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Calcium Supplements and Eating Dairy



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I am not scheduled to see the dietician and my surgeon until 12/27 when I receive my second band fill.

I love dairy and eat FF cottage cheese, FF Fage yogurt or good quality FF cheese daily without issue. Do I need to take a Calcium supplement? Has anyone discussed this with their nutritionist and what guidance did you receive?

Banded 10/12/16

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I've done a fair amount of research and based on that I don't take Calcium supplements. Essentially, there is no to little evidence that calcium supplements prevent fractured bones, and there is more evidence that calcium supplements cause cardiovascular problems. Even if there was more evidence in favor of calcium supplementation, I'd rather have a broken bone than a stroke. But there really isn't much.

The best thing you can to do to prevent osteoporosis is engage in weight-bearing and high impact exercise on a regular basis. But it seems like people are more interested in "having" to eat their caramel flavored or Peanut Butter chocolate calcium supplements than they are in going jogging or doing jumping jacks!

I remain committed to my exercise, plus I do track my calcium intake on myfitnesspal and make sure to get 150% of the RDA of calcium from food every day.

My decision was based on the research I did plus the fact that I am at very low risk for osteoporosis as I have never smoked, been pregnant, or nursed a child. Also, lifelong obesity leads to denser bones and lower bone fractures later in life so that's one health benefit I have on my side!

Edited by Bufflehead

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@@Bufflehead thanks for sharing. Great advice as I don't want to live on supplements. Right now my weight is all the load bearing I can handle, but as soon as I get off 50 pounds I plan to expand beyond walking. The doctor believes my knees will hurt less as the weight comes off. Thanks!

Banded 10/12/16

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There are many dietary sources of Calcium and few natural sources that willl provide a dose of calcium even close to comparable with what supplements provide.

As humans, we often fall victim to the logical fallacy that of a little is good. More must be better.

A great number of us are either fully or partially lactose intolerant as adults. Humans are the only mammals that continue indulging in dairy products beyond weaning, and there's an evolutionary argument to be made that our bodies just aren't well suited to continue eating dairy beyond toddler aged.

I don't have any of the "classic" symptoms of lactose intolerance, but eating dairy will absolutely stall my weight loss and and cause Water retention, which is a form of lactose intolerance. cheese makes me crave more cheese and it's a slippery slope. Very sad for me, because I absolutely adore about 15 kinds of cheese. Even though cheese is (relatively) low in lactose, the Proteins contained within are enough.

Beef, venison, poultry, seafood (especially fish) and lamb/mutton all contain calcium. Some vegetables also contain calcium.

As @@Bufflehead mentioned, weight and resistance training have been shown to strengthen bones much more than any evidence for calcium supplementation.

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My surgeon's suggestion list for supplements includes Calcium, which I have been taking. When meetig with my pcp, she didn't think I needed it as I had a bone density test last year and had a great result. She said we will do it again in a few years. I will finish what I already bought.

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Interesting. I hate taking these stupid supplements, mainly because I keep forgetting them. I am going to have to do some more reading.

ETA: I have a fair amount of respect for the medical people in my program, but unless I push them on issues, they have a "one size fits all" mentality about things. For example, the nutritionist kept repeating that I should be aiming for 50 grams of Protein a day. After a few times of pointing out I needed twice that for my TARGET weight, she came on board with my dietary choices.

Edited by LittleBill

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The reason you need supplemen talk Calcium after WLS has nothing to do with bone density. Calcium is essential for muscle contraction. Remember those leg cramps when you are pregnant? You needs 1500 mg taken in 3 500 mg doses to prevent muscle cramps. In addition, Vit D requires calcium for proper absorption.

Your PCP took one nutrition class in medical or nursing school. A DR or advanced practice nurse is about the last person I would go to for advice on supplements.

http://meat.tamu.edu/ansc-307-honors/muscle-contraction/

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Remember those leg cramps when you are pregnant?

Well, no. Not really. :P But I do see your point. This is a good example of why multiple points of view from people with different backgrounds is so important.

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Remember those leg cramps when you are pregnant?

Well, no. Not really. :P But I do see your point. This is a good example of why multiple points of view from people with different backgrounds is so important.

Thanks Bill. I was worried when I read some of the posts on this thread.

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I'm over 3 years post op, no Calcium supplements, and I've never suffered from muscle cramps. Also get my labs run regularly and my Vitamin D levels are great. But I've always heard that Vitamin D is necessary for calcium absorption, not the reverse.

http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/features/the-truth-about-vitamin-d-why-you-need-vitamin-d

Edited by Bufflehead

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Regardless of people doing great without Calcium supplements. It's a fact that calcium is necessary for muscle contraction. People posting that they don't follow medical advice and are "fine" are NOT helping newbies asking for advice. I don't get why anyone would post a second response after someone takes the time to explain why you actually do need supplemental calcium after WLS.

You are right about vit D and calcium.

Sent from my iPhone using the BariatricPal App

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My doctor said that I don't have to take a Calcium supplement as long as my lab results are in the normal range. So far, so good. I have 4 oz of cottage cheese twice a day, so I am actually getting more dairy than I did during my entire six-month pre-op diet program.

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I have done a lot of research on this topic and agree with @Bufflehead. There is scant scientific evidence that Calcium supplementation is of benefit to the human body. My cardiologist is against it because there have been some preliminary studies that question its link to atherosclerosis and after discussing with my surgeon, he was ok with me not taking it. (to be fair, I had the sleeve and his opinion may have been different for RNY or other surgery, I do not know)

@@Aggiemae, the link you provided gives evidence of the importance of Calcium to muscle contraction (and i assume cow muscle is the same as human?). But it does not cite any correlation to calcium levels absorbed for this purpose as a result of supplementation - and that is a concern, that not all of the supplement is absorbed by the bones or excreted and winds up elsewhere where it can cause harm.

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/calcium_supplements_may_damage_the_heart

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