4 Disturbing Facts About Prenatals Every Parent Must Know: What Are The Best Prenatal Vitamins?
Prenatal vitamins aren’t what you think they are.
Just because that label reads “prenatal vitamin” and your doctor tells you, “make sure to take your prenatal,” it doesn’t mean you’re doing the right thing…
When it comes to vital nutrients for mom and baby, similarities in names have allowed Big Pharma to profit from a nutritional flip-flop. In other words, moms aren’t being given naturally occurring, full-spectrum nutrients with proven biological activity. Instead, pregnant moms-to-be are most likely receiving lab-manufactured, prenatal vitamins that are toxic counterfeits of nature. The confusion arises because they carry the same name as their naturally occurring, healthy counterparts…and that’s perfectly legal by FDA standards even when it puts families at risk.
A standard practice, the pharmaceutical industry is labeling lab-created chemicals as the “Best Prenatal Vitamins” and tossing them on the shelves of your local grocery store to be sold to vulnerable moms. The top perpetrators of creating fake prenatal and labeling them as “The Best Prenatal” (from prenatal vitamin gummies to prenatal shakes) are pharmaceutical companies like:
- Hoffmann-La Roche
- Bristol-Myers Squib
- Eli Lilly
Their vapid, man-made nutrients (folic acid, iron, vitamin D, calcium, riboflavin, niacin and so many more) are foreigners to the body and lack nutritional benefit. Worse, these fake prenatal vitamins come with a host of potentially toxic side effects for mom and baby!
Unbelievably, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) insists that these prenatal vitamins are a good source of nutrition! And natural health guru Andrew Weil, MD, suggests 2,000 IU per day of the synthetic mimic vitamin D across the board for everyone, which is to be expected from the vitamin mouth-piece who always pushes synthetic vitamins. Yet even the chemical manufacturer, BASF, has severe warnings against such absurd advise!
In Human Nutrition Technical Information, BASF commented on vitamin D risk, saying, “Long-term dosages of more than 50 μg (2,000 IU) of vitamin D per day in adults may result in the hypercalcemia syndrome. This disease is caused by an increase in calcium concentration in blood plasma [caused by vitamin D] leading to severe dysfunction in certain organs, including uncontrolled urine release from bladder; excessive thirst, nausea, and vomiting; endocrine psycho- syndrome; kidney stones and kidney failure; and calcification of heart, lung, and kidney tissue, as well as blood vessels.”
While the intention of keeping pregnant women healthy may be good, Big Pharma and doctors have become a bad source for prenatal vitamins. Fortunately, there are safe, healthy alternatives for moms who want the best health and best prenatals for themselves and baby, which I write extensively about in Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded.
To better understand the threat to mom and baby, let’s discover how prenatal vitamins got their start.
1. The Prenatal Vitamin That Could Increase Cancer by 30%
In 2002, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) first introduced the prenatal vitamin, err, I mean they introduced the promotion of chemicals as “vitamins.” They successfully took advantage of common pregnancy anxieties by insisting that “inadequate intake of micronutrients is associated with increased risk of poor pregnancy outcomes.”
Ever since, they’ve been warning parents about certain nutrient deficiencies in order to sell prenatals made by their Big Pharma sponsors. The ADA first identified folate as a possible deficiency.
Folate encompasses a slew of naturally occurring chemical cousins. Without this blend of nutrients, our bodies become a breeding ground for Alzheimer’s disease, coronary heart disease, osteoporosis, neural tube defects, poor cognitive performance, depression, hearing loss, and many types of cancer.
The history of folate dates back to 1931, when chemists concluded that anemia was caused by lack of it in the diet. Moms feel the oxygen-depleting illness as increased heart rate and labored breathing.
Big Pharma—smelling big money in a synthetic version—created folic acid in 1941, and it has been pushed as the cure to these ailments ever since.
Notice the flip-flop?
Big Pharma stole/removed folate from the marketplace and replaced it with their own synthetic counterfeit, folic acid. Then they started promoting that!
A cheap counterfeit of folate, folic acid doesn’t even occur in nature and is, by definition, toxic! Known to chemists as pteroylglutamic acid monoglutamate, folic acid is one of the best-selling counterfeits infiltrating prenatals today. Adding injury to insult, in 1996 the FDA mandated that grain-based foods such as bread and cereal be fortified with it. The only thing missing was a black-box warning because folic acid doesn’t belong in your body!
Today, an estimated 274 million people are being exposed to folic acid. Most are unaware that the synthetic compound has proven adverse effects, yet according to the FDA, “no long-term studies exist to evaluate the risks associated with prolonged use.” Short-term studies, however, suggest an alarming link between large quantities of folic acid and an increased cancer risk.
According to the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) cancer screening trial, prenatal and postnatal supplementation of folic acid in mothers on a standard diet resulted in the occurrence of higher numbers of cancer tumors—specifically, a 20 percent to 32 percent increased risk of breast cancer in women consuming more than 400 microg/d of supplemental folic acid.
The greatest evidence to further support the cancer risk of folic acid comes from research reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In it, renowned cancer researcher Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, commented on folic acid intake, saying that longer-term benefits of fortification for disease prevention “remain to be documented.” Further, he said that high doses of folic acid “may speed cell division and increase tumor progression.”
Cancer isn’t the only possible outcome of folic-acid use. Moms who supplement with it also risk a drug mutation known as MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase) polymorphism. Kind of like the shuffling of cards, folic acid can shuffle your genetic map leading to altered DNA activity, putting moms at risk for heart disease as well as colonic cancer and acute leukemia later in life.
Scientists warned in Nature magazine in 2005 that the use of folic acid in fortification programs worldwide could have “the side effect of increasing the prevalence of some of the most significant, human life- threatening diseases.”
Folic acid is often defended for its ability to prevent deformities of the brain and spine—known technically as neural tube defects. There is no question that folic acid has benefitted mother and baby in terms of early development. But folate can do the same, without side effects!
Fortunately, wiping out illness associated with a folate deficiency among moms is simply a matter of adhering to nutrient logic rather than popping unpredictable synthetic pills. You can do this by bolstering your diet with foods rich in folate like liver, desiccated liver powder, leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and turnip greens), fruits (such as citrus fruits and juices), eggs, dried beans and peas, and the forgotten master folate supplement—unfortified brewer’s yeast that is free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). If you’re looking for the best prenatal vitamins, those are it!
2. The Prenatal “Sunshine” Vitamin (and faulty “test”) That Can Rot Your Insides
Vitamin D has been relentlessly recommended to pregnant mothers, initially as a way to stave off or cure rickets, a paralyzing, bone-softening disease that could otherwise be the result of the mother’s malnutrition.
But that’s not exactly true. “Vitamin D” pills did not cure rickets.
The plethora of sunshine hormones (secosteroids) produced by the skin and those found naturally in cod liver oil cured rickets. These pills didn’t even exist in the early days of curing the paralyzing illness.
Purveyors of the vitamin D myth have the Big Pharma marketing noose firmly around their neck—and probably don’t even know it. They’re ranting and raving without thinking…Overall, vitamin D science is sloppy because it fails to distinguish between the benefits of sensible sun exposure and of man-made vitamin D, taken orally.
Proponents also insist that many mothers, as well as their children, suffer from a vitamin D deficiency, causing a myriad of illnesses ranging from immune dysfunction, cancer, heart disease, and depression to coughing, being ugly, and a host of other ills.
It’s all bullshit.
The vitamin D test was designed for moms to fail, as a ploy to sell the drug without FDA approval as a “vitamin.” Furthermore, not a single study proves that the lack of synthetic vitamin D is a causative factor in any of the above diseases!
Even my wife, who is the epitome of health, failed the test each of the FOUR times she was pregnant. That’s because today’s definition of optimal vitamin D levels has been artificially raised to convert healthy people into vitamin D patients who will buy Big Pharma’s man made toxic chemicals masquerading as “vitamins.”
This was confirmed in the report by the Institute of Medicine. In it, researchers showed that the optimal blood levels of vitamin D being promoted today are three times greater than the average levels recorded in the blood of healthy individuals who are regularly exposed to sun!
This report supported similar findings throughout history. Hence, the underlying message to raise your levels with pills to avoid a deficiency is profit- driven and designed to benefit Big Pharma instead of public health.
Prior to vitamin D being promoted as a vitamin, Bell Laboratories manufactured their version as rat poison—Quintox. “Baits containing large quantities of vitamin D are used very effectively as rodenticides,” wrote the University of Colorado, as if warning the medical community. Containing less than 8 percent vitamin D per serving, Quintox can kill a rat in one to four days. That same formula was later packaged as a “vitamin” for human consumption. Therefore, by FDA drug-approval standards, vitamin D wouldn’t make it past clinical trials if it were treated like the drug it is.
The danger of man-made vitamin D is simple—excessive use of oral Vitamin D can create a buildup in the body through a process called bioaccumulation. This festering can then cause a condition known as hypercalcemia, which can lead to kidney failure, central nervous system depression, heart failure, and more—all signs of parathyroid dysfunction. Moreover, in research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism, scientists showed that synthetic vitamin D consumption may depress bone turnover to some degree when taken by humans, therefore weakening the skeletal system.
Ignoring vitamin D’s history and biochemistry, many nutritionists have seemingly abandoned science to join the vitamin D circus. For example, nutrition guru Jonny Bowden is a cheerleader for Vitamin D pills, which he often pushes as a “nontoxic cure-all, akin to water!” Yet he doesn’t understand that, unlike with water, even small, daily ingestion of vitamin D becomes dangerous to mom and baby as repeated use over time gives way to side effects.
Fortunately, the intelligence of our hormonal system protects us from toxicity. All-natural sunshine on our skin provides Vitamin D to our bodies. This is achieved by rapidly breaking down the vitamin D-like compounds in the skin, which explains why nobody has ever been damaged by natural vitamin D production. Pills made in a lab or simple sunshine? You decide.
3. The Prenatal Vitamin That’s Bad for Your Heart!
Millions of moms are also swallowing calcium supplements in their prenatal vitamins. Yet there is a stark difference between natural, organic calcium and what’s in a prenatal!
Manufactured by drug giants Hoffmann-La Roche and BASF, calcium in prenatal multivitamins is known chemically as carbonate, citrate, dolomite, dicalcium phosphate, and tricalcium phosphate. Studies over the last ten years have confirmed that an overabundance of these synthetic toxins can lead to calcium deposits—a common condition that, in severe cases, can narrow or block the arteries that feed the heart. This can lead to heart failure.
In citing a university study, a reporter wrote in the New York Daily News that “calcium supplements, long recommended for stronger bones, may be bad for the heart.” CNN Health reported on the detrimental findings of calcium supplements, too. Quoting John Baron, MD, a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, they published that, “Older people who take at least 500 milligrams of calcium daily—less than the amount in a typical one-a-day calcium pill—are 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack than those who take no calcium at all.“
4. The Toxic Metal Found in Prenatal Vitamins
The chemical element iron (Fe) is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth, and it is also found in hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Iron is required for proper human development. Without it, our bodies suffer from poor oxygen distribution, improper cell replication, and decreased immunity, just for starters.
For pregnant women, anemia is the first sign of an iron deficiency, but the problem is more widespread. Globally, more than two billion people lack sufficient iron. Therefore, aggressive fortification programs by governments around the world have begun, and moms in particular are given strong recommendations to take supplemental iron. But invisible threats lurk behind the seemingly harmless recommendations.
The use of iron as medicine began as far back as the early 1800s. In the 1950s, it was added to food under fortification initiatives to thwart a deficiency. Ferrous fumerate, ferrous sulfate, and ferrous carbonate were the primary iron compounds—manufactured by Big Pharma— introduced into the food chain as well as prenatal and children’s vitamins. But there was one problem: these man-made forms proved toxic. Synthetic iron intake can lead to oxidative stress, heart disease, cancer, inflammation, and liver disease. Moms usually experience early signs of synthetic iron toxicity through an upset stomach. But there is a nontoxic alternative.
The human body is designed to process naturally occurring iron, known as heme iron. Heme iron is found in animal sources such as chicken and beef liver, and it is easily absorbed into the body through digestion. By design, this helps prevent overdose and toxicity. In addition to providing heme iron, liver provides vitamins A and B, which are huge assets to the energy and health of both mom and baby. For simplicity, a cold-processed, organic, hormone-free, desiccated (dried) fatty liver powder can serve as a daily supplement.
4. Finding the Best Prenatal Vitamin That’s Not Made in a Lab!
A formula of brewer’s yeast and desiccated liver would satisfy the ADA recommendations without exposing mom and baby to a nutritional flip-flop. Both are loaded with naturally occurring nutrients that aid in recovery, development, and longevity. The hard part is finding organic, non-fortified, and non-GMO yeast and liver powders.
After an exhaustive search and state-of-the-art testing, I found the perfect products to be Lewis Labs Brewer’s Yeast Flakes and Radiant Life Desiccated Liver, found online or at Amazon.com. (Both can be combined with vegetable juice, ice, and lemon for a great tasting drink). These are even better when combined with my Whey Advanced, which is the richest source of branched-chain amino acids.
If mom is suffering from blood sugar problems, a pure and natural botanical blend of milk thistle and true cinnamon, found in Cinnergy, will usually curb the threat! Add to that my FREE 18-Minute Workout App (download in your App store on phone) and mom can be free of the gestational diabetes threat.
Fire Big Pharma, Hire Mother Nature for The Best Prenatal Vitamin
Mom’s body is simple in chemistry, yet behaves in complex ways. About 99 percent of the human body is comprised of six elements from the periodic table: carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur. Together, they make DNA, which conveys instructions for chemical reactions that create skin, lungs, a cage of ribs for protection, a placenta, an umbilical cord, and everything else that makes up a human being in only nine months.
That’s why it’s so important that moms don’t get hoodwinked by the nutritional flip-flop. One slight deficiency or wrong choice can yield a lifetime of trouble due to inadequate development. Therefore, moms and babies deserve only the best nutrients—from nature, not a laboratory.
About the Author
My name is Shane “The People’s Chemist” Ellison. I hold a master’s degree in organic chemistry and am the author of Over-The-Counter Natural Cures Expanded Edition (SourceBooks). I’ve been quoted by USA Today, Shape, Woman’s World, US News and World Report, as well as Women’s Health and appeared on Fox and NBC as a medicine and health expert. Start protecting yourself and loved ones with my FREE report, 3 Worst Meds.