Dr. Fuhrman’s Gentle Prenatal multivitamin and mineral supplement is uniquely tailored for women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or still menstruating. Gentle Prenatal stands out from other prenatal vitamins. It is made specifically for women who take in sufficient natural folate from greens and beans and do not desire to expose themselves to the potential for heightened cancer risk from synthetic folic acid.
Gentle Prenatal contains adequate amounts of essential nutrients that may be lacking, even in a healthful diet, yet excludes any ingredients that have the potential to cause harm. Dr. Fuhrman is adamant about stopping the use of dangerous supplements. For example, several long-term scientific studies have demonstrated increased risks of cancer or premature death from the use of supplemental folic acid and Vitamin A. Gentle Prenatal excludes potentially harmful ingredients, such as vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin E, folic acid, and copper. Folic acid is typically recommended to pregnant women, yet is associated with risks, including increased incidences of respiratory tract infections in infants and asthma in children. Folic acid is also linked to cancer whereas folate, essential during pregnancy, is protective and naturally found in green vegetables.
Gentle Prenatal multivitamin and mineral supplement has additional ingredients, based on the latest scientific research, to support women’s nutritional needs before, during, and after pregnancy. Because of increased blood volume during pregnancy and iron needs of a developing fetus, many women who are pregnant need extra iron. In addition, a mother’s iron stores are also important to assure adequacy in their babies, which is important for brain development and maximizing intelligence. However, too much iron can also be problematic for pregnant women. Gentle Prenatal contains a conservative dose of 18 mg iron, which when combined with a healthful diet, will help to assure that pregnant women meet their iron requirements without excess. Gentle Prenatal utilizes Ferronyl® iron, a premium source of supplemental iron that is highly bioavailable and gentle on the digestive system. The daily dose is split between two capsules to avoid the nausea and constipation commonly associated with iron supplementation.
Vitamin D adequacy is also important during pregnancy as, during the third trimester, calcium demands increase and vitamin D is integral to calcium absorption and fetal bone growth and development. Vitamin D deficiency is common and affects up to 50 percent of pregnant women and breastfed infants. Gentle Prenatal includes 1000 IU of vegan vitamin D3. For many women, 2000 IU vitamin D is an appropriate daily dose, but some may require more or less. Gentle Prenatal contains 1000 IU, leaving room for extra supplementation if necessary, but also accommodating those women whose 25(OH)D levels exceed the favorable 30-45 ng/ml range on a dose of 2000 IU/day.
Gentle Prenatal now includes choline, which is a unique feature among prenatal multivitamins. Choline has emerged as a crucial nutrient for pregnant women, since choline acts as a building block of the baby’s developing brain, and most Americans do not meet choline intake recommendations. However, the makers of most prenatal multivitamins have not yet acted on this research to include choline.
Gentle Prenatal supplement also includes vitamin K2, which is low in plant-based foods but is thought to be important for bone health. Studies also suggest vitamin K2 supports cardiovascular health.
Those who follow a vegan or near-vegan diet require supplemental vitamin B12. Dr. Fuhrman’s multivitamin and mineral supplements supply more than the RDI for B12, to correct for inefficient absorption. We can only absorb a very small amount each time we ingest a B12-containing food or supplement. Gentle Prenatal contains 200 mcg B12 in to help ensure adequate vitamin B12 levels.
To support women with active lifestyles, taurine is included, an amino acid that is depleted during heavy exercise and may be low in people who follow a plant-based diet.