Calcium supplements and cardiovascular risk?

On July 31, 2010, in Minerals, by Andrea

A prime example of how media will take a study and leave out key points in order to scare people.  Gotta love it.

All over, the news outlets are talking about how people should maybe lay off the calcium because there may be too much risk for a cardiovascular incident versus osteoporosis prevention.  What they conveniently forget to mention is that the calcium used did not contain any vitamin D, which is pretty much standard faire in the US.  Vitamin D is renowned for lowering cardiovascular risk.. perhaps this study highlights that now more than ever?  I can say fairly confidently that people are waking up to the need of vitamin D and post-WLS folks are some of the most educated in that realm.  WTG WLSers!

Additionally, it should be noted that the problem is with fluctuating serum calcium levels — something that doesn’t happen as often with post-WLS patients as our absorption does not work the same way.  Food for thought:  how many post-ops, people who routinely take 1500-2000mg of calcium citrate a day (or should be..) are dropping like flies with heart disease?  Not many.

Am I worried?  No.

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My bedraggled bag..

Calcium Citrate that tastes like dessert — Wow! Our Calcium Citrate Chewy Bites deliver 250 mg of elemental calcium as calcium citrate in a delicious chew. They also contain 125 IU of vitamin D3 for healthy absorption. These chews are sugar-free as well, so you don’t have to worry about getting extra carbs while you get the calcium you need. Each chew is individually wrapped so you can take them with you wherever you go.

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One of my good buddies, Amy C. got her order of Calcets in.  She got some lemons and some chocolates in, and when she heard I hadn’t tried the chocolates?  She packaged me up 3 and stuck them in the mail to me.  I got them today.  So thanks go to Amy C for this delicious posting!

I got these and it’s a bit warm out.  So keep in mind they are a bit squishy from being in the sun and warmth.  Which was fine, but just keep in mind if you see some dents.

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I have a hatred of few things in life.  Flintstones, Tums, and Optisource are among them.

When I first had surgery, we were started on Optisource vitamins.  4x a day, that’s it.  Sounds fine, right?  It’s great — until you realize they have the wrong type of calcium in them.  They use calcium carbonate and not citrate — which is what someone who has a limited acid quotient has needs.

So then we switched.  I’m not really sure why, but we did.

To Flintstones and Tums.  Which is still the wrong type of calcium.

And then.  Then I had kids.  And it all goes downhill from there.  (doesn’t it always?)

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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.)

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