Bariatric Advantage is one of a handful of companies that market vitamins specifically to bariatric surgery patients. There is no reason bariatric surgery patients cannot take “regular” vitamins but they require calcium citrate, not calcium carbonate, and most chewable calcium supplements such as Viactive contain calcium carbonate.
That’s probably due to the fact that calcium carbonate is cheaper and also because 500 mg of calcium carbonate makes a smaller chewable supplement than 500 mg calcium citrate and consumers typically prefer smaller supplements.
Bariatric surgery patients often prefer chewable supplements, though, especially in the early days after surgery. Many doctors and dieticians also recommend chewable supplements to their patients, especially in the early days. Customers that have not had bariatric surgery may also prefer chewable calcium citrate supplements to other forms of calcium, for a variety of reasons.
Now, many chewable calcium supplements are chalky and don’t taste very good, which is why supplements like Viactiv and the new Citracal gummies are popular. But again, those are made from forms of calcium that are not absorbed well by bariatric surgery patients.
I can swallow pills but I take so many prescription medications and vitamin supplements in pill form that I love chewable supplements – as long as they taste good. I love caramel flavored things so I was eager to try the caramel calcium chews from Bariatric Advantage.
When a friend told me Bariatric Advantage had a special in which you could buy two packages of calcium chews and get a third package free, I decided it was time to place my order.
The caramel calcium chews look like caramel candies. They are small square pieces, individually wrapped in plastic. They are fairly hard initially but soften as you chew them. They kind of stick to your teeth, but so do real caramels. I liked the taste and ate them after meals, almost like a dessert.
I’ve ordered them twice from Bariatric Advantage, both times when they were on special, and probably will not order again. The main issue for me was poor customer service. The second time I placed on order, online via the Bariatric Advantage website, I was informed it should take about five days to receive my order.
A full month later, my calcium chews had not yet arrived. I telephoned the customer service number listed on their web site and explained the problem. The representative with whom I spoke told me some sort of problem had occurred since I ordered online and the order had never been mailed. He promised to mail it that day and said that I would not be charged for shipping since it was being sent to long after I placed my order.
I did receive my order just a couple days later. However, I don’t want to order products from a company that may or may not ship my order if I order online. I want to be able to order online and know my vitamin supplements will be arriving in a timely manner.
It’s hard for me to believe that ordering online should cause a 30 day delay in shipping, but that is what the customer service representative told me.
So while I still enjoy the flavor of the Bariatric Advantage caramel calcium chews, I plan to order my chewable calcium citrate from other sources, such as Celebrate Vitamins, from which I have always received good service.
For those interested in trying the Bariatric Advantage chews, they contain 250 mg calcium citrate per chew and are sugar free, though they do contains sugar alcohols. They come in lemon, chocolate and raspberry, as well as caramel.
I have not tried the other flavors but have been told by friends that the chocolate tastes a lot like a Tootsie roll and that the lemon and raspberry taste a lot like Starburst candy.