FAQs for GrowBaby's Prenatal-PreGenesis
Who formulated preGenesis?
GrowBaby's prenatal was formulated by Board Certified experts, Leslie Stone, MD, FP-OB and Emily Rydbom, CN, BCHN, CNP with nearly a combined 50 years of clinical experience in the field of perinatal medicine and perinatal nutrition.
Do I just need to take 1 packet daily or should I also focus on changing my diet?
There is nothing more powerful than your lifestyle decisions and in particular how you choose to eat has a direct impact on how you feel. That's why we use supplements as a "bridge" to cross over between the nutrient needs of pregnancy and your daily food choices. Since pregnancy is a time that requires more nutrients to optimize outcomes, we have found that our PreGenesis packets pair perfectly with a balanced foundation of nutrition. Check out our free eLearning modules to learn more or download our app-which allows you to create a perfectly unique and individualized plan for pregnancy-customized by trimester, dietary preference, and current health status.
Although studies show a protective effect of calcium supplementation with women at risk of pregnancy induced hypertension, a diagnosis that occurs in approximately 10% of pregnancies, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown that calcium supplementation in pregnancy does not directly benefit maternal or fetal bone health. Since calcium is readily available in the diet through dark leafy green vegetables and dairy, emphasis on reaching pregnancy needs through food sources rather than supplementation is preferred.
Many physiological activities require magnesium and calcium. However, calcium and magnesium are inextricably linked and can compete for receptor sites within the cells and tissues of the body. Magnesium and calcium were removed to ensure optimal absorption of both minerals should an expecting mother require additional supplemental support, both these minerals can be taken separately. Magnesium deficiency is very common and even more so in pregnancy. Often, magnesium supplementation is a key intervention for a healthy pregnancy.
Why did you add L-carnitine?
L-carnitine increases ATP, participates in the production of pulmonary surfactant (lung , decreases reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and demonstrates other antioxidant properties. Biosynthesis of l-carnitine in the body requires lysine, methionine, B6, niacin (NAD), iron, and vitamin C. Pregnancy increases the demand of many of the nutrients. And although most healthy adults can synthesize carnitine through the liver and kidneys, several conditions can decrease carnitine reabsorption efficiency and, correspondingly, increase carnitine excretion, as in the case of pregnancy. L-carnitine functions to improve fatigue, increase ATP (energy production), and helps to regulate free floating fatty acids decreasing the risk of high blood sugar.
Why only 500 mg L-carnitine?
L-carnitine plays a powerful role in energy production and blood sugar regulation. In pregnancy, energy production increases, requiring the demand for nutrient co-factors being used to create that energy. 1sttrimester mothers, vegans and vegetarians can be challenged by adequate protein intake. Carnitine is primarily found in animal-based protein rich foods. Through supplementation of carnitine, preGenesis meets the needs of expecting mothers through supplemental support, but with a nutrition focus in mind since dietary carnitine is more bioavailable than supplemental sources. Dietary sources of carnitine are readily found in most omnivores’ diets. Studies show that supplementing with 500mg-2000mg in pregnancy have distinct benefits to common symptoms associated with pregnancy such as fatigue and headaches. 2,000 mg of carnitine in pregnancy shows a marked decrease in the risk gestational diabetes.
Why did you add choline & increase the EPA/DHA?
Choline is one of the four methyl-group donors that works alongside other methyl-group donor nutrients such as folate, betaine and methionine. These nutrients are involved in DNA methylation, which is closely associated with the health of the fetus in pregnancy. Pregnancy is identified as a time with increased demands of choline for the formation of new membranes. Choline needs in pregnancy and breastfeeding range from 450-550 mg respectively and existing data showsthat the majority of pregnant women are not achieving the target intake levels. There are certain common genetic variants that may increase requirements for choline, as well.
EPA and DHA are essential fats that play a crucial role in the health of a pregnancy for both mother and fetus. Data shows that EPA/DHA can also decrease the risk of adverse maternal diagnoses such as gestational diabetes and pregnancy induced hypertension, which have known associations with adverse fetal health outcomes such as large for gestational age, small for gestational age and preterm birth. Since EPA cannot efficiently be converted into DHA and DHA is found in wild-caught cold-water fish (not available to many expecting mothers), preGenesis bridges the need between healthy and available food choices and the protective nutrient requirements of pregnancy.
Why did you add lutein & zeaxanthin (L + Z)?
Lutein is the dominant carotenoid in the adult and infant brain-making up 59% of total infant brain carotenoids! Both lutein and zeaxanthin are the major carotenoids found in the retina of the eye and serve as active antioxidants. In pregnancy, L+Z are present in high concentrations in the placenta and umbilical cord blood, correlating to maternal serum levels of L+ Z, not to maternal diet. Studies have shown that maternal dietary intake of both L + Z have significant association with infant neurological development. Lutein has also been shown to reduce progression of severe retinopathy in preterm infants <33 weeks.
Are lutein & zeaxanthin safe in pregnant & nursing women?
Yes, lutein and zeaxanthin (classified as xanthophylls) belong to the carotenoid family and are phytonutrients found in the pigments of green (lutein), red, orange and yellow (zeaxanthin) plants. Breast milk lutein is highly variable and dependent on maternal intake. No toxicities have ever been reported with supplementation of lutein and zeaxanthin.
Why did the level of Vitamin A change?
Vitamin A has important roles in genetic expression, embryonic development, organ formation during fetal development, normal immune functions, and eye development and vision. preGenesis increased to 1,650 mcg of natural mixed carotenoids and retinyl palmitate to meet the increased needs of vitamin A in pregnancy, (vitamin A deficiency in pregnancy is common in certain populations), improve iron-deficiency anemia in pregnancy, improve fetal lung development and improve vitamin A status in newborns.
Each GrowBaby multivitamin (MVI) capsule contains the following vitamin A composition:
Mixed Carotenoids: 412.5 mcg RAE* (687 IUs)
Retinyl Palmitate: 413 mcg RAE* (750 IUs)
Total per capsule: 825.5 mcg RAE* (two capsules-1650 mcg RAE)
*Retinol Activity Equivalents
It’s too many pills, I won't take that many
preGenesis is targeted to reach the maternal and fetal nutrient needs of pregnancy. The convenience of the packet allows for women to break the packet up as it fits into their day. Should an expecting mother feel overwhelmed by the pill count, there is no harm is spreading it out. If smells are a problem, they can also safely refrigerate or freeze the packets as well.
Why do you use 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF)? Why not just regular folic acid?
Epidemiological data suggests a majority (>50%) of the population presents with genetic variants (MTHFR) that inhibits the body’s ability to convert folic acid into 5-methyltetrahydrofolate reductase for utilization in the body. Since folic acid has well-known and well-studied benefits in pregnancy, preGenesis uses the form of folic acid that is bioavailable to all women, no matter their genetic uniqueness. 5-MTHF will not harm those who do not present with any genetic variants (MTHFR).
March of Dimes and ACOG only recommend 400-600 mcg of folate per day. Why does your formula have 1000 mcg (1665 DFE)?
Approximately 60% of the population are intermediate metabolizers of folate. Ingested folate must first be fully reduced before further metabolic processing can occur. Based on the high prevalence of genetic polymorphisms (intermediate metabolizers) in the general population and concerns about reduced enzymatic activity, we have increased folate levels to 1000 mcg which still aligns with current recommendations.US guidelines recommend folate supplementation for all reproductive-aged women at levels from .4 to 1 mg of folic acid daily for at least 2 to 3 months prior to conception, throughout pregnancy, and during the postpartum period. L-methylfolate (found in preGenesis) has been shown to increase red blood cell folate concentrations more effectively than folic acid.
Folate’s demand is increased in pregnancy. And is critical for the growth and development of a healthy pregnancy and deficiencies have been associated with abnormalities in both mother and baby.
Is 1,000 mcg (1665 mcg DFE) too much methylfolate for over-methylators?
We understand that higher doses of folate can mask other deficiencies, such as vitamin B12 deficiency and exacerbate symptoms associated with over-methylation. Folate works alongside other nutrients to support the demands of both mother and baby in pregnancy. That is why we formulated preGenesis to include nutrients like B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin), B6 (Pyrodoxial 5 Phosphate) and B12 (Methylcobalamin), as well as zinc, carnitine and choline to support the 1000 mcg folate levels in our prenatal which encourages a balanced metabolic response.
I am concerned about the iron causing nausea and constipation. How well is ferrous bis-glycinate tolerated?
In a recent double blind, placebo-controlled study, ferrous bis-glycinate was more effective at raising hemoglobin levels in pregnant women than other iron forms. However, tolerance is important and data supports the use of ferrous bis-glycinate in that case as well. Ferrous bis-glycinate is a chelated form of non-heme (form of iron found in plants) iron that passes through the stomach and small intestine without breaking apart, reducing the association with constipation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.