Studies show that a high percentage of adults in North America and other developed countries eat less than the minimum daily allowance of 10 or more essential nutrients. It is generally accepted that pregnant and breastfeeding women should supplement a healthy diet with a variety of essential vitamins and minerals to ensure adequate intake for both mother and child. Prenatal contains Metafolin®, a patented, natural form of (6S) 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF). L-methylfolate is the naturally occurring, predominant form of folate commonly found in cells and is essential for a developing fetus, as it participates as a cofactor in a reaction that involves the remethylation of homocysteine to methionine. Unlike synthetic folic acid, L-methylfolate can be used directly by the body, without the need for an additional conversion via the enzyme (5,10 methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR)). In certain populations, the body™s ability to convert folic acid to 5-MTHF by use of this enzyme may be compromised due to genetic differences. Metafolin® contains only the S isomer of 5-MTHF and has been shown to be the only form of folate to be able to cross the blood-brain barrier. Lutein is an important antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative damage, and is only available through dietary sources such as colored fruits and vegetables. This carotenoid has been found in the cord blood and the mother™s blood during pregnancy and post-partum in breast milk and colostrum. These levels directly reflect dietary intake of lutein by the mother. Lutein is found in the retina and the brain, and therefore a highly beneficial nutrient for the baby’s visual and neural development.