Prenatal vitamins are very similar to multivitamins but tend to have different vitamin and mineral counts. While prenatal vitamins are generally safe for adults to take, it is important for you to know what you are taking and how it will benefit your body; you should always consult your doctor or healthcare professional if you have questions or concerns.
What is the difference between a prenatal vitamin and multivitamin?
Prenatal vitamins contain higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals including folic acid, iron, and calcium. Prenatal vitamins are designed to provide both a mother and her growing baby with beneficial nutrients. These vitamins are recommended for women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant or breastfeeding. Multivitamins contain vitamins and minerals, some are the same nutrients as prenatal vitamins, but the levels tend be different and designed with a different end user in mind.
What is in a prenatal vitamin?
It is important to note the most prenatal vitamins contain different levels of minerals and vitamins as well as different sources. Prenatal vitamins also frequently contain 200 mg of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid and is essential for the development and function of the brain, eye, heart, and nervous system. Sometimes called ‘Brain Food’, the majority of the omega-3 fatty acids in the brain and retina are made of DHA. DHA has also been know to have anti-inflammatory properties as well as aid the in treatment of depression. DHA is essential for most people and even more so for those who are pregnant.
Why do women take prenatal vitamins when they are not pregnant?
Some women take prenatal vitamins when they are not pregnant because they it will make their nails and hair stronger or that it is better than a typical multivitamin. Iron, biotin, copper, omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, & E are very important in supporting nail and hair growth and are all found in a typical prenatal vitamin. Other nutrients that support nail and hair growth include protein, silica, selenium, and antioxidants.
While prenatal vitamins are generally safe, be sure to consult with a healthcare professional before making changes to your diet or supplementing with vitamins.