Available by prescription only, Prenate Essential is a prenatal vitamin used to help provide important nutrients during pregnancy. It contains a variety of different vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, all of which are important for a healthy pregnancy. The product comes as a softgel capsule and is taken once a day. Side effects may include constipation, nausea, and vomiting.
What Is Prenate Essential?Prenate® Essential is a prescription prenatal vitamin. It is one of several prenatal vitamins from the Prenate brand. Other available Prenate prenatal vitamins include Prenate Elite® and Prenate DHA®.
Prenate Essential is similar to Prenate DHA in that it contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a nutrient that is important for fetal eye and brain development. However, Prenate Essential contains a few more vitamins and minerals than Prenate DHA, including biotin, which may help promote healthy hair and nails, and iodide, which is important in cognitive development.
(Click Prenate Essential Uses for more information on this topic, including possible off-label uses.)
How Does Prenate Essential Work?Prenate Essential contains a variety of different vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. These nutrients are important for a healthy pregnancy, and many pregnant women may not get enough of these nutrients for various reasons.
Probably most importantly, Prenate Essential contains folate, which is important to prevent certain birth defects, such as spina bifida. Specifically, Prenate Essential contains two kinds of folate, including:
- 400 mg of folic acid, which is converted in the body into folate
- 1.1 mg of Quatrefolic®, which is the active form of folate.
Quatrefolic 1.1 mg is about equal to 600 mcg of folic acid, so Prenate Essential contains the equivalent of 1 mg of folic acid.
Prenate Essential vitamins also contain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid. DHA may provide a wide variety of health benefits, such as:
- Decreasing the risk of preterm birth (having a baby prematurely)
- Improving brain function
- Improving vision.
Fish are the main source of DHA, and the typical American diet is usually deficient in DHA. Also, because many pregnant women are instructed to limit their intake of certain fish due to the potential risks of mercury toxicity, it is likely that many pregnant women are not getting enough DHA through dietary means.