to be better absorbed than even the calcium in milk. In a study evaluating seven different forms of calcium, Albion’s patented form of calcium was shown to have the highest percent absorption.1
For further calcium supplementation, Vitalah doesn’t have specific recommendations, although you should be sure to maintain the proper balance of magnesium to calcium—about a 2:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium.
If you do choose to supplement with additional calcium, we recommend taking it at a separate time from the rest of your prenatal vitamins. Studies show that as the quantity of an individual dose of calcium increases, the percentage of absorbed calcium goes down dramatically, (regardless of the form of calcium used). In addition, calcium (since it is a polyvalent cation) is well known for interacting with other minerals (particularly iron and zinc) and inhibiting their absorption—the presence of a large amount of calcium decreases the absorption of these equally important minerals.
Is the Folate in Prenatal Oxylent more absorbable than Folic Acid?
The folate in Prenatal Oxylent is folic acid. Oxylent, like all supplements, contains folic acid—it is simply labeled as folate per the FDA. There are two primary forms of folate: The folate that occurs naturally in foods and the folic acid (labeled as “folate”) in vitamins and supplements or fortified foods.
The higher bioavailability of supplemental folate, compared to naturally occurring folates in foods, is scientifically well- established. On average, food-source folate is only half as bioavailable as supplemental folate. A possible explanation for the superior bioavailability of supplemental folate is the fact that food-source folate occurs in a conjugated form that must be broken down in the gut prior to absorption, whereas supplemental folate is absorbed as such.
Is the folate in Prenatal Oxylent synthetic folic acid or is it L5-Mthf?
We currently choose to formulate all varieties of Oxylent vitamin drink mix with folic acid rather than methylated folate (L5-Mthf) for the following reasons:
We want to ensure that Oxylent can benefit the largest possible audience in the most cost-effective way possible. Methylated folate is much more costly than folic acid, but not any more effective in the general population.
For people without the MTHFR C677T gene mutation, methylated folate does not offer any more significant benefits than does folic acid. Studies comparing methylated folate and folic acid have found that the two forms have comparable bioavailability, physiological activity, and absorption, and that supplementing with either form is equally effective at improving folate status (in the general population).
An additional concern with methylated folate is that it has been found to offer limited stability in comparison to the greater stability of folic acid.
We understand that for people with the MTHFR C677T gene mutation, methylated folate may likely be of more benefit than folic acid. Current research suggests that the roughly 8-20% of people with this mutation can only convert 30-60% of folic acid into its biologically active form. We are continuing to look for ways to offer these people the methylated folate source they need for optimal benefit while also keeping Prenatal Oxylent affordable.
Can Stevia cause reproductive problems?
We use stevia for a sugar-free sweetener in our Oxylent vitamin drink mixes. There is some misguided information out there linking stevia to reproductive problems (such as menstruation and infertility issues), but any such link has been discredited by current scientific evidence.
The now-debunked claim linking stevia to reproductive problems stems from older mice/rat studies, which have since been refuted by many more reliable experiments that used the same study methods and used many more animals and found no effects of stevia on reproductive health. Even the authors of the initial mice study themselves admit problems with their methods/procedures, and have since concluded that subsequent research has led them to believe that stevia is completely safe for human consumption.
A systematic review of the past and current scientific evidence for stevia, recently published in the journal Phytochemistry, discusses this area of research (on stevia and fertility) in some detail and includes references for many of these studies investigating stevia and reproductive health/fertility. If anyone would like further information, contact us for help. The conclusion of the review determined that stevia is safe.
Citation for that review is: Geuns, JM. Stevioside. Phytochemistry. 2003 Nov;64(5):913-21. PubMed ID: 14561506.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.