Do you know what's in your prenatal vitamin?
During pregnancy or while trying to conceive, proper diet and supplementation are vital to both your health and your baby’s. Getting in the right nutrients can make all the difference between a high and low-risk pregnancy. A consistent wholefood diet of organic meat, wild caught fish, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is the principal factor in a healthy pregnancy, but taking a prenatal multivitamin/mineral is often recommended as well. There are lots to choose from, does it matter which one you take?
I’ll let you decide.
Here is a list of the non-medicinal ingredients from four different prenatal vitamins. Two of them are most commonly doctor recommended. Check them out and see if anything sticks out for you.
#1: Hypromellose (derived from cellulose) capsule, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Calcium Laurate, Silicon Dioxide.
#2: ascorbyl palmitate, BHT, calcium phosphate, citric acid, corn starch, crospovidone, FD&C Red No. 40, gelatin, hypromellose, lactose, magnesium stearate, methylcellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, mineral oil, modified food starch, polysorbate 80, silicon dioxide, sodium alumino-silicate, sodium ascorbate, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, sodium lauryl sulfate, sorbic acid, soybean oil, stearic acid, sucrose, titanium dioxide, triethyl citrate.
#3: Organic soy, organic brown rice, organic lemon balm, organic peppermint leaf, organic Saccharomyces cerevisiae, organic maltodextrin, magnesium, organic carrot root powder, organic alfalfa grass powder, organic orange peel, organic gum arabic, silica, shellac, carnauba wax, maltodextrin and magnesium stearate.
#4: ammonium hydroxide, N-butyl alcohol, carnauba wax, D&C Red No. 27, FD&C Blue No. 1, FD&C Blue No. 2, FD&C Red No. 40, FD&C Yellow No. 6, isopropyl alcohol, macrogol/PEG 3350, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyvinyl alcohol, propylene glycol, shellac glaze, simethicone, sodium croscarmellose, sodium lauryl sulfate, starch (corn starch), talc, and titanium dioxide.
As you were reading the ingredients, were you surprised to see any of the following?
artificial colour FD & C Red No. 40. Products containing artificial colours come with a warning label in Europe.
sodium lauryl sulfate is a skin irritant, but is also on the FDA’s list for further investigation.
BHT is under investigation as a potential carcinogen but has already been banned in at least 4 countries across Europe.
Propylene glycol is also known as ‘antifreeze’.
Mineral Oil is a petroleum product that can leach healthy fats from your body.
Sodium aluminosilicate is a compound containing sodium, aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. Research has shown that “Aluminum is a neurotoxin and a cellular toxin…and binds pretty tightly to polysorbate 80”.
Polysorbate 80 is used in pharmacology to assist in the delivery of certain drugs or chemotherapeutic agents across the blood-brain-barrier. Does this mean it is taking aluminum across the blood brain barrier? It’s happened before.
Do these really sound like ingredients we should be consuming while pregnant of all times?
Here are the names of the Prenatal vitamins in the order as listed above.
#1. Thorne Basics Prenatal. This is a very strong contender as a good prenatal as it contains all vitamins and minerals in their most absorbable form. It also lists very few non-medicinal ingredients which is better. You can find this at many health food stores or online. https://www.thorne.com/products/dp/basic-prenatal
#2. Materna. A commonly recommended prenatal by doctors and sold in drug stores. Not only are several of the non-medicinal ingredients outrageous, cheap ingredients are used and the vitamins and minerals are often not absorbed well, if at all. In fact, if anyone in your family is taking a Centrum multivitamin, check out this chart to see all the non-medicinal ingredients you could live without. http://www.centrum.ca/sites/default/files/ReferenceChartEnglish.pdf
#3. New Chapter Perfect Prenatal. I’m not sure I would call it perfect, but I think this is a great option for a prenatal. If I could mix the vitamins and minerals from Thorne Basic Prenatal with the rest of the ingredients in this one, it would make it closer to ‘perfect’. Maybe you can alternate between the two of them. Click this link to check out some of the other amazing ingredients in New Chapter’s multi. http://www.newchapter.ca/multivitamin/perfect-prenatal#supplement-facts
#4. Preg Vit. Providing tough competition with Materna as possibly the worst prenatal on the planet and frequently doctor recommended, is Preg Vit. I can’t even count how many clients I have asked to replace this prenatal because of how sick it makes them. http://chealth.canoe.com/drug/getdrug/pregvit
Cheaper is not better, please invest in a high quality prenatal from your local health food store or online and continue taking it while breastfeeding. But most importantly, make sure your diet is stellar, it makes a difference.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.