Posts Tagged ‘vitamins’

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.

Are Organic Foods Healthier?

Yes, and significantly so. The organic food market is one of the fastest growing industries because people are not only concerned about their health, but for the environment as well. And really, whatever affects the environment, eventually affects your health. Now there are more reasons than ever to eat organic foods. When you eat organic food, you are not only reducing your exposure to pesticides, but you also increase your intake of nutrients.

In 1998, a review of 34 studies comparing organic and conventional foods found organics to have higher protein quality 100% of the studies, higher levels of vitamin C in 58% of studies and 5-20% higher mineral levels for all but 2 minerals. In some instances, mineral content in organic foods were significantly higher compared to conventional foods, and iron content was three times higher!

“A review of 41 studies comparing the nutritional value of organically to conventionally grown fruits, vegetables and grains, also indicates organic crops provide substantially more of several nutrients, including:
• 27% more vitamin C
• 21.1% more iron
• 29.3% more magnesium
• 13.6% more phosphorus” (ref 1)

Additionally, lab tests show that conventional means use chemicals that may have the ability to cause certain mutations leading to the development of cancer.

Organics and Children’s Health
Studies have been done on the pesticide levels found in children in the US. These studies concluded that millions of American children are exposed to levels of pesticides through their food at levels exceeding what is considered safe.

“Some of these pesticides are known to be neurotoxic, able to cause harm to the developing brain and nervous system. Additionally, some researchers feel that children and adolescents may be especially vulnerable to the cancer-causing effects of certain pesticides since the body is more sensitive to the impact of these materials during periods of high growth rates and breast development.” (ref 2)

See my other article on this topic.
Is Organic Food Better for You? 

References:
Popularity of Organic Foods (1)
Why Organic Foods are better for your health (2)
Everything you need to know about Organic Foods
Environmental Working Group’s website on Organic Food