Citracal Experiment

On March 24, 2010, in Minerals, Reviews, by Andrea

So it is continually brought up by surgeons that pill-form vitamins do not dissolve sufficiently in RNY or DS guts to do any good.  Whether this is due to the shortened gut syndrome or the lack of stomach acid, I’m not quite certain.  However, there are a plethora of surgeons that make this claim.  It’s getting old.

Given this information, I have decided to do a number of experiments with various vitamins and supplements that I currently take.  Some of this is for my own morbid curiosity, and some of it is to help dispel misinformation being spread by the people in white coats.  I know what my own personal labs look like — I know that my vitamins are absorbing.  However, consider this a visual PSA for the community as it were.

Let’s keep in mind that just because something dissolves does not mean it will absorb.  Calcium carbonate will dissolve in a cup of water given the correct conditions.  (And perhaps I’ll try that as well.  I’m not sure.)  However, that does not mean that it will absorb. There are chemical reactions in the body that we can’t see without electron microscopes — and unless someone has a couple thousand dollars they want to give me?  It’s not going to happen here.  So just keep in mind this information is to dispel the “your body cannot possibly dissolve these meds and they will come out solid in your poop” mythical crap.  (Yes, pun intended.  I couldn’t help myself.)

Those of you who have been reading me for awhile on ObesityHelp have seen this.  I’m simply moving it from my blog there to here and cleaning it up a bit.  I get tired of opening my blog file over there (Sorry OH, but you’re VERY slow…) when I need to access it.  The info is the same, just cleaned up a bit.

Now, keep in mind I did this in my kitchen, at home, under less than ideal circumstances.  Is it scientific?  Hell no.  But it does give us some basic info about these pills that I think helps alot of us out.

To start with, there were 4oz of luke-warm (around 97 degrees -=- I *tried* for 98.6, but it just didn’t work out after 30 min.. sorry) in both glasses.  The water is tap, and is silightly alkaline (thanks to the City of Wilson, NC water district).  I did not modify the water in any form, or fashion.

Given it’s slight alkalinity (and I do mean slight), this technically would be a disadvantage as comparing to our slightly acidic digestive systems (speaking to RNY and DS’ers here.. sorry banders, you guys kept all your acid).

The total test took 10 minutes.

Still shots were taken ever 30 seconds using a remote control on our camera, which was on a tripod (so no movement at all, these pills *sat* there and just did their thing without a single bit of intervention.. even kept the toddler at bay.. I deserve a medal for that feat!).

Pill on the left is Target’s house brand of calcium citrate — each pill has 315mg of elemental calcium.  The pill on the right, of course, is the Citrical Petite, with 200mg of elemental calcium.

Action is immediate.

10 minutes later

After stirring and the particulate has settled.  Notice more *stuff* in the water to the right and more “stuff” at the bottom of the left glass?

After the pills were completely dissolved, we stirred the glasses.  After the movement stopped in the glasses, we noticed some interesting things:

  1. The regular Citrical left more particulate at the bottom of the glass versus what was suspended in the liquid portion of the concoction;
  2. The Citrical petite had a much finer consistancy of it’s leftover particulate in the bottom of the glass.. and there was a significant amount less than the other pill.. even more than what could be accounted for size of pill initially.

So what do I take away from this experiment?  Both pills will dissolve easily in the virtually pH neutral RNY and DS digestive system in a very short period of time.  Of the two, I would say the petite dissolves more thoroughly than the regular pill, but again, have no true way to test this.. it was only my perception (and my hubby’s).

Magnus has suggested we do a number of these, and we probably will.  Perhaps Centrum will be next?  I’ll take requests.  You can see the list of my supplements here.

Please remember — these photos are copyrighted (written?) to hubby, who is a professional photographer.  Technically, as well, the post is copyrighted (written?) as well.  I know, goes without saying.  But just saying it anyway.

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4 Responses to “Citracal Experiment”

  1. McNee says:

    whew. I use Citrical Petites as my main calcium supplement.

    BTW, the images are broken :/

  2. Andrea says:

    This upgrade is killing me. Slowly.

  3. suzanne says:

    Thanks for the info… where are the images?

  4. Andrea says:

    Unfortunately, when we moved servers, the husband LOST my images. Will redo. Eventually. When I have time. Which is always fleeting.

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