It’s been over 15 years since I took prenatal vitamins. Although I relied on pregnancy tea, I also took Rainbow Light Prenatal vitamins. I’ve repeatedly recommended them to others. Rainbow Lig
Shockingly, my favorite vitamins, as well as most prenatals, contain toxic heavy metals at levels that should require Proposition 65 warnings in California.
The benefit of taking a vitamin or not is questionable, but there are certain pregnancy-specific minerals and vitamins I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing. Rainbow Light has continued to be my go-to brand when picking out supplements. I am shocked to learn their betrayal.
Rainbow Light offers a wide variety fo prenatal vitamins from preconception to specific trimester supplements. The company used to promise their prenatal vitamins were “free of heavy metals” and contained “the lowest detectable lead level”, according to CBS LA. These claims seem to have disappeared from the website after independent testing found otherwise.
In fact, Rainbow Light was sued for false advertising and settled with the state of California for $1.5 million.
In addition, the Rainbow Light is now required to test their prenatal vitamins ever six months for heavy metals.
In response to the lawsuit and settlement, Rainbow Light replied:
Our prenatal and postnatal vitamins are safe and have less lead than you could find in a typical serving of spinach. Because our vitamins include plant and mineral-based ingredients, they contain trace elements of lead and other heavy metals.Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins Marketed As ‘Free Of Heavy Metals’ Found To Contain Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heavy exposure during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, still birth and/or birth defects. Additionally, fetal brain development is negatively affected by heavy metal exposure.
It’s not just Rainbow Light that has come under scrutiny for heavy metals in their vitamins. For example, a Canadian study conducted in 2018 found all prenatal vitamins contained lead.
Twenty-six commonly used prenatal vitamin brands including one prescription brand were collected from Canadian health-food outlets and pharmacies, and tested for toxic element contamination. Results were compared to established endpoints.
All samples contained Lead with average amounts being (0.535 μgm), 20/51 samples exceeded established standards for lead toxicity (0.50 μgm/day), with one sample yielding 4. μgm/day. Three samples registered inorganic arsenic levels above acceptable limits. Cadmium levels did not exceed current standards. Toxic elements such as Aluminum, Nickel, Titanium and Thallium were detected in all samples.
Cumulative intake of prenatal supplement over many months may constitute a significant source of toxic element exposure to the mother and offspring…
Prenatal vitamin supplementation during gestation and lactation is used by most women in the western world as a means to maximize the health of their progeny. The prospect of contamination gestational products being consumed by most women is sobering indeed. This study found that several prenatal supplements are contaminated with toxic elements to levels that exceed accepted standards. The cumulative total exposure to the fetus with daily maternal ingestion of such adverse agents is concerning.Heavy metal contamination of prenatal vitamins
In 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration has tested 324 multi-vitamins designed for children and pregnant women for lead. From New Chapter to Garden of Life, It’s disheartening to find many health food store brands on the list.
A more recent independent test of prenatal vitamins tested 220 brands.
Results were across the board, with lead levels in one serving of a prenatal vitamin ranging from just trace amounts to 15 times what the FDA recommends as a limit in apple juice.Spotlight on America: Exclusive tests reveal lead in some prenatal vitamins
The lab rated each prenatal they tested. You can find the results here. My favorite Rainbow Light prenatal vitamins scored a sobering F. In contrast, New Chapter Wholemega for Moms scored an A+.
There are many important vitamins and minerals for pregnancy and fetal development; however, research has proven that expectant mothers may be putting their unborn child at risk of heavy metal exposure by taking supplements. The FDA does not review and analyze prenatal vitamins for safety and relies on companies to test their own products. Clearly, some sort of oversight is needed.