This is an honest overview of doTerra's Lifelong Vitality Supplements as a prenatal supplement and comparison of the formulations from the US and Australian New Zealand warehouses.
Don't shoot the messenger but did you know that the Lifelong Vitality Supplements purchased from the US Warehouse are not the same as the AU/NZ version of the supplements? Truth. They are very different formulations.
For any doTerra customer based in Australia or New Zealand, we have the great flexibility of being able to order from both the Australian and USA warehouses. Just like Canadians have the option of ordering from the Canada or USA warehouses.
I feel it's important to be transparent on this matter despite the fact many will likely view this article as 'dissing' doTerra. Being able to make an informed and educated decision when you purchase ANYTHING is so important when it comes to your health and wellbeing. When it comes to supplementation, we need to show the same due diligence.
This is especially important when it comes to choosing a prenatal or opting to use doTerra's Lifelong Vitality Supplements as a prenatal as I know many women do. I do not believe that the lifelong vitality supplements are sufficient as a prenatal in covering all the needs of growing a healthy, robust and resilient baby whilst looking after mum.
There is a difference between a thriving dose and a maintenance dose when it comes to the ingredients in supplements and doTerra's lifelong vitality was never designed to be a prenatal, rather it was designed to maintain good health.
I know this is contrary to the belief of others in the field but when you have a look at the dosages vs minimum daily needs during pregnancy, it's pretty obvious it falls short of meeting those needs. I'm not saying don't use it as a prenatal, I'm saying don't RELY on it as a prenatal. Additional external supplementation will be needed or upping your game with ensuring a nutrient dense diet to fill in the gaps.
The simple fact is that today's RDI's are woefully inadequate particularly when it comes to pregnancy. Pregnant women require up to three times the RDI's for most core nutrients and minerals to ensure a thriving infant and avoid post natal depletion in the mother.
For myself, I only purchase the US Lifelong Vitality Pack for a couple of different reasons which I'll share with you. Ok let's get stuck into the break down......
Alpha CRS is designed to nourish our mitochondria, our energy powerhouses within each cell that are responsible for sustaining life and every system within our body. It is targeted towards combating oxidative stress, age related disease, protecting our DNA against damage, ensuring a healthy inflammatory response and supporting our organs of elimination in their daily duties.
The Aussie version of Alpha CRS contains significantly more Boswellic Acid at 50mg vs 20mg in the US formulation, more Green Tea Catchetins at 75mg vs 35mg and significantly less of all the other polyphenol antioxidants including Coenzyme Q10 and Resveratrol.
Given that a therapeutic dose for Coenzyme Q10 and Resveratrol starts at 100mg to have any noticeable effect, I'm disappointed at the reduced amount provided in the Aussie LLV.
I'm not entirely comfortable with ingesting Boswellic Acid during first trimester of pregnancy as it is contraindicated for pregnancy. Where women have autoimmune disease present or difficulty with implantation because of immune system interference, I do wonder about the action of Boswellic Acid to further stimulate the immune system at a time when the immune system actually needs to be switched down to allow for implantation to occur and not have fetal cells rejected. Just something to keep in mind if you are aware that you have an immune related disorder.
However, if you have a sensitive constitution that reacts strongly to antioxidants such as resveratrol for example as some people do find, then you may find the Aussie version is more gentle and tolerable than the US Alpha CRS which is powerful and wonderful for supporting folks with inflammatory conditions or who need extra detoxification support.
There's also another big problem with the Aussie version of the Alpha CRS.... it contains a very long list of extraneous fillers that simply is not present in the US formulation.
OTHER INGREDIENTS: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Calcium Hydrogen Phosphate Dihydrate, Magnesium Stearate, Soy Polysaccharide, Silica-colloidal Anhydrous, and Croscarmellose Sodium.
OTHER ENCAPSULATING AIDS:
Hypromellose, Purified Water, Carrageenan,
Potassium Acetate, glucose monohydrate
The other ingredients list for the US formulation of the Alpha CRS reads as-
Other Ingredients: vegetable hypromellose, vegetable
cellulose, calcium silicate, calcium stearate.
Why the difference?? Honestly, I've got no idea, it makes no sense to me at all as to why the Aussie formulation would require these additional ingredients. I urge all Aussie/NZ wellness advocates to write a letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
to let them know this is not cool.
The Aussie formulation uses Cyanocobalamin (Vit. B12) which is the non-activated form of B12 vs methylcobalamin which is an active/methylated version of vitamin B12. If you have MTHFR gene mutations (50% of the population do), the US version of the Microplex is a better fit for you and your genes as your body cannot convert synthetic vitamin B12 or folic acid into an active form that can penetrate cells and benefit the body.
The cyanocobalamin B12 in the Aussie version is synthesized and then metabolized by fermenting yeast during their active growth phase as part of the Glycoprotein Matrix technique doTerra use. This makes it more absorbable and bioavailable to the body however it is not methylated. B12 needs to be converted into its active form, methylcobalamin within the liver to be bioavailable and usable for the cells in your body. B12 is the most important nutrient required in order for our body to absorb folate.
When it comes to Folate, the AU/NZ version uses Folinic Acid (not the same as Folic Acid) which is an activated form of folate that exists naturally and is biologically active which means it requires minimal conversion by the body to use. The US formula uses natural folate derived from lemon peel which also requires minimal conversion by the body to use. The best form of folate for those with MTHFR mutations is 5-MTHF or methylated folate. Your MTHFR mutations will determine whether you can tolerate the Lifelong Vitality Supplements.
If you were to use the LLV as a prenatal, please keep in mind that the US version contains 400mcg of folate vs 139mcg of folate in the AU/NZ formula. During pregnancy, women need to be aiming for 800mcg per day so either way, you need to be focused on gaining the extra folate needed through your diet or with an additional activated folate supplement. I cannot stress this enough.
Vitamin D3 content is also much less in the AU/NZ version at 50IU vs 800IU. That's a BIG difference. Zinc is also much lower at 3.8mg vs 15mg as is Iodine at 6.25mcg vs 25mcg. B Vitamins are all lower than the RDI in the Aussie formula. Vitamin C, Calcium, and Magnesium are too low for pregnancy needs in both the US and Aussie formula. These are all critical nutrients and minerals that need to be provided in adequate amounts during pregnancy, and much more is needed than is present in the LLV to meet the needs of a growing baby whilst also sustaining mum. Insufficient Calcium and Magnesium during pregnancy is associated with high rates of dental caries in both mum and baby in the post partum period as well as poor bone density. Remember that we are providing the building blocks for baby's entire skeletal system and if we aren't consuming enough core minerals through food and supplementation, baby will take what it needs from our own bones.
Minimum requirements during pregnancy are Iodine 250mcg, Vitamin D3 at the very minimum 3000IU and Zinc 20mg.
If you have low iron/ferritin levels, the amount of iron in the LLV (6mg) will be insufficient to rectify a deficiency or support a woman's needs during the first trimester of pregnancy when the placenta is being created and blood volume is significantly increased. Seek out a good Beef Liver supplement for high quality heme iron that the body drinks up or a naturopathic iron bisglycinate based supplement such as Thorne's Ferrasorb.
Again, the Aussie version has a long list of additional excipient ingredients that are simply not needed and very disappointing to see included -
OTHER INGREDIENTS: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Calcium Hydrogen Phosphate Dihydrate, Magnesium Stearate, Crospovidone, Silicon Dioxide and Croscarmellose Sodium, Acacia, Butylated hydroxytoluene, Citric acid, Collodial anhydrous silica, Dextrin, dl-alpha tocopherol, Ethylcellulose, Gelatin, Glucose monohydrate, Maize starch, Maltodextrin, Medium-chain triglycerides, Pea starch, Pregelatinized maize starch, Sodium alginate, Sodium benzoate, Sucrose, Tartaric acid.
OTHER ENCAPSULATING AIDS:
Hypromellose, Purified Water and
The concentration levels of nearly all the ingredients in the Omega XeO are much lower in the AU/NZ version compared to the US with significantly less EPA, DHA, Vitamin D3, Vitamin A and antioxidants. Vitamin E is significantly reduced in the Aussie version at 15IU vs 60IU in the US formula. Pregnancy needs start at 150IU daily. The Aussie Omega contains 260mg, the US version contains 1100mg which is much more in line with daily needs. During pregnancy, women need to be aiming for between 1-2 grams of omega 3 fatty acids each day with 400mg of that being DHA.
DHA is one of the most important ingredients to an optimised brain and cognitive function. Babies need it for healthy vision, healthy cognition, and a healthy immune system. Mum's need it to prevent postnatal depression. A developing baby accumulates DHA throughout the pregnancy, but especially during the last trimester. From week 35 to week 40, on average, a fetus gains 45% more weight and over the same period, DHA accumulates as much as 840%! From week 35 to week 40, DHA is estimated to accumulate: 450% in skeletal muscle, 570% in the brain, 680% in the liver, 840% in adipose tissue. What this means is that baby takes what it can get from mumma and unless she has enough, she will be left in a depleted state. The US formulation contains 300mg of DHA, as long as you are eating cold water fatty fish such as salmon at least 3 times a week, you should meet your target. Otherwise you need to consider additional supplementation to shore up your reserves.
For those who are uncomfortable with taking high amounts of Vitamin A (that's a whole other post for another day), you may prefer the lower levels of A in the AU/NZ Lifelong Vitality. Let me just say that up to 10,000IU is perfectly safe for non-synthetic forms of Vitamin A.
If you have the BCO1 Gene, your ability to convert carotenoids into Vitamin A is almost non existent and you will need to consider adding on the likes of Cod Liver Oil to support your Vitamin A levels. LLV has high levels of carotenoids, 80% of the Vitamin A provided in the LLV is from carotenoids and this could be problematic for you leading to a deficient state. If you are Vegan, this is even more critical as all food sources of preformed Retinol Vitamin A are animal based.
AU/NZ OTHER INGREDIENTS: Sunflower oil
ENCAPSULATING AIDS: Hydroxypropyl
Starch, Glycerol, and Purified Water.
US FORMULA OTHER INGREDIENTS: Non-GMO Food Starch, Glycerin, Purified
Water, Maltitol, Carrageen (due to be phased out).
When you break down the individual ingredients, in my eyes the US version is simply better bang for buck which a more potent and powerful formulation that is better suited for folks with methylation issues as well as supporting women during preconception care and pregnancy.
As I've mentioned repeatedly and will do so one more time, if you wish to use either formula's as your prenatal, go for it, you just need to make sure your diet is up to scratch in order to fill in the gaps or seek out additional supplementation if the goal is to create a thriving baby and mumma instead of 'healthy'.
Recommended additional supplements during pregnancy include extra Folate or a B Complex that includes Folate such as Life Extension Bioactive Complete B
, extra omega 3 fatty acids, additional iodine, additional vitamin c + bioflavonoids, additional calcium/ magnesium, additional Vitamin D3 and Choline as there is non included in either formulas and this is absolutely key for cognitive and nervous system development.
The Lifelong Vitality Supplements are not designed to rectify deficiencies but rather provide existing support to an already wonderful nutrient dense diet. The problem during pregnancy is that in the first trimester, often good habits go out the door as nausea and food aversions take hold. At such a critical time of development when organs are being formed this is far from ideal but it is reality and another good reason to make sure your prenatal meets spec.
My other concern, specifically with the Aussie formulation is the sheer amount of filler ingredients used. Sodium Benzoate does not have a place during pregnancy just as one example. I would not be comfortable taking a supplement with these questionable fillers.
If you have however found the US version too strong for your system, then the AU/NZ version is possibly going to be a better fit for you however I would still be wary of the unfortunate added 'Other Ingredients'.
On the flip side, if you didn't really experience a noticeable change or shift in your sense of wellbeing whilst taking the AU version, please do give the US version a really solid crack. Some folks like me just respond better to higher dosages of core nutrients.
The other reason I really love to purchase the US version of LLV is that I can take advantage of customizing my supplements and adding on the likes of Terrazyme, Mito2Max and the Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex at half price. Yes, the dollar conversion has an impact but I believe this is balanced out by the more powerful LLV formulation and the huge savings to be had on the other supplements in the lineup.
I hope this is useful information for you. I really want you to have the best experience possible with these supplements.
Any Questions pop them below in the comments and I'll be sure to answer them.