Bariatric Formulated Multivitamin and Mineral Supplements are Necessary for Optimal Health After Weight Loss Surgery
Recently, there have been news headlines saying that you are wasting your money buying vitamin and mineral supplements. These headlines were based on a recent study that looked at the effectiveness of vitamins in regards to disease prevention. The study suggested that you would be better of saving your money and eating a balanced diet. However, we recommend that all bariatric surgery patients take daily multivitamins and mineral supplements to prevent possible deficiencies.
Are you wasting your money? Here is our answer: Maybe.
But before we get to how not to waste your money, let’s make one thing clear: daily multivitamin and mineral supplements are a requirement after weight loss surgery in order to ensure proper nutrition. This is true regardless if you are eating a healthy, organic, well-balanced diet or not. Bariatric surgery like the Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy affect how some nutrients are being absorbed. Even if you had a purely restrictive procedure like the Lap-Band, the quantity of food consumption is so greatly reduced that it would be very difficult to reach optimal nutrition on food alone.
Malnutrition after bariatric surgery is more common than you think. Malnutrition can lead to severe neurologic problems, hair loss, skin and gum disease, vision problems and tooth and bone loss.
How not to waste money on multivitamin and mineral supplements:
- Buy only bariatric formulated multivitamins. Over-the-counter multivitamins, no matter if they come from a health food store or drug store, are not formulated to be readily absorbed after bariatric surgery. It’s not what you take, it’s what you absorb. Taking the wrong formulation is like flushing your money down the toilet.
- Take the right calcium. Calcium citrate can be taken without food and does not require stomach acid to be absorbed. Even though calcium carbonate is cheaper, it is not very well absorbed by bariatric patients.
- Try before you order. No sense of buying supplements that you don’t like and then will not be taking. Supplements that stay in the cabinet are the most expensive and the most ineffective! Bariatric multivitamins and minerals come in many different flavors and there are many brands to choose from. Ask your dietitian for samples to try before you buy a large quantity. Many online bariatric vitamin companies also ship samples for you to try.
- Buy in bulk or participate in automatic refill clubs. Most bariatric vitamin companies have loyalty clubs that give you a significant discount for automatic refills and bulk orders. Make sure to ask if you can change flavors/quantities before you sign up.
- Take only what you need. Talk to your dietitian or bariatric surgeon about which vitamin and mineral supplement are right for you. Your bariatric team may order blood tests to ensure optimal nutrition.
The bottom line: Take the right multivitamins and mineral supplements daily to ensure optimal health after bariatric surgery.
To learn more about bariatric nutrition, please register for the free monthly OnTrack Workshop. To learn more about the patient-centered bariatric program at Griffin Hospital, please register for a free seminar. Please contact Kim Fisher, Bariatric Patient Care Specialist, to learn more about bariatric surgery or about our support services.
Questions? Ask Kim!
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Need help registering for support groups, monthly workshops or bariatric seminars? Unsure of the process or how to begin? We take pride in offering concierge style guidance for all current and potential patients.