UPDATE: February 4, 2015
As a father of three healthy and beautiful boys (I think so anyway), I know I am very fortunate. I am thankful for this each day and never take it for granted.
As a physician, I’ve worked with many men and women who had been trying unsuccessfully to have a child.
As a physician, I’ve worked with many men and women who have children with significant birth defects or are somewhere on the spectrum.
As a soccer coach, I work with kids who are struggling mentally and physically. It pains me because I know I can do something about it. Yet the parents have no clue or no desire for alternatives beyond medications.
My passion is to reduce the incidence of disease in unborn children.
This is what gets me up and out of bed and excited to go to ‘work’.
Do you believe it is possible to reduce the incidence of disease or birth defects in unborn children?
Have you miscarried in the past or having difficulty with fertility?
Have a child who is on the spectrum, down syndrome, hypospadia, tongue tie, congenital heart defects . . .
Many birth defects or significant pediatric conditions are caused by inadequate nutrition before, during and after pregnancy.
If unprepared, methylation gets imbalanced.
Is folic acid ok to take for those with MTHFR and wanting to get pregnant?
Those with MTHFR defects are significantly more prone to imbalanced methylation.
Learn about how genetics, lifestyle and diet contribute to issues during pregnancy – AND how to optimize them for a healthy pregnancy – and thus a healthy baby:
This scientifically-backed, irrefutable 90 minute presentation empowers you to significantly reduce the risk of countless problems – including autism, down syndrome, neural tube defects, congenital heart defects and others.
Supplements to Consider (in addition to a healthy well-rounded diet and lifestyle):
- Optimal Prenatal: provides a blend of active folates along with other key nutrients
- or Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder: Make a smoothie in the morning instead of swallowing pills. This is the only prenatal protein powder available in the world that I am aware of. Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder provides all vitamin, minerals and additional specialty nutrients to help optimize pregnancy.
- Optimal CoQ10: provides 100 mg of pure CoQ10 in small easy-to-swallow vegetarian capsules. Soy free. Best to take with food anytime of day. Consider 1 daily. This is already in the Optimal Prenatal so you may not need more.
- Active B12 with L-5-MTHF: provides 800 mcg of methylfolate and 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 (800 mcg of methylcobalamin and 200 mcg of adenosylcobalamin) in a small sublingual tablet. Consider placing 1 tablet under the tongue in the morning upon rising and another 30 minutes before lunch. Your physician may desire you to take 2 tablets under the tongue twice a day. Vegetarian.
- L-5-MTHF: provides 1 mg of methylfolate. Take as directed by your healthcare professional. Useful to increase your methylfolate levels incrementally if higher amounts are needed or recommended by your physician.
- OR L-5-MTHF Lozenge: provides 1 mg of methylfolate in an easy-to-deliver lozenge. Lozenge may be broken into smaller pieces for smaller doses.
- Optimal Vitamin D Drops: provides 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 in a pure base of extra virgin olive oil. Kosher ingredients. Vegetarian. Consider taking 3 drops daily or 21 drops once a week. Recommended to take 6,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily while pregnant and breastfeeding. Have your physician monitor your vitamin D blood levels.
- ProBiota 12: provides 50 billion beneficial bacteria in 12 strains in a tiny capsule that is easy to tolerate. Simply take after dinner nightly.
- Chewable Cal/Mag Plus D: provides 25% of daily calcium and 25% of daily magnesium per chewable tablet. Consider chewing one with lunch and dinner.
- Optimal Fish Oil: provides potent amounts of EPA/DHA in the triglyceride form which is better absorbed than the ethyl ester forms. Consider taking 2 capsules daily with a meal anytime of day.
- OR Optimal Fish Oil Liquid: provides EPA/DHA in an excellent tasting liquid that may be added to smoothies or taken straight with some food. Consider taking 1 tablespoon daily.
- Optimal PC or Optimal PC capsules: For those having methylation deficiencies, especially MTHFR, BHMT or PEMT, consider a phospholipid complex which provides phosphatidylcholine and other key phospatidyl derivates. Choline deficiency is extremely common in pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. We do not want choline deficiencies as it is a critical nutrient for cognitive development.
QUICK FACT: Only 15% of pregnant women have adequate choline levels! This is shocking and must change. This is why I highly recommend Optimal PC and Optimal Prenatal. Choline is found in both.
There are very few prenatals that meet a high enough standard for me to recommend.
- Most use synthetic folic acid. This is NOT supportive for women having genetic problems in the folate pathway. (I fully explain this in the Prenatal Conference video)
- Tablets. I am not a fan of tablets as they do not dissolve well in the digestive system. This means that the nutrients packed into tablets are typically not that bioavailable. When a manufacturing facility produces tablets, it literally sounds like a jackhammer. The force used to compress the nutrients into the stone-like tablet is tremendous. This is far from ideal when the goal is delivering nutrients.
- Insufficient. The one-a-day prenatal or prenatal ‘gummy’ are great marketing schemes for women who dislike taking pills during pregnancy. I totally understand. My wife and I have three boys. I heard her mention MANY times that she didn’t like taking the pills as they made her nauseated or were hard to swallow. (This is why I made the Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder. Only wish I made it 13 years ago…). The problem with too few capsules is the pregnant woman is not going to obtain adequate nutrition for HER and the developing BABY. Pregnancy is an extremely demanding time and demanding times require more nutrition. Period.
- Vitamin and mineral forms are weak to worthless. There are certain forms which are more available than others. Folic acid is one such example. Why use folic acid when there are more bioavailable forms now – folinic acid and methylfolate? Price. That’s the only reason. Using chelated minerals is way more effective than using minerals that are not bound to an amino acid. These chelated minerals are easier on the digestive system which means less constipation, less stomach aches, less nausea and more absorption in the blood. I could go on and on here but I will stop.
The following are the prenatal vitamins I formulated based on my years of research.
To give you some perspective, it took me three years to formulate these. I did not rush it. A prenatal is far too important to rush.
- Optimal Prenatal: provides 800 mcg of methylfolate and folinic acid for best folate support. Using only methylfolate in a prenatal is not recommended. This is iron-free. It is iron-free because iron competes with calcium and also many women need varying amounts of iron during pregnancy. Some need none and some need quite a bit. Use Optimal Iron Plus Cofactors for a well-tolerated iron supplement. I designed this for my wife as she couldn’t tolerate any iron. Thankfully this one she does.
- Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder: provides the same nutrients as above in a complete protein smoothie. Simply add a scoop of this to your morning smoothie and you’re done with your prenatal. It takes more than vitamins and minerals to have a healthy pregnancy. It also requires adequate protein. This prenatal protein powder also provides additional nutrients such as L-carnitine (which the capsules do not).
Critical Prenatal Supplementation:
Many ask me, “Do I have to take all of those supplements?”
They are merely recommendations.
The recommendations vary upon your:
- lifestyle (more relaxed, less stressed)
- diet (eat fermented foods so may not need probiotics, almond milk so may not need calcium)
- environmental surroundings (full sun – don’t need more D3 if you are exposed to it)
- medications (no antacids so may need less B12, no valproic acid so may need less folate)
The critical supplements to take – even for a perfectly healthy woman with no symptoms or conditions:
- Optimal Prenatal or Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder.
- I prefer the Optimal Prenatal Protein Powder because it is so comprehensive, easy to make and one is more likely to get all their vitamins and minerals for the day in a single smoothie.
- The Optimal Prenatal capsules are great, too, but more work to remember.
- Optimal PC
- Since only 15% of pregnant women have adequate choline levels, I truly believe all women need to be supplementing with choline.
- Optimal Fish Oil or Optimal Fish Oil Liquid
- EPA and DHA are critical for healthy membranes. Again, I believe this one is critical as most people are deficient in these nutrients.
- Optimal Vitamin D Liquid Drops
- This is still a major deficiency for most people. During pregnancy and breast feeding, it is recommended to take a minimum of 6,000 IU a day and up to 10,000 IU a day. Optimal Vitamin D provides 2,000 IU per DROP and may be taken once a week. You can take 3 drops x 7 days = 21 drops once a week and then not take it again until end of next week. Of course, you need to discuss this with your physician – along with all the other recommendations.
- ProBiota 12
- Supporting the microbiome is key for both baby and mother. Research is proving over and over that a healthy microbiome is supportive to the developing baby in many ways.
These five supplements are the most critical.
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Keep in mind that prenatal supplementation is also needed during breast feeding.
You are still nourishing yourself and your beautiful baby.
If you stop nourishing yourself, you will become depleted, possibly depressed and baby will potentially have methylation dysfunction.
These are things we must avoid.
DOES THIS PROTOCOL WORK?
Yes! For many.
I would LOVE to hear how this prenatal supplementation protocol has helped you throughout pregnancy and during breast feeding.
I received this amazing comment today via Facebook:
I used this protocol after 4 miscarriages and am now 32 weeks pregnant with our little angel! Your work is inspiring and amazing!
How has it worked for you? Please do comment and share!
Others need to experience a healthy and rewarding pregnancy – and the little stinkers after they are born!
Disclaimer: The information and product suggestions presented here are merely suggestions for you to consider. This information is not a prescription, treatment or diagnosis. Follow the suggestions and use the suggested supplements at your own risk. It is highly recommended that you discuss this information with your physician. Always seek the advice from your healthcare professional.
Find a physician who understands MTHFR and methylation dysfunction.
Physicians and health professionals listed at Seeking Health Educational Institute have received training from me.