Monitor Bone Density Carefully after WLS

On December 25, 2009, in Minerals, by Andrea

This is somewhat old — 12/2008, and we know more about D, PTH, and such these days.  But still, it’s there and it’s important.

From Medscape:

Monitor Bone Density Carefully After Bariatric Surgery

Ann J. Davis, MD

BMD and serum calcium levels dropped following bariatric surgery in morbidly obese men and women.

Summary

Despite the benefits associated with long-term weight loss that are achievable with bariatric surgery, such procedures lead to abnormal bone and mineral metabolism. In a prospective 1-year study, researchers evaluated bone metabolism and BMD in 23 morbidly obese men and women (mean BMI, 47 kg/m2) who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery, which is the most commonly performed bariatric surgery procedure. Following surgery, patients who were ≤50 were prescribed 1500 mg calcium citrate and 600 IU vitamin D daily; older patients were prescribed 1800 mg calcium citrate and 800 IU vitamin D daily. Eighteen participants were women, 7 of whom were postmenopausal.

Overall, mean weight loss was 45 kg during the first postoperative year, and mean BMI dropped to 31. At 12 months, mean BMD had declined by 9.2% at the femoral neck and 8.0% at the total hip, but mean BMD at the lumbar spine had not changed significantly. Degree of BMD attenuation correlated strongly with extent of weight loss. Despite supplementation of calcium and vitamin D intake, urinary calcium dropped, and serum hydroxylated vitamin D concentrations remained unchanged.

Comment

Although these findings should concern us, the relative effects of bariatric surgery and preexisting conditions such as vitamin D deficiency (common in obese patients) have been difficult to separate, especially because previous studies have been cross-sectional rather than longitudinal. Calcium absorption occurs mainly in the duodenum, which is bypassed in RYGB surgery; therefore, results might differ for other bariatric procedures. Nevertheless, monitoring for nutritional deficiencies and BMD is particularly important in women who undergo duodenal bypass procedures.

References

  1. Fleischer J et al. The decline in hip bone density after gastric bypass surgery is associated with extent of weight loss. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2008 Oct; 93:3735.

Vitamin D editorial..

On December 20, 2009, in Fat Solubles, Vitamins, by Andrea

Millions of needless deaths

By William Faloon
It is hard to imagine, but it was not until 1867 that Joseph Lister published his findings about the critical need of using sterile procedures in the surgical setting. Back then, doctors seldom washed their hands prior to surgery, let alone sterilize the instruments they had used on the previous patient.

Before Dr. Lister’s sterile techniques were adopted, patients frequently died from infections introduced during surgery.

Joseph Lister had little interest in financial or social success. These traits enabled him to endure the criticisms hurled by the medical establishment about the extra steps he took to ensure his surgical environments were clean.

One of Dr. Lister’s greatest challenges was to persuade his colleagues that germs did in fact exist. Back then, most doctors still believed in the theory of spontaneous generation.1

Convincing today’s medical establishment about proven methods to save lives may be less daunting than what Dr. Lister encountered, but it is still nonetheless challenging.

Today’s Body Count

Back in 2007, I urged the federal government to declare a national emergency. My rationale was that millions of Americans were going to needlessly die if the epidemic of vitamin D insufficiency was not immediately corrected.2

My article was based on irrefutable scientific evidence documenting how vast numbers of lives could be spared if everyone took at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 each day.2

I went a step further and showed how mandatory vitamin D supplementation could resolve today’s health care cost crisis by slashing the need for expensive prescription drugs and hospitalizations.2

I took it two steps further and offered to donate 50,000 one-year-supply bottles of vitamin D3 so the government could give these away to those who could not afford this ultra-low cost supplement.2

It is now 16 months later. The federal government has done nothing to inform the public of the opportunity to radically reduce their risk of dying by taking a supplement that costs less than 6 cents a day!

Vitamin D More Effective Than Previously Known

A large number of new vitamin D studies have appeared in the scientific literature since I wrote my plea to the federal government. These studies don’t just confirm what we knew 16 months ago—they show that optimizing vitamin D intake will save even more lives than what we projected.

For instance, a study published in June 2008 showed that men with low vitamin D levels suffer 2.42 times more heart attacks. Now look what this means in actual body counts.3

Each year, about 157,000 Americans die from coronary artery disease-related heart attacks.4 Based on this most recent study, if every American optimized their vitamin D status, the number of deaths prevented from this kind of heart attack would be 92,500.

To put the number of lives saved in context, tens of millions of dollars are being spent to advertise that Lipitor® reduces heart attacks by 37%. This is certainly a decent number, but not when compared with how many lives could be saved by vitamin D. According to the latest study, men with the higher vitamin D levels had a 142% reduction in heart attacks.3

This does not mean that you should stop taking medications if you can’t get your cardiac risk factors under control by natural methods. It does mean that you should make certain you are not vitamin D-insufficient.

Please note that all forms of heart disease kill over 869,700 Americans each year.4 These lethal forms of heart disease include cardiomyopathy, valvular insufficiency, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, coronary thrombosis (blood clot in coronary artery), and coronary atherosclerosis (narrowing or blockage of coronary arteries). There is reason to believe that vitamin D could help protect against most of these forms of cardiac-induced death.5

Billions of Dollars in Health Care Savings

There are 920,000 heart attacks suffered in the United States every year.4 According to the American Heart Association, the annual cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity related to these heart attacks is over $156 billion.4

The annual retail cost of all 300 million Americans (including children) supplementing with 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day is $6.6 billion.

So if vitamin D’s only benefit was to reduce coronary heart attack rates by 142%, the net savings (after deducting the cost of the vitamin D) if every American supplemented properly would be around $84 billion each year. That’s enough to put a major dent in the health care cost crisis that is forecast to bankrupt Medicare and many private insurance plans.

Sparing Countless Numbers From the Agonies of Cancer

The evidence supporting the role of vitamin D in preventing common forms of cancer is now overwhelming.2

Vitamin D-deficient women, for example, have a 253% increased risk of colon cancer.6 Colon cancer strikes 145,000 Americans each year and 53,580 die from it.7 Based on these studies, if everyone obtained enough vitamin D, 38,578 lives could be saved and medical costs would be reduced by $3.89 billion.8,9

A study published in January 2008 showed that women with the lowest level of vitamin D were at a 222% increased risk for developing breast cancer.10 Most studies show that higher levels of vitamin D can reduce breast cancer incidence by around 30-50%.11-14

Each year, approximately 186,800 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,950 perish from it in the United States.15 This needless toll of suffering and death caused by insufficient intake of vitamin D is unconscionable.

Prostate cancer will be diagnosed in an estimated 189,000 American men this year. Almost 30,000 will die from it.16 Men with higher levels of vitamin D have a 52% reduced incidence of prostate cancer.17

The first-year costs of prostate cancer treatment are approximately $14,540.18 If all aging men achieved sufficient vitamin D status, about $1.4 billion could be saved each year.

So as you can see, there is no real health care cost crisis. What the population suffers from is frighteningly low blood levels of vitamin D. During winter months in Canada, for instance, an estimated 97% of the population is vitamin D-deficient.19

Vitamin D Protects Against Stroke

Stroke is the number three cause of death in the United States.20 It is also one of the most feared diseases because of its high incidence of permanent disability.

In a study published in September 2008, blood indicators of vitamin D status were measured in 3,316 patients with suspected coronary artery disease. The subjects were followed for 7.75 years. For every small decrease in blood indicators of vitamin D status, there was a startling 86% increase in the number of fatal strokes.21

The doctors who conducted this study concluded: “Low levels of 25(OH)D* and 1,25(OH)2D* are independently predictive for fatal strokes, suggesting that vitamin D supplementation is a promising approach in the prevention of strokes.”21

*Note: 25 [OH] D and 1,25[OH]2D are blood markers that measure vitamin D status in one’s body.

If all that vitamin D did was to reduce stroke risk, it would be critically important for every American to ensure optimal blood levels.

Low Vitamin D Doubles Death Rate

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide problem. Yet no conventional medical organization or governmental body has declared a health emergency to warn the public about the urgent need of achieving sufficient vitamin D blood levels.

According to John Jacob Cannell, MD, founder of the non-profit Vitamin D Counsel: “Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, and periodontal disease.

This does not mean that vitamin D deficiency is the only cause of these diseases, or that you will not get them if you take vitamin D. What it does mean is that vitamin D, and the many ways in which it affects a person’s health, can no longer be overlooked by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health.”22

Vitamin D seems to reduce the risk of almost every killer disease of aging. In fact, a recent study shows that humans with low vitamin D status are twice as likely to die over a seven-year time period!5

Each year, the federal government spends $1 billion in research aimed at finding ways to prevent or cure the killer diseases of aging.23 Yet the government is oblivious to the most medically effective and cost-effective way of preventing needless death. This is analogous to how the establishment ignored Joseph Lister’s pleas for a sterile environment in the surgical arena.

Difference Between “Deficiency” and “Insufficiency”

Doctors are not trained to recognize a vitamin D deficiency until rickets develop in children or osteomalacia (softening of the bones) develops in adults. Clinical vitamin D deficiency is diagnosed when blood levels of a vitamin D metabolite (25-hydroxyvitamin D) drop below 12 ng/mL.

According to the world’s foremost experts, however, optimal blood levels of vitamin D are between 30 and 50 ng/mL and higher.24,25 Those with blood levels below 30 ng/mL are considered to have insufficient vitamin D.

These widely varying numbers explain why mainstream medicine is at a loss to understand the widespread health problem created by less than optimal vitamin D levels. If physicians view a patient’s medical chart and see a vitamin D blood level of 18 ng/mL, they will think this person has adequate vitamin D. The reality is that a vitamin D blood level this low predisposes this patient to virtually every killer disease of aging and may in fact be the reason that individual has become a “patient” instead of remaining healthy.

There clearly is a need for a new consensus in the medical community to redefine vitamin D deficiency as a blood reading below 30 ng/mL. As we at Life Extension long ago learned, it can take decades for the establishment to change its reference ranges to reflect scientific reality.

What Can be Done?

Despite the startling number of needless deaths, the federal government has done nothing to warn the public of the lethal dangers associated with vitamin D insufficiency.

We will distribute my original 2007 article along with this editorial to every member of the new Congress and the President in January 2009. Hopefully someone will understand the urgency of declaring a health emergency and advise that every American maintain a vitamin D blood level of at least 30 ng/mL.

If the government continues to ignore our pleas, perhaps private insurance companies will consider sending free bottles of vitamin D supplements to all of their subscribers. The outlays for medical procedures and prescription drugs would be expected to plummet in groups who took their vitamin D supplement each day.

The media has done a good job in reporting on the numerous positive findings about vitamin D over the past two years. Sales of vitamin D supplements have been increasing, so at least some Americans are getting the message and taking steps to guard against vitamin D insufficiency.

In the meantime, Life Extension will continue to report on new findings about vitamin D. We have found that if we repeat a message long enough, much of the public will wake up to scientific reality and the desire for self-preservation.

Where to Purchase Vitamin D

Fortunately, the patent for synthesizing vitamin D expired long ago. It is an ultra-low-cost supplement available at any health food store, pharmacy, and most grocery stores. There is no economic impediment precluding immediate widespread supplementation.

I want to thank loyal Life Extension members for purchasing most of their supplements from our Buyers Club over the past 12 months. We use proceeds from these sales to fund critical research projects aimed at eliminating needless disease and death. We also support an ongoing campaign to reform incompetent government policies that deprive Americans of life-saving medical therapies.

Just once a year, we discount the price of every product we offer. During our annual Super Sale, members stock up on our most advanced formulations and enjoy considerable savings.

Please know we remain relentless in tearing down the walls of medical ignorance that are by far the leading causes of disability and death in the United States.

For longer life,

William Faloon

References
1. Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis. Accessed September 4, 2008.

2. Faloon W. Should the president declare a national emergency? Life Extension. 2007 Oct;13(10):7-17.

3. Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men:
a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 9;168(11):1174-80.

4. Available at: www.americanheart.org/downloadable/heart/1200082005246HS_Stats%202008.final.pdf.
Accessed October 29, 2008.

5. Dobnig H, Pilz S, Scharnagl H, et al. Independent association of low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and 1,25-
dihydroxyvitamin d levels with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jun 23;168(12):1340-9.

6. Holick MF. Vitamin D and sunlight: strategies for cancer prevention and other health benefits.
Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008 Sep;3(5):1548-54.

7. Available at: www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/statistics/. Accessed September 4, 2008.

8. Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, Recker RR, Heaney RP. Vitamin D and calcium
supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1586-91.

9. Brown ML, Lipscomb J, Snyder C. The burden of illness and cancer: economic cost and quality of life.
Annu Rev Public Health. 2001;22:91-113.

10. Abbas S, Linseisen J, Slanger T, et al. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of post-menopausal
breast cancer–results of a large case-control study. Carcinogenesis. 2008 Jan;29(1):93-9.

11. Rossi M, McLaughlin JK, Lagiou P, et al. Vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk:
a case-control study in Italy. Ann Oncol. 2008 Aug 18.

12. Giovannucci E. Vitamin D and cancer incidence in the Harvard Cohorts.Ann Epidemiol. 2008 Feb 19.

13. Abbas S, Linseisen J, Chang-Claude J. Dietary vitamin D and calcium intake and premenopausal breast cancer risk in a
German case-control study. Nutr Cancer. 2007;59(1):54-61.

14. Robien K, Cutler GJ, Lazovich D. Vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women:
the Iowa Women’s Health Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2007 Sep;18(7):775-82.

15. Available at: www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/statistics/. Accessed October 28, 2008.

16. Available at: www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/statistics/. Accessed October 28, 2008.

17. Li H, Stampfer MJ, Hollis JB, et al. A prospective study of plasma vitamin D metabolites,
vitamin D receptor polymorphisms, and prostate cancer. PLoS Med. 2007 Mar;4(3):e103.

18. Wilson LS, Tesoro R, Elkin EP, et al. Cumulative cost pattern comparison of prostate cancer treatments.
Cancer. 2007 Feb 1;109(3):518-27.

19. Available at: http://vitamins-minerals.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_sunshine_vitamin
http://www.vitamindsociety.org/. Accessed September 4, 2008.

20. Available at: www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm. Accessed September 4, 2008.

21. Pilz S, Dobnig H, Fischer JE, et al. Low vitamin D levels predict stroke in patients
referred to coronary angiography. Stroke. 2008 Sep;39(9):2611-3.

22. Available at: http://74.125.45.104/search?q=cache:fgZo6Q5-SO8J:www.vitamindcouncil.org
/+Current+research+indicates+vitamin+D+deficiency+plays+a+role+in+causing+seventeen&hl=en&ct=
clnk&cd=1&gl=us. Accessed September 4, 2008.

23. Available at: www.nia.nih.gov/AboutNIA/NACA/MeetingInformation/DirStatusReportMay2007.htm.
Accessed September 4, 2008.

24. Vieth R. Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 May;69(5):842-56.

25. Holick MF. The role of vitamin D for bone health and fracture prevention. Curr Osteoporos Rep.
2006 Sep;4(3):96-102.

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The Vitamin D Newsletter

More Vitamin D Studies of Interest

December 3, 2009.


This is a periodic newsletter from the Vitamin D Council, a non-profit trying to end the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. If you want to unsubscribe, go to the end of this newsletter. If you are not subscribed, you can do so on the Vitamin D Council’s website.

This newsletter may be reproduced as long as you properly and prominently attribute it source. Please reproduce it, post it on Internet sites, and forward it to your friends.


Five million dollar randomized controlled trial sponsored by Thrasher Research Fund and NIH

Scientists around the world presented their work at the recent Vitamin D conference in Brugge, Belgium. Many, but not all, of the scientists opined that we have to wait for randomized controlled trials (RCT) before recommending Vitamin D. In a future newsletter, I will review many of these presentations.
However, one was extraordinary. Professor Bruce Hollis presented findings from his and Carol Wagner’s five million dollar Thrasher Research Fund and NIH sponsored randomized controlled trials of about 500 pregnant women. Bruce and Carol’s discoveries are vital for every pregnant woman. Their studies had three arms: 400, 2,000, and 4,000 IU/day.
1. 4,000 IU/day during pregnancy was safe (not a single adverse event) but only resulted in a mean Vitamin D blood level of 27 ng/ml in the newborn infants, indicating to me that 4,000 IU per day during pregnancy is not enough.
2. During pregnancy, 25(OH)D (Vitamin D) levels had a direct influence on activated Vitamin D levels in the mother’s blood, with a minimum Vitamin D level of 40 ng/ml needed for mothers to obtain maximum activated vitamin D levels. (As most pregnant women have Vitamin D levels less than 40 ng/ml, this implies most pregnant women suffer from chronic substrate starvation and cannot make as much activated Vitamin D as their placenta wants to make.)
3. Complications of pregnancy, such as preterm labor, preterm birth, and infection were lowest in women taking 4,000 IU/day, Women taking 2,000 IU per day had more infections than women taking 4,000 IU/day. Women taking 400 IU/day, as exists in prenatal vitamins, had double the pregnancy complications of the women taking 4,000 IU/day.
What does this huge randomized controlled trial mean?
We have long known that blood levels of activated Vitamin D usually rise during very early pregnancy, and some of it crosses the placenta to bathe the fetus, especially the developing fetal brain, in activated vitamin D, before the fetus can make its own. However, we have never known why some pregnant women have much higher activated Vitamin D levels than other women. Now we know; many, in fact most, pregnant women just don’t have enough substrate, the 25(OH)D building block, to make all the activated Vitamin D that their placenta wants to make.
Of course fetal tissues, at some time in their development, acquire the ability to make and regulate their own activated Vitamin D. However, mom’s activated Vitamin D goes up very quickly after conception and supplies it to baby, during that critical window when fetal development is occurring but the baby has yet to acquire the metabolic machinery needed to make its own activated Vitamin D.
The other possibility, that this is too much activated Vitamin D for pregnancy, cannot stand careful scrutiny. First, the amount of activated vitamin D made during pregnancy does not rise after the mother’s 25(OH)D reaches a mean of 40 ng/ml, so the metabolism is controlled. Second, levels above 40 ng/ml are natural, routinely obtained by mothers only a few short decades ago, such as President Barack Obama’s mom probably did, before the sun scare. (President Obama was born in Hawaii in late August before the sun-scare to a mother with little melanin in her skin) Third, higher blood levels of Vitamin D during pregnancy reduce risk of infection and other pregnancy complications, the opposite may be expected if 25(OH)D levels above 40 ng/ml constituted harm.
It is heartening to see the Thrasher Research Fund and NIH support such a large randomized controlled trial. In fact the Thrasher Research Fund has already funded a three year follow up and the NIH request for a follow up grant is pending. Nevertheless, a large number of medical scientists keep saying, “We need even more science before recommending Vitamin D.” What are they really saying?
First they said we need randomized controlled trials (RCT) before we do anything. Well here is a big one. Then they say, as they did in Brugge, “We don’t believe this RCT, we need more money for more RCTs.” If you think about it, they are saying pregnant women should remain Vitamin D deficient until scientists get all the money for all the RCTs they want, which may take another ten years. How many children will be forever damaged in that ten years?

Amazing study just presented at American Heart Association meeting
Dr. Tami Bair and Dr. Heidi May, of the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah, report yet another study showing that your risk of heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure and death are dramatically increased by Vitamin D deficiency. In a presentation at the American heart Association meeting, they found that people with low levels (< 15 ng/ml) had a 45% increased risk for cardiovascular disease, 78% greater risk of stroke and double the risk for congestive heart failure, not to mention a 77% increased risk of death, compared to people with Vitamin D levels > 30 ng/ml. All that disease and death occurred in only 13 months of follow up for the 27,000 people in the study.
So how many Americans died this last year from Vitamin D deficiency? Ten thousand? A hundred thousand? More? How many will die next year? Someone is responsible. Medical scientists who want more money before recommending that Vitamin D deficiency be treated have to assume responsibility. I am all for more studies but we have to act now, like we did with cigarettes. Remember, no human randomized controlled trials exist showing cigarettes are dangerous, so we have much more and better science than we did when we warned about smoking. If we fail to act on the dangers of Vitamin D deficiency, someone will end up with blood on their hands.

The Great Disappearing Act
We are currently witnessing one of the great mysteries of the natural world. The H1N1 outbreak is rapidly disappearing, despite a wealth of potential victims without antibodies to the virus, and yes, in spite of plummeting Vitamin D levels. In several weeks, the CDC will announce that perhaps one-third of Americans were infected in the last nine months and now have Swine flu antibodies, leaving the majority of the population still susceptible.
But this H1N1 virus is rapidly refusing the invitation to infect the two-third of Americans who are mostly immunological virgins and will soon recede until the next widespread outbreak, which may come this spring or next fall and winter. When H1N1 returns again, I predict it will cause more illness and death than it did this fall despite the fact it will attack a population with more H1N1 specific antibodies. Measles, another virus thought to transmit via respiratory secretions, would never forego the opportunity to infect so many virgins.
Influenzologists have no idea why this Disappearing Act happens. Dr. Edgar Hope-Simpson believed the reason lay in the mode of transmission; the current outbreak is ending despite a wealth of potential victims because the people transmitting the flu are suddenly no longer contagious. I recommend Hope-Simpson’s book:
I also believe that only a small population was transmitting, not all those infected. If these good transmitters – and not all the sick – usually spread the virus, and their transmission period is limited, the epidemic would end shortly after the good transmitters lose their infectivity. Why they lose their infectivity is yet another mystery, but a mystery that fits the epidemiology of influenza.
Another incredible Disappearing Act, one that usually follows the introduction of a pandemic virus, is the rapid and usually complete replacement of seasonal flu with the pandemic one. It is as if the pandemic virus murders the seasonal flu. We will have to wait to see if that happens worldwide with this pandemic, but in the USA it has already happened. Last week the CDC reported that more than 99% of all influenza viruses identified in the USA were Swine flu. Only 1 of 1,874 influenza A viruses identified last week was seasonal flu. Where did the seasonal flu virus go?

Thanks to those who volunteered!
If your email address begins with A through E, you may have gotten my email asking for volunteers to help give feedback on our new website. We were overwhelmed with the response, ten times more than we needed. Thank you.
The reason for the request is that the Vitamin D Council has contracted with Minervation Ltd for $40,000 to build a new website over the next several years. We can only afford $1,000 per month so it take three and a half years to pay them, however; the first version of the new site is scheduled to go up in the late fall of 2010.
We decided to make our site more accessible, so if you only want to know about Vitamin D and pregnancy, you will be able to pull up the information quickly. Our new website will also update Vitamin D articles in the press and scientific studies from the National Library of Medicine automatically every day.
We also want to clearly separate fact from opinion, so readers can easily see what the science is and what our opinion is. Finally, as you know, the Vitamin D Council unfortunately has to market products, like the in-home Vitamin D blood test, to stay in business. The new website will prominently display all of our potential conflicts so readers will know them up front.
If you want our new website up and running sooner than 12 months, consider making a dedicated donation, either by using the snail mail address below or via PayPal on our website. We are now going on our seventh year of operation and plan on 20 more years, in spite of the fact that all 15 of our requests for grants were recently turned down.
Did you know that when you Google “Vitamin D,” you will get more than 12 million hits? Our current website is usually ranked either number 1 or 2 of those 12 million, beating out the NIH, Mayo Clinic and Wikipedia on most days? This is almost entirely due to our webmaster Dana Clark. However, we believe we can dramatically improve our website, with your help.

John Cannell, MD
This newsletter may be reproduced as long as you properly and prominently attribute it source. Please reproduce it, post it on Internet sites, and forward it to your friends.
Remember, we are a non-profit and rely on your donations to publish our newsletter, maintain our website, and pursue our objectives. Send your tax-deductible contributions to:
585 Leff Street
San Luis Obispo, CA 93422

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.

More evidence for D

On November 17, 2009, in Fat Solubles, by Andrea

Via CNN.com

About time people are getting the message.  Vitamin D has been linked to everything from lowering cancer risk, stroke, heart disease, hypertension, auto-immune disorders, diabetes, and depression.

A few notables..

In the first study, May and her colleagues measured blood levels of vitamin D in 8,680 people age 50 or older who had been diagnosed with heart disease, stroke, or another type of cardiovascular disease. vitamin D levels above 30 nanograms per milliliter of blood (ng/mL) were considered normal, levels between 15 and 30 ng/mL were low, and those 15 ng/mL and below were deemed very low.

Among those with very low levels of vitamin D, 32 percent were depressed, as were 25 percent of the people with low levels, and 21 percent of those with normal levels. This trend was seen even among individuals with no history of depression.

In the second study, which looked at 27,686 people age 50 or older with no history of cardiovascular disease, May and her colleagues found that, compared to individuals with normal levels of the vitamin, people with very low levels of vitamin D were 77 percent more likely to die, 45 percent more likely to develop heart disease, and 78 percent more likely to have a stroke during the study, which lasted for more than a year. They also had double the risk of heart failure.

Holick advocates raising the daily limit to 10,000 IU. Many researchers agree and have suggested that the toxic level of vitamin D is closer to 10,000 IU/day.

Keep in mind that 10,000 IU / day number is for normies.. not for those with designer guts.

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