Proof.

On January 21, 2010, in Fat Solubles, Minerals, Vitamins, Water Solubles, by Andrea

Just giving you proof — I practice what I preach.

This is my week’s worth of vitamins.  Well, six days’ worth.  I’ve lost the 7th day somewhere and I really like this set, so I make do with what I’ve got.

My week, in perspective.

Each day may be divided into 4 compartments, but that does not mean that I only take vitamins 4 times per day.  Several compartments have 2 doses in them.

I just thought that I’d put this out there — that I do, in fact, take the vitamins that I write about.

Celebrate ENS Grape

On December 27, 2009, in Minerals, Reviews, Vitamins, by Andrea

This is the 2nd of my reviews of the Celebrate ENS multivitamin / calcium drink mix.  I reviewed their Wild Cherry mix last night.

ENS Grape Drink Mix

Created for surgical weight loss patients, our Celebrate ENS (Essential Nutrient System) provides a full compliment of vitamins and minerals, plus 500 mg of calcium in each stick pack. Our integrated formula provides maximum solubility and ensures that the vitamins and minerals are readily bioavailable. This product is the best option for patients immediately following surgery.

* The vitamin and mineral content of each pack is equal to taking one chewable multivitamin plus 500 mg of calcium.
* The calcium that we have chosen is calcium lactate-gluconate, which is a highly absorbable form of calcium with excellent solubility properties.
* Due to the nature of the formulation, this product is appropriate for any surgical weight loss procedure. As with any of our other delivery systems, you may need additional supplementation based on surgery type.
* It is recommended to be blended with 8-16 oz of water, shaken, and consumed but can be mixed with as much or as little water as you want.
* Each pack also contains 4 g of soluble fiber, added electrolytes and a 500 mg antioxidant blend made with natural berries including acai berry, raspberry, blueberry, goji berry, strawberry and cranberry.
* Like our other products, taste is important and this has a delicious cherry flavor with just the right mix of sweet and tart.

Who would benefit from this product?
1. Early post-operative patients – Since this may be diluted to taste, there are virtually no issues with taste aversion. If you prefer a stronger flavor, use less water or if you prefer a lighter flavor, use more water.
2. Athletes – If you are a surgery patient turned athlete, this can help to flavor that boring water that you need to drink. Water is critical and taking your vitamins and calcium while hydrating makes it easier.
3. Anyone looking for a convenient alternative to pills or chewables.

Mixed

I mixed the Wild Cherry with 12oz of water and found it to be too watery for my liking, so tonight I only used 8oz.  I have to say I like the flavoring much better.  It could be because the grape is a better flavoring, or because it was just more concentrated, but it’s much more to my liking this way.  (Note to self:  Start with less liquids for future endeavors and add more if needed!)  There is still quite a minerally smell to the drink and a taste of mineral when I take a swig of it, but it’s covered up quite a bit more with the grape flavoring.  I’m guessing the Wild Cherry would have covered the mineral taste better if I had used less water, but no way to tell as of now — I’d have to have another pack to test the theory.

Now, even with the improved flavoring, it’s still minerally to me — and that’s the reason why I got away from chewable vites in the first place.  That flavor just really kills me for some reason.  I know we NEED that horrible flavor — intellectually I know why it’s there and I know it’s really hard to cover well without tons of artificial flavors and sugars..  but it still gets me every time.  It leaves an aftertaste that I can’t wait to get rid of — enough that I take a swig of this, then a sip of something else to get the flavor out of my mouth — making it last even longer.

So if I were to have purchased a 90 day supply of this, and to have found myself in this boat, I would go out and buy SF Kool-Aid and learn to mix THAT in with this to help make it more palatable and get it down as quickly as possible and be happy with the stats.

As I said last night — if you can get past the taste, it has pretty decent stats — especially for a non pill-form vitamin (which has the whole palatibility issue — obviously..):

ENS Supplement Stats

So Andrea’s suggestion?  Ask Celebrate for a sample, see if you like the product, and see if you want to give it a try.  I think it’s a bit expensive, but it does count as one multivite and a calcium dose — so two tubes gives you 2 multivites and 2 calcium doses.. that’s not too horrible of a deal for adding to water you should be drinking anyway.

Available at Celebrate for the following prices:

7 days (14 doses) $16.95
30 days (60 doses) $$49.95
90 days (180 doses)  $119.95

Celebrate ENS Wild Cherry

On December 26, 2009, in Minerals, Reviews, Vitamins, by Andrea

To help start the new year off right, I’m trying to clear the backlog of reviews that I have promised myself I will do.  I’m starting with some of the Celebrate samples that I got in the mail last week when I mentioned to Celebrate on Twitter that I’ve not tried their new ENS line of product.

ENS Wild Cherry

Created for surgical weight loss patients, our Celebrate ENS (Essential Nutrient System) provides a full compliment of vitamins and minerals, plus 500 mg of calcium in each stick pack. Our integrated formula provides maximum solubility and ensures that the vitamins and minerals are readily bioavailable. This product is the best option for patients immediately following surgery.

* The vitamin and mineral content of each pack is equal to taking one chewable multivitamin plus 500 mg of calcium.
* The calcium that we have chosen is calcium lactate-gluconate, which is a highly absorbable form of calcium with excellent solubility properties.
* Due to the nature of the formulation, this product is appropriate for any surgical weight loss procedure. As with any of our other delivery systems, you may need additional supplementation based on surgery type.
* It is recommended to be blended with 8-16 oz of water, shaken, and consumed but can be mixed with as much or as little water as you want.
* Each pack also contains 4 g of soluble fiber, added electrolytes and a 500 mg antioxidant blend made with natural berries including acai berry, raspberry, blueberry, goji berry, strawberry and cranberry.
* Like our other products, taste is important and this has a delicious cherry flavor with just the right mix of sweet and tart.

Who would benefit from this product?
1. Early post-operative patients – Since this may be diluted to taste, there are virtually no issues with taste aversion. If you prefer a stronger flavor, use less water or if you prefer a lighter flavor, use more water.
2. Athletes – If you are a surgery patient turned athlete, this can help to flavor that boring water that you need to drink. Water is critical and taking your vitamins and calcium while hydrating makes it easier.
3. Anyone looking for a convenient alternative to pills or chewables.

So the instructions said to mix this with 8-16 oz of water, or dilute to lessen the taste.  I decided to try 12oz without having any clue how much or how little I’d like this.

ENS Wild Cherry -- Mixed

First impression — 12oz is a bit watery.  When I do the Grape review, I’ll be using 8oz of water instead.

The sniff test makes it smell a bit like minerally kool-aid.  It’s similar to the smell of opening a Flintstones bottle and taking a deep whiff.  That minerally smell that tells you that this is not just something good to drink, but an actual vitamin-thing.

Taste-wise — yeah, it’s definately a bit watery, but it’s not horrible.  It’s that mineral taste that gets to me, though, and would almost make me want me to thin it out a bit more to help get that taste thinned out a bit more.  This taste is what got me off chewables in the first place — vitamins are important, but hiding the taste of the important stuff is really really hard to do and I don’t think I could handle this drink on a regular basis.

If you can get past the mineraly taste, the stats are pretty good:

ENS Supplement Facts

500mgs of bioavailable calcium at the same time as a multivitamin — it helps those of us struggling to get all of our doses in..  to get 1500mgs of calcium and 2 multivites, you’d just need two of these tubes and one additional calcium dose, which is very do-able in most peoples’ schedules.

So my suggestion is to get a sample pack from Celebrate and try it out.  If it works for you, then consider it as a source for your multivite and calcium..

Runs $119.95 for a 90 day supply (180 doses total) at Celebrate.com

Calcium and the Achlorhydriac

On December 13, 2009, in Minerals, by Andrea

From MedicineNet.com:

Achlorhydria: A lack of hydrochloric acid in the digestive juices in the stomach (in technical terms, so that the pH of the stomach contents fails to fall below 4.0 under maximal stimulation). Hydrochloric acid helps digest food.

There’s quite a debate about the correct calcium to take in post a post-WLS world.  Given how very important our bones are, this is a very important topic to know about.

First off, keep in mind that the RNY, VSG, and DS are basically surgically-created achlorhydriac states.

Two studies are important to note:

From the New England Journal of Medicine:

Calcium absorption and achlorhydria

RR Recker

Abstract

Defective absorption of calcium has been thought to exist in patients with achlorhydria. I compared absorption of calcium in its carbonate form with that in a pH-adjusted citrate form in a group of 11 fasting patients with achlorhydria and in 9 fasting normal subjects. Fractional calcium absorption was measured by a modified double-isotope procedure with 0.25 g of calcium used as the carrier. Mean calcium absorption (+/- S.D.) in the patients with achlorhydria was 0.452 +/- 0.125 for citrate and 0.042 +/- 0.021 for carbonate (P less than 0.0001). Fractional calcium absorption in the normal subjects was 0.243 +/- 0.049 for citrate and 0.225 +/- 0.108 for carbonate (not significant). Absorption of calcium from carbonate in patients with achlorhydria was significantly lower than in the normal subjects and was lower than absorption from citrate in either group; absorption from citrate in those with achlorhydria was significantly higher than in the normal subjects, as well as higher than absorption from carbonate in either group. Administration of calcium carbonate as part of a normal breakfast resulted in completely normal absorption in the achlorhydric subjects. These results indicate that calcium absorption from carbonate is impaired in achlorhydria under fasting conditions. Since achlorhydria is common in older persons, calcium carbonate may not be the ideal dietary supplement.

From The Journal of Nutrition:

Nutritional Aspects of Calcium Absorption1

Felix Bronner2 and Danielle Pansu*

“For this reason, calcium carbonate, when ingested alone, is a relatively poor source of calcium (Fujita et al. 1995) and, in patients with achlorhydria, is absorbed very poorly (Recker 1985)”

So it’s important to note that we should take citrate, not carbonate, as those with lowered stomach acid will not fully absorb calcium carbonate.

Building Blocks Chewable Calcium Orange

On November 29, 2009, in Minerals, Reviews, by Andrea
Orange

Orange

New formula and great new orange taste! BuildingBlocks Chewable Calcium Citrate contains 600 IU vitamin D and 200 mg of Magnesium for enhanced absorption. Daily serving size contains 1000 mg of elemental calcium in four great tasting chewable orange flavored tablets. BuildingBlocks Chewable Calcium is formulated as calcium citrate with Vitamin D and Magnesium included in the supplement for optimal calcium absorption. Calcium deficiencies occur with gastric bypass because the main area of the gut responsible for calcium absorption is bypassed by the surgery. Deficiencies also occur because the small gastric pouch no longer produces sufficient amounts of stomach acid required for optimal calcium absorption. Because of negligible production of gastric acid, calcium citrate, rather than calcium carbonate, is required for optimal absorption. Formulated in four great tasting chewable orange flavored tablets.

I’m digging out stuff from my OH ATL swag bag for reviews cause the babies are asleep and I’m avoiding the laundry that needs to be done and the dishes in the sink.  This is only the first of many that we got for free from the vendors at the show.

One of the things we got was a chewable calcium from Building Blocks, orange flavor.  This isn’t as tart as many chewable vitamin C’s, but it’s quite tasty, and I could totally see using this as a supplement.  The downside?  They have a limited amount of calcium per chewable, so many doses per day if you want to reach the ASMBS recommendations of 1200-1500mg of calcium for AGB and VSG, 1500-2000mg for RNY, or 1800-2400mg for DS.

Each tablet contains 250mg of calcium citrate, 150iu of D, and 50mg of magnesium.  So for those who don’t want to whip out a calculator, for 1500mg for RNYers — that would be 6 tablets, 2000mg for DSers would be 8 tablets, and 1250mg for AGB’s would be 5 tablets.

So yeah, it tastes great — but it’s a bit pricey for 6 tablets a day — and for those of us taking 2000mg — 8 tablets a day.

12o tablets from Building Blocks runs $15.95, and 360 tablets runs $38.28.

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