The Mayo Clinic Pregnancy Guide has a lot right about what’s important to eat during pregnancy. They speak of how it’s critical to have good eating habits while trying to conceive because major organs form during the first few weeks of pregnancy-before you even know you are pregnant! Without the proper nutrients during this time your baby may be at risk for both short and long-term health issues.
They cover the usual suspects of pre-natal vitamins – calcium, folate, and iron which are indeed important, BUT none of them help with…
…fetal development of lung, visual system, skull, skeleton, kidney …baby brain development
…assistance with utilization of minerals like calcium, water soluble vitamins
…your protein digestion
…your optimal thyroid and immune system function
…your production of sex and stress hormones
What nutrient does all this?
It’s Vitamin A!!
Okay, now you may be thinking you’ve heard vitamin A is that vitamin associated with birth defects.
This claim is inaccurate and based on a study that used questionnaires from 22,000 pregnant women to find out about their eating and supplement habits. Researchers found a high rate of neural crest defects with increased dosages of vitamin A.
But – they did not distinguish between natural and synthetic forms of vitamin A nor did they get lab results for vitamin A blood levels.
Processed foods are fortified with synthetic form of vitamin A.
Also, people can’t be trusted to be good record keepers, so questionnaires are an unreliable way to measure a person’s nutrient intake. Do you remember what you ate yesterday??
Too bad the media didn’t jump all over another study done in Rome, Italy that found no congenital malformations in 120 infants exposed to 50,000IU or more of vitamin A per day.
The real issue is not how much, but what form- synthetic or natural.
The best all natural sources: cod liver oil, liver, butterfat, egg yolks, seafood, organ meats, grass-fed dairy and meats. Notice that these are all fat sources too. This is Mother Nature packaging the foods in the way your body needs them. Moms always know best!