Posts Tagged ‘supplements’

FDA: Vitamins contain lead

The FDA did an analysis of the lead content of 324 different vitamins. Shockingly, very few were lead-free. 5 of the samples studied exceeded the level the FDA considers “safe, ” though none of these were for children or pregnant or lactating women. Just when I thought we were making progress finally banning lead in toys (even though this was really a no-brainer and should not need a law banning it), now we have lead in vitamins.

Although all of the vitamins for those in the high-risk category (children, and pregnant and lactating women) were below the daily levels the FDA considers “safe,“ I have to question if any amount of lead is really safe. Not to mention it’s very likely we are exposed to lead in other ways in our daily lives and may not truly know where we are being exposed. Best bet is to avoid anything known to contain any amounts of lead. We just ditched our old cast-iron bathtub because it very likely contained lead. Lead is also common in PVC-made products, garden hoses, some clothing, paint, lunch boxes/backpacks/diaper bags, etc., older porcelin/cast iron tubs and sinks, plus many other places. And it’s still in some toys (and the government “ban” will still allow for very small traces of lead — it is NOT a zero-tolerance deal).

Lead ends up in the vitamins because it naturally occurs in the environment, however, that does not mean I want to find it in a vitamin, especially one I give my child. This comes at a good time actually, as I was about to look into a good vitamin for my toddler.

Here is the study summary and results of each vitamin studied. These seem to be all over the counter varieties, so my prenatal was not listed unfortunately.

Below I have listed the top 10 vitamins with the most and least amount of lead. Here’s my disclaimer before you purchase any – still review the labels for other ingredients!! Some may still contain preservatives and other ingredients you may elect to avoid (ie parabens, sugars, etc.) I did not account for that in these lists – just the lead content.

Infants and Young Children (Age 0-6 years)
There are 3 vitamins for infants and young children that had non-detectible lead levels. These are:

1. TwinLab Infant Care Multi Vitamins
2. NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric
3. Natrol Liquid Kids Companion

And rounding out the top 10 in this category for the LEAST amount of lead by daily exposure are:
4. Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals
5. Windmill Bite-A-Mins
6. My First Flintstones
7. Natural Wealth Children’s Chewable Multivitamins Plus Extra C
8. Uno Diario Ninos
9. Flintstones Plus Immunity Support
10. Natural Wealth Children’s Chewable Multivitamins

The top 10 with the MOST amount of lead by daily exposure are:
1. Dynamic Health Multi for Children
2. Clinicians Choice Chewable Daily Multivitamins
3. Wonder Laboratories Formula Nineteen
4. Vita-Big-Kids
5. Nature’s Plus Animal Parade
6. Ola Loa Kids
7. Physio Kids Multilogics Chewable
8. Nutraceutical Pedia Power
9. Superior Multi Age
10. Nature’s Plus Animal Parade Shake

Older Children and Teens (7+ years)
The top 10 with the LEAST amount of lead by daily exposure are:
1. Lil Critters Drop Zone for Teens
2. Nutrition Now Zow for Teens
3. Michael’s For Pre-Teen Boys
4. Michael’s Teen Boys
5. Puritan’s Pride Mega Vita Min For Teens
6. Michael’s Pre-Teen Girls
7. Michael’s Teen Girls
8. Good ‘N Natural Ultra Teen
9. Futurebiotics Derma Teen
10. GNC Mega Teen

The top 10 with the MOST amount of lead by daily exposure are:
1. Vitanica Women’s Symetry
2. Esteem Total Teen
3. FoodScience Teen’s Superior
4. Nature’s Plus Source of Life Power Teen
5. Rainbow Light Active Health TEEN
6. Maxi Teen Supreme
7. Doctor’s Choice For Male Teens
8. Clinical Nutrients For Male Teens
9. Clinical Nutrients for Female Teens
10. Kal Enhanced Energy Teen Complete

For Pregnant and Lactating Women
The 10 with the LEAST amount of lead by daily exposure are:
1. After Baby Boost 2
2. Nature’s Sunshine Nature’s Prenatal
3. Nature’s Plus Prenatal Liquid
4. Natrol PreNatal Care
5. Pregnancy Plus
6. Pure Encapsulations PreNatal Nutrients
7. Maxi Health One Prenatal
8. Nature’s Bounty Prenatal
9. Stuart Prenatal
10. Natural Wealth Prenatal

The 10 with the MOST amount of lead by daily exposure are:
1. Carol Bond Women’s Choice Prenatal
2. Daily Foods Baby & Me
3. Life Time Professional Pre-Natal Formula
4. DaVinci Laboratories Ultimate Prenatal
5. Buried Treasure Prenatal Plus DHA Complete
6. Rainbow Light Complete Prenatal System
7. Prenatal Superior
8. Vitamin Source Prenatal Complete
9. A to Z Naturals Wow! PreNatal
10. After Baby Boost 1

For Adult Women
The 10 with the LEAST amount of lead by daily exposure are:
1. FemOne
2. Viactiv Multivitamin Milk Chocolate
3. Family Value Multivitamin/Multimineral for Woman
4. MotherNature.com Women’s Basic Multi
5. Kirkman EveryDay
6. Vitabase Woman’s Multi (liquid)
7. Food Force Women’s Force
8. 21st Century One Daily Women’s
9. NewChapter Organics Every Woman’s One Daily
10. Viactiv Flavor Glides

The 10 with the MOST amount of lead by daily exposure are:
1. GenSpec VF-3 para Mujeres Hispanas
2. Women’s Superior
3. DaVinci Laboratories Spectra Woman
4. Garden of Life Living Multi
5. For Women Only
6. GenSpec VF-1 for African American Females
7. Garden of Life Living Multi Optimal
8. Esteem Total Woman
9. Super Nutrition Women’s Blend
10. NutriBiotic Ultimate Matrix

Related Articles
Government says no more lead in toys, but not until after Christmas
Dangers of BPA, phthalates and a host of other substances
PVC and lead-free lunch boxes
Lead in the garden hose
Lead in Christmas lights
BPA free bottles, sippy cups and more
BPA and phthalate free pacifiers
BPA and phthalate free teethers and rattles

Toxins found in crib mattresses may cause health problems

Vitamin D deficiency in breastfed babies and everyone else

This irks me every time I read about it. Breastmilk is deficient in vitamin D. Infants are at risk. Come on people!! This is sooo easy to fix. Get your but outside and get some sun on your skin!! Studies show you only need 5 to 10 minutes of sunlight (without sunscreen) 2 to 3 times a week for your body to make enough vitamin D. You also only need filtered sunlight. Darker skinned folks may need more sun to absorb enough vitamin D.

Another option to ensure your breastfed baby is getting enough vitamin D is to offer supplement drops. Don’t wait for your pediatrician to recommend them –ask about them and do so early on. A breast feeding mother also needs to ensure she is getting enough vitamin D to up the amount in her milk — get in the sun,  eat foods rich in vitamin D such as salmon, drink your milk fortified with vitamin D. Those in areas where there is limited sunlight or can’t be in sunlight should talk to their doctor about supplements. Do be careful with supplements, as taking 2 multivitamins contain too much vitamin A which can be toxic.

Vitamin D deficiency is thought to lead to certain cancers, diabetes and other diseases. So this is certainly not an issue that is isolated to infants. Everyone needs to ensure they are getting the appropriate amount of vitaman D each day.

Mininmum daily vitamin day intakes, which are set by the Institute of Medicine are: 200 IU daily for children and young adults, 400 IU for those ages 51 to 70 and 600 IU for those 71 and older. And some proponents recommend 1,000 IU per day.

Studies also show the BEST time for an infant to get vitamin D is in the womb. Children whose mothers get plenty of vitamin D during pregnancy have bigger, stronger bones at age 9. In fact, maternal vitamin D matters more than all the milk children drink in those first nine years.

I am so tired of hearing that breast feeding causes vitamin D deficiency I could scream. Yes, there are some very real side effects of vitamin D deficiency, such as rickets, but this is prevantable by ensuring the infant and mother get their recommended intake of vitamin D. Throughout history babies were breastfed, and before the invention of TV and fear of skin cancer, vitamin D deficiency was not an issue because people spent most of the day outdoors.

Everyone needs to take this issue seriously, not just mothers with breastfed infants.

Caffeine During Pregnancy May Increase the Risk of Miscarriage

A new study suggests that consuming caffeine during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage.

The study finds that women who consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day (amount in 10 oz of coffee) may double their risk of miscarriage. The study included 1,063 pregnant women who were interviewed about their caffeine intake. Of the 264 who said they had no caffeine, 12.5% miscarried. In the 164 who consumed 200 milligrams or more per day, the rate of miscarriage was 24.5%.

While there is no clear cut way to prevent a miscarriage, it does indicate that caffeine does have adverse affects and at minimum should be limited during pregnancy.

Folic Acid May Greatly Reduce Pre-Term Births

The March of Dimes released a study last week suggesting that taking folic acid supplements for a year before becoming pregnant can cut their risk of pre-term delivery by at least half. The study included more than 38,000 women who were pregnant with singletons and did not have complications such as preeclampsia.

“Thanks to the depth and breadth of the NIH study, which included an early pregnancy ultrasound of each participant, we had highly accurate evidence of the gestational ages of the preterm deliveries,” said Radek Bukowski, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the lead study author and SMFM member. “This evidence enabled us to determine that folate supplementation for at least one year is linked to a 70 percent decrease in very early preterm deliveries (20 to 28 weeks in gestational age) and up to a 50 percent reduction in early preterm deliveries of 28 to 32 weeks.”

These are very astounding figures and ones that should not be taken lightly. This is a big step in preventing pre-term babies who are at such high risk for certain disease. While this is not a “cure” even a 50% decrease in premature births would be significant.

Folic acid is already known to help prevent certain birth defects, such as spinal bifida, but until now, effects of folic acid have only been study on it being taken during pregnancy. The US Public Health Service has for a long time recommended that all women of child-bearing age consume 400 micrograms of folic acid every day.

Other studies have suggested folic acid helps reduce stroke and cardiovascular disease in adults. It would be wise for all men and women to get in the habit of consuming folic acid rich foods or at minimum, taking a daily supplement.

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