on March 15, 2011
I had been taking a prenatal vitamin prescribed by my doctor for two years, because I told her my husband and I were planning on having a family relatively soon. I never noticed a big energy difference, or really any difference at all in how I felt. I began to research switching prenatals once I found out I was pregnant, because I still felt undernourished even while eating healthy, taking vitamins, and exercising. After asking around I decided to buy these after hearing positive reviews from friends who had just had babies, and talking to my doctor.
Within three days to a week of taking them, I was shocked at how much of an energy increase I noticed, and how much my mood and overall well-being increased. It was almost like I was truly awake and alive for the first time in years. I was almost hyper at first, but it was a welcomed change to feeling sluggish and tired constantly. After a couple weeks I no longer felt hyper at all, just much healthier, happier, and more energetic.
After reading the reviews on here, I became slightly concerned about these vitamins not passing the dissolve test. I decided to do a little research. New Chapter explains why these do not pass the test, and why it does not take away from the nutritional value in our body.
Here is a response to someone else who asked the same question:
"Thank you for your inquiry and for your interest in New Chapter supplements. Probiotic Nutrients, including Perfect Prenatal, are not your standard vitamin and mineral isolates. They are whole food! Because each tablet contains 30% protein and because we do not add chemical excipients to aid in their breakdown (a requirement for organic certification), they generally take longer than USP nutrients to dissolve, however, they always disintegrate within an acceptable amount of time with respect to the USP standards.
When claims were made in 2005 that New Chapter's Perfect Prenatal failed dissolution testing by Consumer Labs, New Chapter's president, Tom Newmark, was invited to defend the perfect status of our prenatal vitamin in an interview with CNN. He explained that New Chapter subjects each and every batch of our Probiotic Nutrients to standard USP disintegration testing and has the passing test results available for consumers to see. (For a complete description of this testing method, please see the attached document.) The station later removed our name from their website after documentation proved the claims made were unjustified. Since then, other news stations and publications have picked up the original story, but have failed to report it in full.
Additionally, Perfect Prenatal has been accused of not disintegrating when placed in a glass of warm vinegar. This kind of test is inappropriate for testing what happens when you swallow a complex whole food product such as ours. Remember, the pH of the stomach is around 1, while that of vinegar is 3-4. Additionally, HCL isn't the only thing responsible for breaking down and liberating nutrients from their natural protein binding in food; proteolytic enzymes also play an essential role, not to mention the fact that contractions of stomach muscles churns it all together to make a food slurry called chyme.
The `vinegar test' is designed for the isolated nutrients bound together by chemical binders. So, while it may be fun to watch chemical forms of vitamins dissolve in a glass of vinegar, you would be waiting a very long time, perhaps even forever, for a carrot or a piece of spinach or blueberries to dissolve in this fashion.
As New Chapter's Quality Control Director, Brad Marr, explains, "The test method used by the TV station could very well hold the product together. Vinegar and water solution could result in a pH at or near the protein's iso-electric point, similar to the curdling of cheese. A better performance comparison to our products would have been a chunk of cheddar cheese, a piece of steak, or a type of food with a similar protein, fat and carbohydrate make-up."
In addition to this standard disintegration testing, New Chapter has worked with an independent laboratory to create a testing procedure that more closely replicates what happens in the stomach environment (proteolytic enzymes and pH 1 HCL solution). All samples tested by using this method confirm that Probiotic Nutrients disintegrate well within the typical human stomach/intestine digestion time. Furthermore, a longer disintegration time is a good thing, nutrients are best utilized within the body over longer periods of time, rather than in the short spikes that isolated nutrients provide, which flood the body with single nutrients and can result in biphasic activity (including possible side effects).
We hope this information has quelled any concern. As the only organic whole food prenatal in the world, we think you have chosen the best and safest prenatal that has ever been."
on March 26, 2013
What follows is a conversation between a naturophic doctor and a New Chapter representative:
I talked with Ethan, 800-543-7279, from New Chapter this morning for 20-30 minutes. This is what I found out:
The facility for culturing and forming the nutrients is in the US. The Probiotic nutrients are made in the US. He would not tell me where and said it was proprietary information and they can't release the location.
Paul and Barbie started the company in 1982. They had a small coop natural food store for years and came up with the cultured, dual stage process formulation.
The step by step process is as follows:
Spring water and non-GMO soy flour are mixed together.
"Plant food" as an isolated version is added.
USP (United States Pharmacopeia = drug regulated) isolated or synthetic "nutrients" are added.
Brewer's yeast is added which ingests the above additives in the culturing process and they come out as a whole food! (In other words, they don't come from whole foods but they turn into whole food - deceptive.)
He said this "soup", so to speak, is cultured for a non-specific time by bringing it up to a certain temperature and when they determine that the culturing process is complete:
Plant enzymes are added to help cease the culturing process. (I believe this is the so-called Herbal blend.)
When the culturing process has stopped, probiotics are added (in the so-called Herbal blend) and are deactivated to make the "nutrients" more digestible.
The 100 mg of sprouted seeds are not cultured, but added after.
(What this says is that the only real food in the mix is the soy flour and brewers yeast. The rest is the junky lab created isolated at best, or synthetic chemicals that are cultured with these two foods, and then probiotics are added, which turns them into "whole food" that is digestible. It is a scam to call them whole food supplements because you automatically think they come from whole foods.)
I asked him to go down the entire Supplement fact label list with me to tell me what the source is for each one. At first he was hesitant and asked me why I wanted to know. I told him I was a Naturopath doctor and had a PhD in Nutritional Science and am always checking on supplements to know if they are something I want to recommend to my clients. This is what he told me was the source of these vitamins and minerals, almost apologizing and assuring me after each one that they turn into whole food after the culturing process:
A - from palm tree oil
C - is synthetic ascorbic acid. He apologetically said that is the only source for it. (I bit my tongue.)
D3 - from lanolin (comes from sheep's wool)
E - organic non-GMO soy flour (see above) & trace of refined sunflower oil
K - (he said he'd come back to this one and then forgot to tell me!)
B1 - from Brewer's Yeast (see above)
Naicin (B3) & Folate - from Brewer's Yeast (see above)
B6 - isolated
B12 - Cyanocobalamin
Biotin - from Brewer's Yeast (see above)
Panto. Acid - from Brewer's Yeast (see above)
Calcium - algae, Lithothamnion calcareum (= Calcium Carbonate which is like trying to absorb sidewalk) & Lithothamnion corallioides (= Coral Calcium which the body cannot absorb) (See attachment Calcium Lactate)
Lithothamnion calcareum is a red alga of the Corallinacea family whose main feature is the formation of calcium carbonate precipitate in its cell walls. L. calcareum is marketed as a nutritional supplement for calcium and other minerals in Brazil and other countries under the pharmaceutical name of Vitality 50+
Lithothamnion corallioides. Coralline algae that grow unattached on the sea bed. Very brittle. Bright pink in colour when live, grey white when dead.
Iron - from USP ( United States Pharmacopeia= drug regulated) isolated Ferrous Fumerate
What key warnings do I need to know about before giving this drug to my child? Store away from children. Poisonings with iron happen most often in children.
Iodine - potassium iodine
Potassium iodide is an inorganic compound with the chemical formula KI.
Magnesium - oxide (this is the cheapest and junkiest kind that our bodies cannot use)
Zinc - oxide (this is the cheapest and junkiest kind that our bodies cannot use) (see attachment Chezyn)
Copper - sulfate (see attachment Chezyn)
Manganese - algae (I should have asked him what kind - may be like the calcium)
Chromium - Trivalent or III (see attachment Cat. GTF)
Molybdenum - from the sprouted seeds
on January 1, 2015
My review is poor due the product itself. I researched and bought this prenatal because of the claims of its folate being from a whole foods source. The actual new chapter brand website and the pictures of the packaging on Amazon all show and talk about a vitamin with folate. When I received the product, it wasn't until I actually opened the vitamin box that the actual bottle states additional information: the folate, it says, is sourced from folic acid cultured media. Folic acid is the man made version of folate. Folic acid cannot be folate. The two terms are not interchangeable and they function differently in the body. Pregnant women should avoid folic acid and rely on folate! This is so important! The new chapter company is evasive and unclear in answering this question and it makes them seem further untrustworthy. I'm very unhappy and returned the product.
on March 21, 2014
New Chapter used to be a great company, and was the prenatal vitamin of choice for our first pregnancy 4 years ago. A year ago they were bought out by Proctor & Gamble (whose major shareholders are also the same people as MONSANTO <GMO Producers and world-ruiners>) [...]
I took these for my first pregnancy and took them for a while after. Now I am pregnant again so I went back to it thinking it would still be as great as it always was. WRONG! I was sick within a few days of taking these vitamins, with diarrhea and a very upset stomach (worse than the morning sickness had been before starting to take these again)
IN SHORT, these vitamins are now shit. The nutrients are "cultivated" through vegetables by giving the plant-based ingredients synthetic additives. This means that the nutrients themselves are actually NOT BIOAVAILABLE!!
on January 11, 2016
I have been taking these vitamins for over a year while trying to conceive. They have great reviews and their natural organic composition was very appealing to me. I took them to my doctor at my annual exam last week and I wish I had done so sooner. He was alarmed that the maximum Vitamin A quantity was met as currently studies are out about the excessive in take of vitamin A and birth defects. Secondly, they only give 75% of the daily recommended dosage of folic acid (1000 mcg is recommended) for pregnant women. Their large size and over all make up was also a concern for him. He said often times your body can breakdown these pills too quickly and you don't actually get to absorb the nutrients. Not to mention you have to take three huge horse pills that taste horrible! You also need to take a DHA supplement with this vitamin. My overall sentiment is talk to your doctor about taking any kind of supplement before, during, and/or after pregnancy and make informed decisions. After my recent conversation, I will be switching to a prescription prenatal.