Is Brainard’s a “natural Tums”? We get this question a lot from people who have just heard about Brainard’s blueberry antacid, so we thought we would address it head on.
Brainard’s was created to be a more natural alternative to the typical heartburn and indigestion medicines available over the counter or via prescriptions.
Elliott Brainard, who founded Brainard’s, discovered by chance about five years ago that fresh blueberries act as a natural antacid. Later, after a lot of research and testing, he settled on a blend of blueberry fiber, fruit extracts and absorbable minerals as the basis of the blueberry antacid that now bears his name.
So – how is Brainard’s different to traditional antacids? And does it warrant the nickname “natural Tums”?
The main ingredient in Tums is calcium carbonate. That mineral is essentially ground-up limestone, a material that our bodies cannot digest or absorb to any meaningful degree. In fact, consuming too much calcium carbonate may contribute to kidney stones. It may also lead to a build-up in the arteries, which could contribute to heart disease or a heart attack; more research is underway to confirm that connection (read more here). Similarly, there is a possible link between prostate cancer and calcium carbonate (see this article).
Brainard’s Natural Remedies Antacids does not contain calcium carbonate – ever. Instead, it relies on natural blueberry fiber, fruit extracts and a blend of absorbable minerals to help manage acid naturally. The full supplement fact panel and ingredient list are available here. The minerals used in Brainard’s blueberry antacid, in addition to the blueberry fiber and fruit extracts, are calcium citrate and magnesium citrate – both of which are versions of calcium and magnesium that the body is able to absorb to a much greater degree than calcium carbonate.
So yes – Brainard’s blueberry antacid has earned the nickname “natural Tums”, in the sense that it’s a more natural way to deal with heartburn or indigestion. It contains more natural ingredients. That said, Tums is a different brand, owned by a large corporation (GSK / GlaxoSmithKline plc) and it has no relationship with Brainard’s Natural Remedies (the company that makes Brainard’s blueberry antacid).