Iodine: One-third of U.S. pregnant women are in iodine deficiency minimally

According to a report from American Academy of Pediatrics published May 24, 2014 said that, a lot of women in the United States are with iodine deficiency when they’re in reproductive age. It may because the salt in their daily dietary is not iodized.

iodine deficiencyIodine is one of the essential nutrient for thyroid hormones. Any iodine deficiency will cause a hypothyroidism, with the symptom of over weighted, energy deficiency or goiter. You may eat some foods with iodine rich, like seafood, seaweed and kelp. Also some table salt is iodized, you can choose it from market.

On the other hand, too much iodine intake in your dietary will also cause hypothyroidism. A research initialed in Journal of Pediatrics, announced that excess intake of 12.5 mg iodine when the mothers were pregnant or breastfeeding, caused three infants were developed thyroid hormone deficiency. The researcher agreed that it was important for taking supplement contains iodine, but they also stressed that it will cause a negative effect of exceeding the safe threshold of iodine. There are 10 times iodine levels in the infants’ blood than the healthy babies. The study stated that most of the congenital hypothyroidism occurred in infant is resulting from an iodine deficiency instead of an over intake of iodine supplement. In the developed country, the iodized salt plays an important and helpful role to reduce the iodine deficiency commonly, nevertheless, the salt in processed foods is not iodized in a general speaking.

So what’s the RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances) and ULs(Upper Tolerable intake levels) for iodine? From the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the expectant women requires a dosage of 150 mcg iodine nutrient from 197 mcg potassium iodine.

Here is the RDAs dosage for different ages:

Age 1 – 8: 90 mcg

Age 9 – 13: 120 mcg

Age 14 and older: 150 mcg

Pregnant women: 220 mcg

Lactating women: 290 mcg

ULs for different ages:

Age 1 – 3: 220 mcg

Age 4 – 8: 300 mcg

Age 9 – 13: 600 mcg

Age 14 – 18: 900 mcg

Age 19 and above: 1,100 mcg

In the United States, most of the prenatal and lactating women are taking nutrient supplement, but only 15% – 20% of the supplement contains the essential of iodine! Many of prenatal vitamins don’t have any iodine. Even it contains, the dosage is less than 150 mcg. You can learn to how to choose the best prenatal vitamins from here.


Recommendation for best fish oil for pregnancy

You will get professional recommendation from obstetric doctor or pharmacist to take prenatal fish oil or DHA product when you’re in pregnancy besides the prenatal vitamins. The fish oil contains DHA, EPA and other fatty acids nutrients which will help either the brain/retina development for fetus, or it will provide the nutrient for the pregnant women’s cognitive ability. Most of the time, pregnant women feel like to always forget things in their daily life. There are some conclusions from a research in London that there will be brain atrophy when women are in pregnancy, because the fetus consumes phospholipids from mother during the development for brain and nerve system. It seems that mother’s brain cells become smaller other than the reduction of total quantity. There are other benefits when taking prenatal fish oil: less postpartum depression; decrease the premature birth rate; less fetal/infant death; less egg allergy and eczema tendency for babies. But which one is the best fish oil (DHA) in the market for pregnant woman?

What criteria it is for the best fish oil (DHA) for pregnancy?

  1. You can tell the fish original source, fish type from product label. In order to avoid the pollution circumstance, PCBs, heavy metals (e.g. mercury), we need to know where the fish are caught from. It is safer if the fish is smaller (e.g. salmon, sardine), as dioxins trend to accumulate on the food chain. So now, we have new resource from krill, calamari, even from Algae, a kind of marine plant.
  2. If it is purified or any 3rd party research institute to ensure its quality and freshness.
  3. Is it easy to swallow and no fishy burp or aftertaste? Some flavors are added to fish oil to make the capsule smells better. An enteric coat softgel delivers the fish oil in small intestine to avoid fishy burp.
  4. Is the dosage enough? Although there is no DV (Daily Value) of EPA/DHA established by FDA or USDA, an editorial suggests to take 200mg DHA per day for pregnant women and the benefits of higher dosage intakes is still not clear. A research in Mexico shows that 400mg prenatal DHA will reduce the risk of a cold the infant might catch. A higher dosage with 800mg DHA/100mg EPA study in England concluded that there will be a lower risk of premature birth and a lower occurrence of egg allergy in infants.
  5. There are three forms of fish oil: Triglyceride, Ethyl Ester and Re-esterified forms. We should choose fish oil in Triglyceride or Re-esterified forms other than in Ethyl Ester form, which means more effective absorption in body.

We list following prenatal DHA, these products are the most popular sellers in market, and we will compare them to find out the best fish oil (DHA) for pregnancy.

best fish oil for pregnancyNo. 3 New Chapter Wholemega Prenatal, 90 Softgels

  • 100% pure wild Alaskan salmon
  • No 3rd party test; Non GMO verified
  • Small softgel, easy to swallow; partial feedback for fishy aftertaste
  • 220mg DHA, 180mg EPA, and other omega 5,6,7,8,9, with 2 soft gels, twice daily
  • Form not listed


No. 2 Nordic Naturals – Prenatal DHA – Unflavored – 500 mg 180 – Softgelbest fish oil for pregnancy

  • Fish oil in deep sea, processed in Norway, using anchovies and sardines
  • 3rd party test to ensure freshness and purity
  • Smaller pills for easy swallow, unflavored gel
  • 450mg DHA, 90mg EPA daily serve with 2 softgels
  • in Triglyceride form


No. 1 GNC Women’s Prenatal DHA, Softgels, 30 eabest fish oil for pregnancy

  • Plant source DHA, from marine Algae oil, Schizochytrium
  • GNC triple strength fish oil serial products passed through Consumerlab fish oil testing, but this product was not included
  • Normal size; enteric coated soft gel ensure it break down and absorb in small intestine
  • 300mg DHA, one soft gel per day
  • Not listed, normally DHA/EPA from Algae oil is in triglyceride form

GNC Women’s Prenatal DHA is the best prenatal DHA product we recommended here. It is safe for its algae source, and enteric coating technology reduces the unpleasant aftertaste. A report about fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements Review (Including Krill, Algae, and Calamari Oil) from Consumerlab initiated on 8/10/2012, ten omega-3 products from GNC were verified and passed the testing, including GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil + Resveratrol, GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil + Vitamin D-3, GNC Triple Strength Fish Oil Sport, GNC Ultra Omega Krill Oil, etc. So GNC is a reliable brand in supplement, especially in omega-3 production.

How to choose the best prenatal vitamins?

This article is about to find out the best prenatal vitamins you can choose.

We get benefits from the prenatal multivitamins supplement with sufficient nutrition for both maternal and fetus. Pregnant woman will suffer from nutrient deficiency, e.g. lack of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, folate, zinc and iron may lead to fetal defects. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, we need more nutrient than our normal time and it is suggested by health care professional to take prenatal vitamins three months early when you have conception plan.

It is able to soothe your stomach and reduce the vomit and nausea symptom that the mom-to-be will be possibly experiencing in the morning during pregnancy. The symptom often begins in the first trimester, mostly caused by a kind of hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It is generated when in pregnancy, especially the nutrition deficient women in vitamin B6.

Here are some tips for your reference when you’re facing hundreds of prenatal products on the market:

  •  Are the ingredients safe for you?

Most of the time, we should choose the nutrition sourcing from natural fruit/vegetable. Natural source means more biological activity than the supplement from synthetics, and fewer side effects than synthetics do. Sometimes if the product has a Non GMO label, it gives us more confidence when we take it.

  • Is the dosage perfect for you?

The institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of the Sciences has some recommendation for the pregnancy women. You can refer to the RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowances) and ULs (Upper Tolerable intake levels) for each nutrient from here. Meanwhile we shall watch carefully for the daily life when you are pregnant. Is the calcium dosage enough for you even after you consume some milk but still feel contraction in your legs?

  • Is the nutrition formula reasonable?

For example, for the best absorption of calcium to keep the bone healthy, we’d like to see there are the magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K ingredients listed in the formula at the same time.

  • Does the formula contain a complete nutrition ingredient?

You can find the folate (folic acid) in each of prenatal product, as we know that the folic acid intake before and during the early pregnancy will prevent fetus from spina bifida. But one of the most important nutrients is missing from some brand products, iodine. Iodine deficiency is a major cause of intellectual disability for children; research has shown that the mothers with low iodine intake will possibly lead to an autistic child. In U.S. there are one-third of conceptional women are minimally in short of iodine. So the American Academy of Pediatrics had a statement announced in May 2014, suggesting pregnant women to take 150 mcg iodine containing prenatal vitamins.

  • Easy to swallow, easy to break apart in stomach without nausea

Disintegration, it means the supplement ingredient will be more efficiently absorbed by your body. And your stomach will not feel any discomfort when you swallow it if all ingredients are coming from natural food or herb.

We recommend the following prenatal vitamins for your consideration

These prenatal vitamins have the natural organic ingredients, not only that the vitamins and minerals are included in their formula, but also there are additional herb, vegetable and fruit extract enriched to provide a healthy metabolism for pregnant women.

  1. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin, 192 Tablets; New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin Trimester , 270 Tablets (same formula with 192 tablets)
  2. MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamin Tablets 120 tablets
  3. Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw
    Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Capsules
  4. Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Organic Tablets
Product Ingredient Non GMO Easy to
1.New Chapter Perfect Prenatal
Multivitaminbest prenatl vitamins
Folate: 600 mcgCalcium:
from Algae 75 mgIodine:
90 mcg
Herb; Organic vegetable food
Probiotics Contains Fermented soy and fermented wheat
2.MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitaminmegafood_prenatal_vitamins Natural Folate: from broccoli 800 mcg Calcium: 75 mg Iodine: 150 mcg Organic Herb; Organic fruit Digestive Enzymes Soy Free
3.Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw
Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Capsulesbest prenatal vitamins
Folate:800 mcgCalcium:
125 mgIodine:
150 mcg
RAW Organic Fruit
& Vegetable Blend;RAW Organic Sprout
Ginger;Probiotics;Enzymes Contains (Fermented) soy
4.Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin, 180
Organic Tablets
best prenatal vitamins
Natural Folate: from organic lemon 800 mcg Calcium: from organic wrightia tinctoria 5 mg Iodine from organic Kelp: 150 mcg USDA organic certificated;Non GMO verified Organic ginger; organic peppermint to soothing
No soy,
no corn

Although New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin is the best seller in Amazon Prenatal Vitamins department, we here found that other two products MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamin and Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin, 180 Organic Tablets are more preferred products than it. Both of them don’t contain any soy ingredient that someone may suffer from soy allergy.

Finally, which is the best prenatal vitamins within above two products?

So from the daily cost consideration, we recommend that:

Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin

is the best prenatal vitamins as it provides a complete nutrient with a lower cost than MegaFood’s.

The data in above table indicates that, the multivitamins vary in their ingredients. It is not so easy to precisely to compare two products. Garden of Life Kind Organics Prenatal Multivitamin has less calcium (5 mg per day) than MegaFood Baby & Me Prenatal Vitamin (75 mg daily). You may have other calcium supplement intake while you take this prenatal multivitamins.

For the best fish oil for pregnancy, you may refer here;

For the best calcium supplement, you can learn from here.

We don’t recommend following prenatal multivitamins though they’re very popular among some people.

Product Reject Reason
Rainbow Light Prenatal Petite Mini, 180-Count use folic acid, synthetics source
Rainbow Light, Prenatal One Multivitamin, 90 Tablets use folic acid, synthetics source; no iodine
Light Complete Prenatal System Food Based Tablets 180 tablets
use folic acid, synthetics source
Nature Made
Prenatal Multi + Dha, 200mg, 150 Softgels
use folic acid, synthetics source; no iodine; It contains artificial colors red 40, yellow 6, blue 1, as you
know red 40 will lead to an ADHD or Attention Deficit Disorder for children
Twinlab Pre-Natal Care, Multi Vitamin Caps, 120 Capsules use folic acid, synthetics source

If you’re taking some medicine or before surgery, please consult your obstetric doctor or pharmacist before you take the prenatal product.

Hope this article about the best prenatal vitamins may help you somehow; we’ll be appreciated if you can share it with your friends by pressing the share button below.

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