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Posted by Pennebaker on March 06, 2003 at 02:24:42:
In Reply to: Thanks Ian........... posted by mikecoscia on February 28, 2003 at 18:35:37:
Your assessment and summary of supplements and lighting is fairly consistent with my experiences. I do want to point-out that the degree to which you attribute hypervitaminosis and hypercalcemia to powdered supplements is highly variable and could certainly be debated. There's data backing both the opposing philospohies that D3 & A hypervitaminosis does and does not happen when using conventional powdered supplemnts. My belief, as with most things, is that powdered supplements, used sensibly and in moderation, do not cause hypervitaminosis or hypercalcemia.
The danger lies in long-term health(old-age diseases)and when supplemnts, especially liquids, are not used responsibly.
Additionally, there is the ongoing debate as to whether a regiment where D3 is only given through dietary means(no UVB)is as unhealthy and detrimental as proclaimed by one opposing faction. Most non-reptile marketed bulbs labeled as 'full-spectrum' emit levels of UVB that is so miniscule(in relation to a lizard's needs), that it may as well not be emitting any at all. Even reptile fluorescents that are marketed to emit 'high levels' of UVB(Reptisuns) are fairly limited in their contribution to D3 synthesis/calcium metabolization in most diurnal lizards. They do work great for cresteds. IMO, most diurnal lizards should be given real sunshine or mercury-vapor bulbs to satisfy their high needs.
It is clear, however, that many different reptiles can adequately satisfy their D3 demands strictly through dietary supplementation and still live a long healthy life.
I believe that natural is better and I prefer to provide UVB for most of my reptiles.I have serious reservations about the unnatural concentrations of supplemnts and, although i've used many supplemnts successfully for many years, have become feel that many latent late-life diseases spring from consistent over-supplemntation with traditional powders.
A healthy diet(especially healthy insect prey-items) and real sunshine is the best way to 'supplement'.
I would recommend to people who have come to question a lot of different supplements to try 'absolute calcium'. I have been using, experimenting and studying this supplemnt for about 8 months and have found it to be extremly effective, easily absorbed and theoretically easier on the kidneys. It also does not contain D3, so it can be mixed readily with other supplements. I especially use AC for gravid females, outdoor enclosures and reptiles that get mercury-vapor bulbs.
Absolute Calcium(AC) is marketed as a plant-based calcium and appears to be more readily absorbed and efficiently processed(including excretion)than calcium gluconate or calcium carbonate. I have used AC on crested geckos with very good results. They more-readily eat babyfood with AC instead of regular Rep-Cal.
Anyhow, I just wanted to offer forward my thoughts on this topic and recommend Absolute Calcium as a great alternative calcium supplemnt(or as a supplement for your supplemnts,LOL).
I also wanted to say to you, Mike, that it's good to see sensible people like yourself posting on the forum.
good luck on your cresties everybody,
:Yeah Reptivite really is not a good product; it just has too much vitamin A. Then Rep-Cal of course like I said has too much D3, and the utilization of oral D3 is debatable. Natural synthesis when it occurs like beta-carotene to A or UVB to D3 is preferred. However nocturnal animals (like our cresties), prob do not need intense UVB radiation like basking lizards to do make their D3. So you only need a small oral amount to help metabolize calcium properly.
:As far as a sole product to use, I really have not found one yet (might have tho, keep reading), and I have tried everything. Back in the stone age when there really were no reptile “health” products I just used crushed Centrum tablets (yes human multivitamins).
:Herptivite is a good product, but it lacks calcium/D3 and is supposed to be mixed with Rep-Cal. However like I said it has too much D3, so I used to dilute it with bone meal (can find it at any health shop, I leave dishes of it in their cages too during the breeding season).
:Miner-All has been my favorite thus far. I use it every other feeding during the week and then use Herptivite once during the weekend. Miner-All was the closest to a stand alone product but I added Herptivite to the routine to make up for the tiny things that the other was missing or low on.
:Very recently I have tried herpnutrition.com’s low D3 formula. I have to say by far it is the best stand along vitamin supplement. We have also been using there MBD powder on those two baby auric’s we rescued from the last show. They are really making good progress. One of them has made a full come back with his skull hardening and tail straightening out. The other was more severe with a twisted spine, but he too is doing much better. So from the results of that product I recommend their other products over all the others. =)