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CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D3 -What you need to know.

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Salzy View Post
    Is this a standard? How was it set?
    Yep that's the safe limit according the letter from the FDA. No idea how it was set, but I can find out if you'd like.

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    Originally posted by Salzy View Post
    Also, could you explain what the IU/kg means. It probably doesn't mean much to most people.
    IU/kg is just a unit of measurement, just like miles/gallon. It stands for International Units per Kilogram. The precise definition of one IU differs from substance to substance and is established by international agreement for each substance. There is no equivalence among different substances; for instance, one IU of vitamin E does not contain the same number of milligrams as one IU of vitamin A.

    I gave the info in IU/kg because that's almost always how it's listed on the labels of calcium supplements.

    Hope that helps
    1.0.0 - Eunectes murinus (Green Anaconda)
    0.1.0 - Chamydosaurus kingii (Frilled Dragon)
    ∞.∞.∞ - Rhacodactylus "all-of-'em-us"
    And many other species of Diplodactyline and Carphodactyline gecko

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by aschnell View Post
      Yep that's the safe limit according the letter from the FDA. No idea how it was set, but I can find out if you'd like.

      Yeah, that would be good to know. Even though it is the FDA, they aren't infaliable either. I'd be curious to know exactly how much research went into getting that number.

      -----------------------------------------------------------------

      IU/kg is just a unit of measurement, just like miles/gallon. It stands for International Units per Kilogram. The precise definition of one IU differs from substance to substance and is established by international agreement for each substance. There is no equivalence among different substances; for instance, one IU of vitamin E does not contain the same number of milligrams as one IU of vitamin A.

      I gave the info in IU/kg because that's almost always how it's listed on the labels of calcium supplements.

      Hope that helps
      Right, but it still doesn't mean anything to the layperson unless it can be quantified in some way. I understand what it means and everything, but to be able to compare it to something else would be of more benefit. You said it yourself that the IU can change based on the substance. We can all sit back and say "Oh my " at the number 5000....but what does it Really mean to us? To most it is just a number.

      I get it that the higher the number, the worse it is health-wise. I'm just having a hard time getting it all to make sense as to why and how, especially since the product has been in existance for years and nothing was done to prevent it's use, besides this letter. (that I know of)
      Kyle J. Salzmann
      Check out Gekkonidazed Geckos on Facebook!
      www.gekkonidazed.com
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      • #33
        Im gonna agree with Kyle. Explain to us what sort of % of a cut with pure cal with no D3 would need to be done (by weight or volume). This stuff has been on the market for YEARS no change to the formula that I know of and as long as its used correctly I have never seen or heard of any problems. I had until recently been using this brand for about 10 years. Never had any problems and found it to be one of the better supplement brands around.

        Also we have to figure that D3 is not recommended for most herps in large amounts anyways. If UVB light is used its not required at all unless for a heath reason. Most people use D3 as a secondary cal source. Such as with Leopard geckos. People dust with D3 or use it in a cal dish then use pure cal as the other. With cresteds its only suggested in very small amounts such as occasional dusting of feeder insects.

        While I find your post very informative I don't think confusing/scaring people off a product that when used correctly can be more beneficial that detrimental. IDK about you but after working in a reptile store for years and seeing how people cut corners and costs or there eyes glaze over when I would try and explain specifics about UV lighting or husbandry requirement... I'm just happy when your everyday gecko pet owner actually takes the time and spends the money to use vits at all. Its better when done correctly but better than not done at all.

        My .02 anyway
        Sarah & Jake
        LunarGecko.net
        Feel free to check out our Fauna reviews or follow us on FaceBook!
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        • #34
          Originally posted by Salzy View Post
          Yeah, that would be good to know. Even though it is the FDA, they aren't infaliable either. I'd be curious to know exactly how much research went into getting that number.
          This is true. 'll try to figure out where they came up with that statistic, but it's not high on my priority list. If you want to tackle that first be my guest, the contact info (for the Vet at the FDA who wrote the letter to my vet) is on the second page of the letter which I provided for everyone.

          -----------------------------------------------------------------

          Originally posted by Salzy View Post
          Right, but it still doesn't mean anything to the layperson unless it can be quantified in some way.
          Both International Units and Kilograms are quantities lol

          ---------------------------------------------------------

          Originally posted by Salzy View Post
          I understand what it means and everything, but to be able to compare it to something else would be of more benefit. You said it yourself that the IU can change based on the substance. We can all sit back and say "Oh my " at the number 5000....but what does it Really mean to us? To most it is just a number.
          Well I did say that the FDA defined 5,000 IU of D3 per kilogram of dry matter food was the limit the FDA set as a safe amount, but if people wanted their information from another source, then yes - my post was laking in comparative statistics. If people still need a comparison - they can look up more stats about D3 concentration if they like. Wikipedia is just a click away.

          ----------------------------------------------------------

          Originally posted by Salzy View Post
          I get it that the higher the number, the worse it is health-wise. I'm just having a hard time getting it all to make sense as to why and how, especially since the product has been in existance for years and nothing was done to prevent it's use, besides this letter. (that I know of)
          The Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) is the branch of the FDA which regulates food, food additives, and drugs that are given to animals, including food animals and pets. CVM's primary focus is on medications that are used in food animals and ensuring that they do not affect the human food supply. So basically keeping people's pet lizards healthy isn't really one of their top priorities. Honestly I didn't even know they handled non-human diet related issues until my Vet told me so, so I'm not too surprised they haven't done anything. Like I said above, I'm sure the people at the FDA have their hands full with plenty of other concerns, but that doesn't mean we can't write them some letters

          ----------------------------------------------------------

          Originally posted by Lunar Gecko View Post
          Im gonna agree with Kyle. Explain to us what sort of % of a cut with pure cal with no D3 would need to be done (by weight or volume).
          The math isn't hard, so I'm not sure why you're asking me that... If the FDA says a common dusting of a cricket with RepCal yields a cricket with 55 times the safe limit of D3 (aka 275,000 IU/kg), then you need to add 54 parts (by weight) of calcium without D3 for every one part of calcium with D3 to reach the safe limit of 5,000 IU/kg. So you can see why cutting the stuff 2:1 just doesn't really cut it (no pun intended).

          It seems I've provided all of the information here, it would be nice to see others contributing as well. I'm sticking my neck out for the community, but nobody seems to be returning the favor...

          ------------------------------------------------------------------

          Originally posted by Lunar Gecko View Post
          This stuff has been on the market for YEARS no change to the formula that I know of and as long as its used correctly I have never seen or heard of any problems. I had until recently been using this brand for about 10 years. Never had any problems and found it to be one of the better supplement brands around.
          I'm curious as to how you "found" it to be one of the better supplements around? Did you do the math, or conduct some sort of study I'm not aware of?

          And could you define "used correctly"? Does Repcal provide the amount of their product that should be applied to a prey item before feeding?

          Also you've never heard of any problems... How many people do you know who have necropsies done on their animals after they die to find out the cause of death? I just listed reptile deaths attributed to D3 overdosing in the OP with my vet's info, if you don't believe me, ask him. You have all the resources you need to confirm the information I shared, there is no reason to cast doubt before checking out my story.

          --------------------------------------------------------------------

          Originally posted by Lunar Gecko View Post
          While I find your post very informative I don't think confusing/scaring people off a product that when used correctly can be more beneficial that detrimental.
          If someone finds my post scary then I've done my job, but if it confused them that's not my fault. The post was well worded and very factual.

          Also I'd like to see someone get a small enough amount of RepCal onto an cricket (when they dust it) for the cricket's calcium and D3 content to be within the acceptable range... Even the $3,000 scale we have in the lab wouldn't measure an amount of RepCal that small, so I doubt the standard pet owner would be able to tell if they were overdosing on D3 or not.

          Also here is an un-fun fact for everyone: extremely high doses of D3 with calcium are used as one of the most effective methods of poisoning and killing rats and other animals. So I'm confused as to why people giving their geckos a massive D3 overdose shouldn't be scary...

          Here is a quote from the Merck Veterinary Manual - Rodenticide Poisoning: Introduction for you to read...

          "Cholecalciferol [aka Vit D3] produces hypercalcemia, which results in systemic calcification of soft tissue, leading to renal failure, cardiac abnormalities, hypertension, CNS depression, and GI upset. Signs generally develop within 18-36 hr of ingestion and can include depression, anorexia, polyuria, and polydipsia."

          That sounds pretty scary to me...

          --------------------------------------------------------------

          Originally posted by Lunar Gecko View Post
          IDK about you but after working in a reptile store for years and seeing how people cut corners and costs or there eyes glaze over when I would try and explain specifics about UV lighting or husbandry requirement... I'm just happy when your everyday gecko pet owner actually takes the time and spends the money to use vits at all. Its better when done correctly but better than not done at all.
          That would depend on what supplements they were giving, but in general I would say I totally agree with you on that one. Just keep in mind that as a salesperson, they trust you, so you can make a positive difference in the lives of many reptiles by being as well informed as you can be.

          --------------------------------------------------------------

          Before anybody replies to this, just know I wasn't trying to be hostile or unfriendly in this post, I was just trying to clear some things up and ask some relevant questions. I apologize in advance if anything seems rude, the post was not meant to be worded in a rude manner. I hope everyone can understand.
          Last edited by aschnell; 08-13-2010, 04:54 PM. Reason: Spelling Fix
          1.0.0 - Eunectes murinus (Green Anaconda)
          0.1.0 - Chamydosaurus kingii (Frilled Dragon)
          ∞.∞.∞ - Rhacodactylus "all-of-'em-us"
          And many other species of Diplodactyline and Carphodactyline gecko

          Comment


          • #35
            Is reptOcal by tetra with D3 okay? I went to buy some new supplement after reading about the D3 excesses in repcal but realized they were separate products when I was comparing at the store. I just joined the site a few days ago, I am amazed at the amount of great information available. Sorry if this is a redundant question.

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            • #36
              Well, I for one am now thoroughly confused. I understand about vit. D toxicity but I'm still unclear about whether or not it's safe to use the calcium+D3 powder every week or so. The OP seems to indicate such occasional use is better than not dusting at all... is that right? IOW what is the "take away point"?

              I have a girl with a kink in her tail, that laid eggs after I separated them (male and female were together before I got them) and on the advice here, I've gone to all-CGD. But I'm wondering if she needs some extra calcium, because her tail seems to be getting worse. (I'm also worried she may lay more eggs... it's getting cooler so I hope not.) Would a weekly dose of dusted crickets help to boost the calcium levels (without risking vit. D toxicity)? Because she totally loves crickets, and doesn't seem to eat much of the CGD even though we haven't fed crickets in quite some time.

              (OT: Blue Buffalo dog food has a voluntary recall going on due to a vit. D overdose, which can lead to calcification. A symptom is excessive thirst and excessive urination.)
              *** My "N" key is actig up. Luckily, there's no "N" in "crested gecko" or "Rhacodactylus ciliatus".***

              2.3.9.12 cresties
              0.2 cats
              0.1 German Shepherd Dogs
              1.1.2 humans (that's 1 adult male, 1 adult female (me), and two male juvies)

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Jayne241 View Post
                Well, I for one am now thoroughly confused. I understand about vit. D toxicity but I'm still unclear about whether or not it's safe to use the calcium+D3 powder every week or so.
                It all depends on a lot of things - like how many IU of D3 per kg your calcium powder supplement has in it - or how often your female is laying - etc. For a gravid female or growing animals you'll want 3-5 IU/g of vitamin D3 in the food. You can just do the math based on the weight of the feeder insects and the weight of the amount of powder you're using to calculate the concentration of vitamin D3 you're offering in your food items.
                1.0.0 - Eunectes murinus (Green Anaconda)
                0.1.0 - Chamydosaurus kingii (Frilled Dragon)
                ∞.∞.∞ - Rhacodactylus "all-of-'em-us"
                And many other species of Diplodactyline and Carphodactyline gecko

                Comment


                • #38
                  Ok, I will post my attempt at deciphering the data, including zooming in a lot to read the numbers on the report posted. Since I can't seem to find the D3 content of REPCAL in IU/kg, I will try to reproduce their algorithm and apply it to ReptoCal from Tetrafauna.

                  from the report:
                  • average mass of dry matter (DM) of large cricket, before dusting = 0.1 g
                  • average mass of supplement per dusted cricket = 0.045 g
                  • average mass (DM) of dusted cricket = 0.1 g + 0.045 g = 0.145 g
                  • the product being discussed (REPCAL?) has 880 IU/g of D3


                  Thus, using that product, each cricket will have
                  (880 IU/g) x (0.045 g) = 39.6 IU of D3

                  which is in agreement with their statement of 40 IU per cricket.

                  Putting this into terms of IU/g of food, we have to include the mass of the cricket: amount of IU per cricket divided by mass of cricket+dusting:
                  (39.6 IU) / (0.145 g) = 273 IU/g

                  That is 273 IU of D3 per gram of dry matter (DM).

                  They state 276 IU/g but this is within rounding error, so I'm pretty sure this is what they did.

                  Applying this to my bottle of ReptoCal:

                  My bottle claims 13,700 IU/kg = 13.7 IU/g of D3.

                  If a cricket has 0.045 g of ReptoCal powder after dusting, then it has
                  (13.7 IU/g) x (0.045 g) = 0.6165 IU

                  One dusted cricket would have, on average, 0.6 IU of D3.

                  In IU per gram of dry matter, that is:
                  0.6165 IU / 0.145 g = 4.25 IU/g

                  This is within the range of 3-5 IU/g recommended above, assuming the following:
                  • my math is correct
                  • I am reading the report correctly
                  • my crickets have the same average mass and DM
                  • my crickets pick up the same average amount of ReptoCal as their
                  • crickets pick up their powder


                  To apply to the product you use:
                  • get the amount of vitamin D from the label in units of IU/g
                  • if it is in IU/kg, divide by 1,000 to get IU/g
                  • assuming your crickets are "average large", take the amount of IU/g of D3 and multiply by 0.045
                  • that is the amount of D3 per cricket
                  • take that number and divide by 0.145
                  • that is the IU/g (amount of vitamin D3 in IU per gram of dry matter)


                  I hope that doesn't further confuse anyone, and maybe it will help someone.
                  *** My "N" key is actig up. Luckily, there's no "N" in "crested gecko" or "Rhacodactylus ciliatus".***

                  2.3.9.12 cresties
                  0.2 cats
                  0.1 German Shepherd Dogs
                  1.1.2 humans (that's 1 adult male, 1 adult female (me), and two male juvies)

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Jayne241 View Post
                    I hope that doesn't further confuse anyone, and maybe it will help someone.
                    Very well done! Flawless and extremely helpful for many other people. This post deserves more thanks than any post I've made in this thread so far, that's for sure.
                    1.0.0 - Eunectes murinus (Green Anaconda)
                    0.1.0 - Chamydosaurus kingii (Frilled Dragon)
                    ∞.∞.∞ - Rhacodactylus "all-of-'em-us"
                    And many other species of Diplodactyline and Carphodactyline gecko

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Here is another resource for everyone, a page Allen wrote explaining the finer points of Calcium, Phosphorous, and D3 balance.

                      http://store.repashy.com/retail/inde...product_id=459
                      1.0.0 - Eunectes murinus (Green Anaconda)
                      0.1.0 - Chamydosaurus kingii (Frilled Dragon)
                      ∞.∞.∞ - Rhacodactylus "all-of-'em-us"
                      And many other species of Diplodactyline and Carphodactyline gecko

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        i use repto-cal
                        0.1.0 R. Ciliatus Aussie 12X18X20
                        0.0.1 R. Auriculatus 12X12X18
                        1.0.0 Blue Tonge Skink Lennie the Lounge Lizard
                        0.0.2 Dwarf Puffer
                        1.0.0 Cats
                        1.0 Black Lab/Springer mix Jack
                        0.1 Labro-doodle Molly
                        If you have a question and you dont know what the answer is, Search before you post!

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                        • #42
                          I know this subject has been well covered in this thread, but Allen Repashy put things into a better perspective that may help people understand this a little more. Plus if you use UVB on your tanks for plant health or more lighting this will help out a lot too!

                          "Try looking at it this way. If you have a glass and fill it with a liquid that represents the blood levels of 25OHD3 (how it is measured in the body). you can make a pretty good analogy.

                          So we can fill the jar, by adding UVB, which is converted into 25OHD3, or we can add vitamin D supplementation..... which is converted into 25OHD3

                          The main difference is the mechanism of conversion.

                          UVB, when used to fill the glass, will automatically shut off when the glass is full.

                          Vitamin D Supplementation, when used to fill the glass, will overflow the glass if too much is used. So what spills over would cause toxicity... as in Hypervitamintosis.

                          So when combined, UVB and Vitamin D can work together, and as long as the Supplementation doesn't overfill the glass, we are fine, because the UVB added will just top off the glass so to speak and not let it overflow.

                          Now if we go back to the glass, we can say that, for example, as long as the glass is between 3/4 full, and topped off, we have a healthy level of 25OHD3 in the body. If we have half a glass, then we are deficient (Hypovitamintosis vitamin D)

                          So without UVB, we need to use supplementation to keep that glass between 3/4 and topped off, which is no easy task. The supplementation requirements for different species are different, and our goal as caretakers, is to develop the right products and regiments to reach these levels.

                          It is my opinion that it is better to err to the high side of filling the glass vs. the low side because toxicity is far less of a risk than deficiency.

                          I believe that all reptiles, including geckos can convert UVB to 25OHD3, but the efficiency of different species could be quite varied. Different herps have obviously adapted to live with less UVB than others, but I have seen countless geckos in the field basking in early morning, or evening sun.

                          We can also have the scenario, where we do provide UVB and Supplementation, but there isn't enough UVB to top off the glass, or reach that important 3/4 full level..... so supplementation can insure that less than optimal levels of UVB are sufficient to still top off the glass or keep it near topped off.

                          Also, without supplementation, low levels of UVB that can't get the glass up to 3/4 full, will cause deficiency (Hypovitamintosis D)

                          Anyways, to sum it up, we have two ways to fill that cup, and they can be combined to provide more accuracy than supplementation alone. Many UVB bulbs are used way beyond the point that they put out usable UVB, so I always recommend suppplementation of at least low levels of D3 even when uvb is used (I am not referring to natural unfiltered sunlight here)

                          As long as you don't use enough D3 to overflow the cup, all you are doing by adding UVB is topping things off... with no risk of Hypervitamintosis. The only real risk is over-supplementation, and the only way to do this is to develop the right protocols from experience and good products.

                          I will add a disclaimer here that this is only my personal opinion based on my research and experiences."
                          4.4.6 Rhacodactylus ciliatus
                          0.1.1 Rhacodactylus Chahoua (PI)
                          1.0.0 Strophurus Taenicauda (White Eye)
                          1.0.0 Strophurus C. Ciliaris

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                          • #43
                            So just to clarify, do you need a multi vitamin and d3 or just d3 on the crickets. And if you do need anything more than d3 on the crickets what is a good supplement to use

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                            • #44
                              So if I go d3 with crickets one day and d3 the next time I feed cricket and repeat? Thanks,Tyler

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                              • #45
                                If you use dusting powder that is balanced, i.e. has the correct ratio of calcium to D3, then use that all the time.

                                Some powders have too much D3. But it's much more common to have too little than too much.

                                If you have a need for extra calcium, like a gravid female or a gecko with MBD, if you provide a dish of calcium for them to free feed, that should have no vitamin D.
                                *** My "N" key is actig up. Luckily, there's no "N" in "crested gecko" or "Rhacodactylus ciliatus".***

                                2.3.9.12 cresties
                                0.2 cats
                                0.1 German Shepherd Dogs
                                1.1.2 humans (that's 1 adult male, 1 adult female (me), and two male juvies)

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