Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Just yesterday, I felt my teeth hurt, something that made me go cold. I'm not getting enough calcium, mostly because trying to consume it from food based sources is a PAIN. How much yogurt can you drink in a day anyway? Or orange juice?

So I've been looking, from my last pregnancy, for a good calcium supplement. And because I'm somebody that now reads the labels and fine print on everything, am utterly unsucessful.

Rejected supplements
Tums- the colored ones, have lovely carcinogenic dyes (such as Yellow 5 and Red Lake and all these innoucuous sounding ones), not to mention other crap.
Tums- the white ones have talc and mineral oil!
Citrical-recommended by my idiot OB- has titanium dioxide and a paragraph of stuff that sound distinictly unwholesome while consumed in a pregnancy. Its also supposed to have minute quantities of lead.
Os-Cal- recommended by this idiot website has parabens!
For what parabens are, go here
Rainbow Light has food based calcium sources, which made me want to dance a jig till I realized they throw in other unwanted crap like bioeperene and horse nettles in.

I'm tired and I'm out of options. My prenatal has almost no calcium ( they say because calcium interferes with the absorption of iron, the two are best taken separately) and I'm not having enough from food sources. I need a supplement but everything I find on the market comes with its own variety of crap.

Sigh, sometimes ignorance is bliss. Maybe I should just shut up and consume talc and mineral oil (I draw the line at parabens) or I'm  headed for root canals.


  1. Here's some info on one I found at "" I've also bought organic natural Prenatals and other supplements from vitacost and been happy with them so they might have something similar, as well.

    Herb Cal Chewable Calcium Tabs-90 tablets/1600 mg

    Price: $15.12
    Availability: in stock
    Prod. Code: 242501
    Online Health Food Store Order Info
    (opens in a new window)

    Herb-Cal is a natural, chewable calcium supplement with whole food ingredients.

    Chewable Herb-Cal uses ultra pure calcium mined form fossilized coral. It contains a combination of carbonate, citrate and gluconate forms of calcium as well as concentrated herbal extracts, enzymes and Vitamin D2 to enhance absorption.

    Each bottle of Herb Cal Tab contains 90 tablets with 250 mg of calcium in each chewable tab.

    Larger dosage tablets are not required when the calcium is easily absorbed. Herb-Cal is different from other calcium supplements because it contains whole food ingredients.

    What separates Herb-Cal from other calcium supplements or health food store vitamins?

    3 types of calcium are included with different absorption characteristics.
    Herb-Cal contains dandelion, a natural source of calcium from whole food.
    Bromelain (from pineapples) and papain (from papaya fruit) aid digestion.
    Alfalfa is included with high levels of calcium, natural enzymes and chlorophyll.
    Vitamin D2 provides the necessary component to work with the calcium for improved bone strength and density. Vitamin D2 is crucial to aid the body in absorbing calcium.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, creativedancer! Unfortunately, according to Dr. google, possibly bromelain and definitely papain are contraindicated in pregnancy.

    That way, the rainbow light product is *almost* ok. Horse nettles is *probably* a safe herb during pregnancy, but this is a time you have to be really careful with supplementation, and I'm too chicken to take that risk.

    I need something that is without crap, either the chemical fillers/preservatives or the health tweaks like herbs or enzymes which are fine when you are NOT pregnant, but become a little more iffy when you are.

  3. that's weird, I thought they said this one was fine for pregnancy. shoot! maybe a nutritionist would know. . .Kristina

  4. Seriously, they recommend it for pregnancy?

    Somebody should show them this page

    According to this papain comes with a possible risk of birth defects and m/c. Since its an enzyme that breaks down proteins, we would be in iffy territory when it comes to pregnancy, for sure.

  5. how frustrating!

    jay, if you'd be into it, I for one would love to hear more of your thoughts on specific products. like a post on moisturizers - what's safe, what's not. shampoos, etc. sounds like you're really doing your homework, which is great. i bet a lot of us would benefit from having a source we could click to, to learn about all the things we ingest, or slather on, or soap up with, and the effects. and also what's safe. Could be like an "According to Jay" column weekly or something : )

  6. Jay, you are SUCH a scientist! (And I mean that in a good way!)

    The problem with knowing so much is that you know *too* much. It's true there are a lot of things in our environment that are potentially harmful, but it's literally impossible to avoid all of them, we just have to do our best.

    That being said, dietary sources (organic if possible) are the best way to get calcium, (and every other nutrient, too) and there's lots of places besides dairy to get calcium! Look at this site for a list of calcium content in foods:

    As for calcium citrate containing lead - isn't that calcium carbonate that does? I know oyster shell calcium in particular contains lead.

  7. Jay... My patients take Juice Plus so this might be an option.

    Shannon is right.. it's nearly impossible to avoid everything in our environment. I eat organic food as much as possible, and get my Calcium source from greek yogurt (honey is good for pregnancy). I get my shampoo/soap at Aveeno.

  8. What more could I possibly say? Such great info in the posts above...I'm taking PregVit prenatals & they are split into morning & night pills so the calcium & iron etc can be absorbed seperately...maybe that's an option?

  9. If you're willing to take ace-K, what about Rolaids? I've read magnesium should be taken with calcium anyway, although the ratio of Ca to Mg in rolaids is alittle off of the reccomended 2 to 1. Bonus too, I've read taking Mg with Ca helps relieve some of the Ca related constipation.

    Just a thought.