Guest Blog By: Dr. Lillian Craggs-Dino, DHA, RDN, LDN
Have you considered Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (MBS) or already undergone a bariatric procedure? MBS can significantly enhance the quality of life and support healthy weight loss for those suffering from obesity.*
However, MBS comes with great responsibility. In this article, we provide an overview of life after metabolic and bariatric surgery, the importance of bariatric vitamins, nutritional needs, and supplement recommendations.*
Nutritional Needs After Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery*
Undergoing MBS requires a lifelong dedication to a healthy lifestyle that includes a bariatric diet, consuming adequate proteins, drinking enough fluids, and taking bariatric vitamin and mineral supplements for the rest of your life.*
Depending on the type of surgery and other factors, patients with MBS are strongly recommended to avoid over-the-counter vitamin and mineral supplements as they often do not provide sufficient levels.* The specific supplements and dosage depend on individual assessment of lab work, which is also recommended for a lifetime.*
First Year Post-Surgery
In the first year post-surgery, bariatric surgeons usually recommend testing lab work several times to determine your body’s new baselines and trends. Lab work can also guide your need for supplementing with specific vitamins and minerals, and in some cases, may help to identify existing deficiencies.*
After the first year, follow your healthcare provider and dietitian's recommendations regarding the frequency you should get lab work done.
Importance of Bariatric Vitamins and Minerals
All vitamins and minerals perform essential functions in the body. For example, iron is necessary for supporting healthy red blood cells, and calcium is needed to keep your bones strong.*
Deficiency in one or more of these micronutrients can cause harm to your health and body.* For example, an iron deficiency can lead to anemia while a calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and increase the risk of fractures.
MBS patients have a higher risk of deficiency due to the anatomical and physiological changes induced by surgery, as well as changes in food intake and tolerance.
Research confirms that patients with MBS have a higher risk of micronutrient deficiency including vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, vitamin B1 (thiamin), folic acid, calcium, and iron. (1) This is why bariatric practitioners recommend specific supplements after surgery.*
Bariatric Multivitamin Recommendations Post-Surgery*
Below is a chart provided by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) with recommended types and dosages of bariatric vitamins and minerals based on research. (2)
Each recommendation has been curated based on the procedure type and scientific research for gastric bypass surgery (RYGB), gastric sleeve or sleeve gastrectomy (SG), adjustable gastric band (AGB), and biliopancreatic diversion/duodenal switch (BPD/DS).
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common following metabolic and bariatric surgery (MBS), despite the type of surgery. To support optimal vitamin and mineral levels after weight loss surgery, continue taking all of the bariatric supplements recommended by your healthcare provider and dietitian.* No matter which bariatric procedure you have undergone, always get annual lab work done to ensure that you are taking supplements suitable for your individual needs.
- Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2017; 13(5)
- Surg Obes Relat Dis. 2020; 16(2)
This blog is for information and education purposes only. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your bariatric surgeon or another qualified healthcare provider with any questions in regards to a medical condition. A qualified healthcare professional can best assist you in deciding whether a dietary supplement is suitable based on your individual needs.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.