On February 2, 2014, pharmaceutical company Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc., announced its introduction of a new formula for its prescription prenatal vitamins marketed under the registered trademark name PreNexa. The new formulation increases the dosage of two important nutrients that promote health in mother and baby.

New Formula

The basic formula for the prenatal supplement remains the same but additional amounts of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and vitamin D3 were added. The DHA dose is now 300 milligrams (mg) per gel capsule, up from 265 mg. The vitamin D3 content increased from 170 international units (IU) to 400 IU.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

The DHA in PreNexa is plant-based, extracted from the oil in marine algae. Cold-water oceanic fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, are popular dietary sources of DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3s are the primary components of the structure of the brain, cerebral cortex, skin, retina, testicles, and sperm.

Consuming omega-3s during pregnancy promotes the healthy development of the brain during gestation and in infancy. It is vital for healthy eye development. Once born, babies get omega-3s from breast milk.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is essential for the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth. Its consumption benefits the mother during pregnancy and helps the baby’s developing skeletal system achieve optimum health. Five different forms of vitamin D exist and they all promote skeletal health by enhancing the body’s ability to absorb bone-building minerals that include calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. The cholecalciferol (D3) version of the vitamin is considered the most important of the D vitamins for healthy bones and teeth.

Vitamin D supplementation is important, especially during pregnancy and lactation, because there is no dietary source of the nutrient. Instead, the body makes vitamin D when sunlight touches the skin, giving the vitamin its nickname, the sunshine vitamin. People living in areas where winters are long, dark, and cold often don’t get the opportunity to expose their skin to enough daily sunshine to manufacture the body’s full need for this important nutrient.


The only changes to the new formulation of PreNexa are the additional amounts of DHA and vitamin D3. The other nutrients and their amounts remain the same.

All the DHA in PreNexa is plant-based, a factor that contributes to this brand’s growing popularity as a nutritional supplement for expectant mothers.

Source: “Upsher-Smith Announces New Formulation of PreNexa(R) Prenatal Vitamins.” PR Newswire. PR Newswire Association LLC. Feb 2, 2014. Web. Feb 7, 2014.