by Jennifer Polimino, C.P.T.
I've been getting hundreds of emails from concerned pregnant women about the quality of their prenatal vitamins. There has been some mention of this topic in the news lately. After all, the vitamin industry is full of companies that manufacture prenatal vitamins without much regard for you or your baby’s health.
With that in mind, it's very IMPORTANT that you read the following information carefully:
The "Seven Sins" of Prenatal Vitamins: Most Doctors Don’t Even Know This... But They Should!
1. Poor Quality: Most prenatal vitamins contain poor quality, synthetic forms of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants—like the synthetic form of B12 called Cyanocobalamin (that's harder on your liver), and the cheap Calcium Carbonate. With these forms, you and your baby won't get the nutrients you need!
2. Inadequate Potency: Most have inadequate potency (not enough for baby and mom, based on current research). You can't expect to magically make a perfect loaf of bread from a teaspoon of flour, and you can't expect to create a healthy baby without enough nutrients either! Here's an example: folic acid. Most prenatal vitamins contain 400 mcg of folic acid, but new research indicates that you and your baby really need 800 mcg!
3. Tablet Form: Most are hard to digest due to being highly compressed and covered with waxes, such as carnauba wax. This stuff is great for waxing cars and protecting the noses of jet airplanes, but your stomach can't penetrate it! There are true stories of "port-a-potties" being emptied with hundreds of undigested multivitamins found at the bottom.
4. No Omega-3s: Most prenatal vitamins DO NOT contain optimal Omega-3 fatty acids that build the baby's nervous system and cells. If they are included, they're probably not enough or certified free of dangerous heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum and PCBs (environmental toxins). They also may not be in the needed amounts.
5. Calcium & Iron Together: Iron and Calcium should be taken at separate times of the day. Why? Calcium binds to iron, interfering with the absorption of both—they cancel each other out. Not good for you or your baby's health.
6. Missing Nutrients: Most prenatal vitamins don't contain key nutrients (like CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid) that truly help the body produce an abundance of natural energy—something all pregnant moms need. These powerhouse nutrients are expensive and rarely included in prenatal vitamins.
7. No Concern for Your Troubles: Most prenatal vitamins also don't address specific problems many pregnant women experience, such as insomnia and morning sickness. There are natural solutions to these concerns.
That's "7 Sins" right there... but I have more. You see, the 8th "Sin" is a real jaw dropper. Get this... tests conducted by an independent consumer protection agency, and reported in the June 2004 issue of Oprah's magazine, "O", showed that 50% of multi-vitamin and mineral supplements did NOT contain the nutrients marked on the label when tested—this includes some prenatal vitamins.
So let's say a prenatal vitamin label says it contains 100% of the RDI for Vitamin C. Well, tests showed that many brand-names contained as little as 10% of Vitamin C, not 100%... or worse... no Vitamin C at all! And the same goes for all of the other nutrients that are supposed to be in the formula! (As your doctor will tell you, not getting the proper nutrients can be very dangerous for you or your unborn baby.)
In addition, many multi-vitamins tested high for potentially dangerous impurities like lead!
However, not all prenatal vitamin manufacturers are scam-artists! Read more about my research on prenatal vitamins including my top picks for the BEST prenatal vitamins out there.