This is something that I read that I thought was very important for ALL moms to read. We feed our children and think we are giving them the best. But are YOU really? I knew that formula wasn't the best but I had no idea it was this bad. It makes me feel so bad for all the little babies that didn't get breastmilk. It also makes me pissed at Dr.s and PEDs who didn't help the moms having issues with breastfeeding and just pushed formula!

 

What is in formula?  Well, milk or soy and...what else?  Reading the can does no good unless you have a graduate degree in chemistry.  So I decided to research the ingredients of Good Start Supreme (with iron/natural cultures).  It' the green can that came in my hosptial diaper bag.  Since there are nearly 40 ingredients, I am gonna split this up in to groups of 8 or so.  Here is the first set.

I am going to start with the big three.  According to the can, these ingredients make up about 98.5% of the formula.

1.       Enzymatically hydrolyzed Reduced Mineral Whey Protein is good stuff.  In fact, bodybuildingforyou.com says that “there’s a million reasons YOU should be taking whey protein.”  And body builders are the epitome of good health!  On a serious note, the chemical make up of whey protein is similar that of breastmilk.  Similar-not the  same.  Cubic zirconias are similar to diamonds and chimps are similar to humans, but they are not the same.  All those adectives in front of whey proteins have to do with that whole “comfort protein” propaganda.  They are just $5 words.

2.       Vegetable oils (palm, soy, safflower, sunflower, coconut) are just oils.  They are intended to simulate the fats in breastmilk.

3.       Lactose is milk sugar.  This main ingredients is just sugar.  It’s safe for most, but for those who are lactose intolerant, it can cause painful cramping, bloating, etc.

And now, the others:

4.     Corn Maltodextrin is an easily digestible carbohydrate made from corn. It's a white powder used in processed foods as a thickener, or a filler since it's fairly inexpensive. Also used in pharmaceuticals as a binding agent, it is also found in sugar substitutes, like Splenda for example.

5.     Potassium Citrate is used to treat a kidney stone condition called renal tubular acidosis.  Serious side effects of potassium citrate include uneven heartbeat, muscle weakness or limp feeling, severe stomach pain, and numbness or tingling in your hands, feet, or mouth.  It also has a semi-caustic affect on the stomache.

6.     Potassium Phosphate is an inorganic salt.  It one of three potassium salts:  monopotassium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, or tripotassium phosphate.  You don’t get to know which one you’re getting.  This chemical is used in many sectors.  Here are brief synopses of all three:

7.     Calcium Phosphate is a bit confusing.  You see, calcium is a mineral that is found naturally in foods. Calcium is necessary for many normal functions of the body, especially bone formation and maintenance. Calcium can also bind to other minerals (such as phosphate) and aid in their removal from the body.  So, I am wondering if the calcium phosphate is used to remove all the other phosphates in the ingredients from your baby’s body.  Were I you, I’d drop my formula company a quick email to find out.

8.     Sodium Citrate is a nicer name for citric acid.  Sodium citrate is metabolized to sodium bicarbonate, thus acting as a systemic alkalizer.  In other words, it cuts down on the heartburn the other stuff gives baby.  It is generally well tolerated when taken in recommended doses by patients with normal renal function and urinary output but can cause diarrhea.

1.     Calcium Chloride is a chemical compound that is crystalline, lumpy, or flaky, is usually white, and is very soluble in water. It rapidly absorbs water and is used to dry gases by passing them through it. Calcium chloride is used to melt ice on roads, to control dust, in brines for refrigeration, and as a preservative in foods.  It can also corrode steel.

 

2.     Magnesium Chloride is one of the less scary ingredients.  Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral. Magnesium is important for many systems in the body especially the muscles and nerves.  Magnesium chloride is used as a supplement to maintain adequate magnesium in the body.

 

3.     Ferrous Sulfate provides the iron needed by the body to produce red blood cells.  We all know about iron overdoses but there probably isn’t much danger of that from formula so I won’t go into that.

 

4.     Zinc Sulfate is a very water soluble, transparent, colorless, crystalline compound. It is commonly called white vitriol; it occurs naturally as the mineral goslarite, and can be prepared by reacting zinc with sulfuric acid. It is used to supply zinc in animal feeds, fertilizers, and agricultural sprays; in making lithopone; in coagulation baths for rayon; in electrolyte for zinc plating; as a mordant in dyeing; as a preservative for skins and leather; and in medicine as an astringent and emitic.  So this one is used in animal feed and baby feed. 

 

5.     Sodium Chloride is salt.  Formula contains salt to get your baby a head start on hypertension.  Hee hee but seriously, salt is important in many ways. It is an essential part of the diet of both humans and animals and is a part of most animal fluids, such as blood, sweat, and tears. It aids digestion by providing chlorine for hydrochloric acid, a small but essential part of human digestive fluid.  However, it is interesting to note that Abbott Laboratories (the makers of Similac) also make the hypertension drugs Teveten and Hytrin.  Coincidence?  They also make Humira (a popular insulin) and Ensure.  In other words, they got your baby covered form the cradle to the grave.

 

 6.     Copper Sulfate is also known as blue vitriol.  Because it is blue.  You can even grown your own crystals with it.  I think blue is a pretty color.  One word of warning-this stuff can burn your skin and mucus membranes.            

 Oh, and it kills algae, too.  So if your baby has algae bloom, formula is the perfect soluton.

7.     Potassium Iodide can protect your thyroid in case of nuclear fall out.  My local government gives it out for free.  I’m not sure what its purpose in formula is again. 

 

8.     Manganese Sulfate is a pretty pink salt.  That’s pretty much all I can find on it.  I’m sure it must serve some purpose, since the formula companies use it.  The body needs manganese for normal growth and health. Manganese helps your body break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It does so as part of several enzymes.  However, manganese deficiency has not been reported in humans. Go figure.

1.     Sodium Selenate is a chemical element that is essential, in small amounts, to humans and other living things. In the body, it helps to rid the body of destructive ‘superoxide’ molecules. Selenium deficiencies are common, since selenium concentrations depend strongly on locale and diet. Such deficiencies give rise to symptoms like those of aging: damaged tissues, increased arthritis, heart disease, and cancer, and increased virulence of viral infections. On the other hand, selenium is toxic when used to excess; the symptoms include hair loss, nail problems, accelerated tooth decay, and swelling of the fingers.

2.     M. alpina oil is the oil of a fungus.  It is the source of the much touted DHA fatty acid.  This is currently a source of controversy.  The DGA is extracted using hexane, a toxic solvent.  Also, the DHA in formula is not the same as the DHA in human milk.  This artificial DHA has been know n to cause diarrhea.  Additionally, the benefits of DHA in formula are inconclusive at the moment.  And finally, the FDA has not approve (nor prohibited) the use of hexane-extracted DHA.  For those who use “organic” formulas with DHA, it is important to note that hexane-extracted DHA does not meet the standards for use in organic foods.  I am not saying DHA is a bad thing. I am just saying that the jury is still out on this one.  You can google “DHA formula” or PM me if you want more info on this.

3.     C. cohnii oil is the oil of an algae. It is the source of the much touted DHA fatty acid. See previous for more information.

4.     Sodium Ascorbate powder is a non-acidic form of Vitamin C. Vitamin C has antiviral and antibacterial activity though its main effect is improvement in host resistance. Sodium Ascorbate may be beneficial in general immunity boosting, helping to ward off or prevent colds & flus, assisting the healing of wounds, aiding the body in fighting infection, etc.  Our bodies cannot make vitamin C, so we have to ingest it. 

5.     Inositol is vital for hair growth; promotes strong healthy hair, and aids in preventing fallout; high levels of this nutrient is found in the heart and brain; creates a calming effect and reduces blood cholesterol; prevents hardening of the arteries, and is important in the formation of lecithin and the metabolism of fat and cholesterol; removes fat from the liver; aids in redistribution of body fat; helps prevent eczema; has been used for depression, panic attacks and diabetes.  Inositol is not considered a vitamin itself because it can be synthesised by the body.6.     Pantothenate is a salt or ester of pantothenic acid.  Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5, is a water-soluble vitamin required to sustain life. Pantothenic acid is needed to form coenzyme-A, and is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Its name is derived from the Greek pantothen meaning "from everywhere" and small quantities of pantothenic acid are found in nearly every food, with high amounts in whole-grain cereals, legumes, eggs, meat, and royal jelly.

7.     Riboflavin also known as vitamin B2, is an easily absorbed micronutrient with a key role in maintaining health in animals. As such, vitamin B2 is required for a wide variety of cellular processes. Like the other B vitamins, it plays a key role in energy metabolism, and is required for the metabolism of fats, ketone bodies, carbohydrates, and proteins. Exposure to light destroys riboflavin.

8.     Vitamin A Acetate is essential to vision, the immune system, growth and development of the brain and bones, reproduction, and epithelial differentiation. Vitamin A is connected to the cornea and helps to prevent damage that may cause blindness. Vitamin A also displays antioxidant and anticarcinogenic activities.

 

 

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Now after reading that do those of you who have said "I did what was best for my child." really believe that was best?

 

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Comments:

MamaT...
Jun. 3, 2008 at 8:07 PM Good post! I really thing everyone should know this. If you refuse to read this information then maybe there is something wrong. I don't see any reason why someone wouldn't read this for their own personal information. I learned a lot!

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