Nutrition is the key to successful weight loss, but there is more to focus on than just protein. Vitamins and minerals are essential for maintaining good health and preventing deficiencies. Calcium is a mineral that is often lacking in weight loss surgery patients, but it does not have to be! The BariatricPal Store has great-tasting Calcium Chews and other supplements to keep your bones strong.
Why Calcium Is Important after Bariatric Surgery
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in bones, and your body needs a steady supply to maintain bone mineral density. A calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, or brittle bones that are susceptible to breaking. Your body also uses calcium for proper nerve and muscle function.
Calcium is in dairy products and substitutes, some fortified foods, and fish eaten with bones, but it is often deficient among post-op bariatric surgery patients for a few reasons. You are not eating much food, may not be having a wide variety of foods, could be lactose intolerant, or can have reduced nutrient absorption.
Calcium Recommendations for Bariatric Patients
The recommendation for most adults is 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day. That amount is okay for gastric band, gastric sleeve (sleeve gastrectomy), and gastric bypass patients, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS). Biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch (BPD/DS) patients need 1800-2400 mg per day.
Because the body can only absorb a limited amount of calcium at one time, calcium supplements should be taken multiple times a day instead of all at once. For example, you might take 500 mg in the morning, 500 mg in the afternoon, and 500 mg in the evening. In addition, since calcium competes with iron for absorption into the body, calcium should be taken at a different time than iron supplements and iron-containing multivitamin.
BariatricPal Calcium Chews
If all that calcium and all those rules sound confusing or burdensome, do not worry! BariatricPal Calcium Chews make it easy and delicious to get your calcium. Each chew has 500 mg of calcium from calcium citrate, so you can take it with or without meals.
They also have 20 micrograms of vitamin D, or 100% of the daily value. Vitamin D helps the body absorb and use calcium, and nearly all post-op patients have a deficiency of vitamin D. BariatricPal Calcium Chews have 250 CFU of gut-healthy probiotics.
They are sugar-free, and sweetened naturally with maltitol syrup and stevia. They come in Strawberry Twist, with has a hint of sweet and refreshing watermelon. The other option is creamy, sweet French Vanilla Caramel. They are available in 90, 180, and 270-count bags of individually wrapped chews, and there is also a Variety Pack with both flavors.
More Calcium Choices
The BariatricPal Store has calcium and other supplements to meet any needs and preferences. Easy-to-swallow coated capsules, vitamin patches, chewable tablets, and sugar-free gummies are available so you can prevent nutritional deficiencies as you lose weight. Stay healthy and feel better by staying nourished so you can enjoy your weight loss journey all the more!