Nutritional Supplements after Gastric Bypass
What you eat, how you eat and how much you eat changes drastically after gastric
bypass surgery. Gastric Bypass Surgery alters the anatomy of your digestive
system to promote weight loss. Nutritional supplements, special formulated, are required for those who have had
Bariatric Surgery. Gastric Bypass surgical patients must take supplements for the rest
of their lives in order to maintain their health. Serious problems can occur if
required vitamins and minerals are not taken daily.
Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies
Most common nutrition deficiencies after gastric bypass surgery are:
Vitamin and mineral levels in your blood must be monitored at least twice
yearly. If necessary, your vitamin/mineral supplement doses may be adjusted by
your surgeon or dietitian. This is why it's important for you to continue your
follow-up with your surgeon.
- Calcium deficiency may lead to
weakened and broken bones or a collapsed spine.
- Protein deficiency may lead to serious cause of ill health and temporary hair loss and
- Iron deficiency may lead to
dizziness, chronic fatigue, and low blood count.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to tingling of hands and feet, nerve damage, difficulty walking or holding
- Other vitamins such as B1.
Multi-Vitamin Supplement should be optimized for bariatric patients.
Special Nutrition Supplements Considerations for Bariatric Patients
Most vitamin, mineral, and protein products on the market are not designed to
provide Bariatric Patients with optimal results to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Lab results following surgery strongly back problems with over-the-counter
nutrition supplements. There are special considerations to look for vitamin and
mineral supplements for bariatric patients:
Many "natural" food supplements
contain an awesome list of synthetic fillers. These pills, chewable, and powdered products are not in the best interest of the bariatric patient.
Bariatric patients should be concerned about the following for products with high amounts of fillers:
Example, Vitamin C in chewable form in doses of 1,000mg per day would contain approximately 250mg of filler, on
average. Filler added to Vitamin C can, and usually does cause the Ascorbic Acid
to break down. This in turn prevents much of the Ascorbic Acid from being
absorbed. This also greatly decreases the shelf life of the vitamins.
Absorption - The filler will
hinder the absorption of the product you’re taking. Picture an orange -- the
inside being the vitamins which aid you, and the skin being the filler. You
cannot get to the precious vitamins with an exterior shell preventing access
to them. The same holds true for fillers. If the filler binds to the
vitamins and minerals, they are not readily available for absorption.
Harmful - The filler may be harmful to your system in either the short or long term. Allergic reactions
can have an effect on many organ systems in the body including the brain,
which often displays symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, depression,
anxiety, hallucinations and insomnia.
Lab results - Your labs may suffer if you’re taking vitamins with fillers, and if you do not get your
labs done on a regular basis, you may find that what you thought you were
doing to keep yourself healthy is in fact doing the opposite.
The list of harmful fillers in multi-vitamins, individual supplements and
protein powders may include: Magnesium Stearate, Lactose, Microcrystalline
Cellulose, Silicon Dioxide, Titanium Dioxide, Stearic Acid, Sodium Starch
Glycolate, Talc, Sucrose, Povidone, Pregelelatinized Starch, Hydroxy Propyl
Cellulose, Ethylcellulose, Crospovidone, Shellac, Calcium Stearate.
Other potentially hazardous substances found as fillers in vitamin and mineral
supplements are Sodium Benzoate, BHT, BHA, Tartrazine, Lactose, Peanut Oil,
Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Polysorbate 80, Microcrystalline
Cellulose, Magnesium Stearate, Red Dye NO. 33 and 40, Ethyl Cellulose, Sorbic
Acid, Fractionated Coconut Oil and Cornstarch.
The best advice would be to purchase supplements in capsule, or naturally compressed tablets form. You can also
purchase powders or liquids that contain no additives or fillers.
Calcium Supplements needed after Gastric Bypass
Bone disease i.e. osteomalacia, osteoporosis, is a possible long-term risk from
Of importance for the bariatric
patient is following:
Citrate - Calcium combined with citrate (Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen & Water) has long been known as the
top quality compound available for maximum absorption of calcium.
Boron - Studies indicate that boron improves calcium metabolism and utilization. The main dietary
sources for obtaining boron are fruits and vegetables. Natural sources of
boron include black beans, spinach, tomatoes, peaches, apricots,
strawberries, apples, and cantaloupe. The level of boron in each item is
based on the level of boron found in the soil where they are grown. Boron
has been found to have positive results in postmenopausal women in areas of
prevention and reduction of osteoporosis and arthritis. It can enhance, as
well as mimic the effects estrogen produces on calcium metabolism. It also
assists in activating vitamin D to its most active form.
Vitamin D - Vitamin D is best known for its ability to aid the absorption of calcium. It also exerts
many anti-cancer properties, especially against breast and colon cancer.
Form - should be quickly dissolving and contain minimum of fillers. Should dissolve within five (5)
minutes of ingestion. This allows for the most opportunity for digestion,
and most important absorption.
Proteins Supplements after Gastric Bypass Surgery.
Proteins help build the structure of all the tissues of the body such as hair,
nails, skin, eyes, and our organs. Proteins are used to form enzymes, hormones,
and various body fluids and secretions. As antibodies, they are involved in the
function of the immune system.
Proteins in the diet are classified as complete or incomplete depending on
whether they contain all the essential amino acids or not. Animal proteins are
usually complete whereas plant proteins are often incomplete.
Most bariatric surgeons recommend that patients supplement with some type of
protein until they are able to obtain recommended levels from their food sources
or even as an ongoing complement.
Your body cannot store protein and must receive a fresh source everyday. For
those who are not tolerating meat very well, consider trying soy products as soy
is considered a complete protein even if it is not as bio available. Soy is made
into all types of products such as hot dogs, bacon, sausage, cheese, milk,
burgers, ground round and tofu. Most of these products come in low-fat versions.
Don’t forget those beans that are a good source of protein and fiber. If you
have gas problems with legumes and beans, you can put a drop of Beano on the
first bite and that will usually help.
Look for products with at least 18 of the 20 amino acids, 3 grams of sugar or
less, low carbohydrates, lactose free, and no added vitamins and minerals as you
are already getting enough from you multivitamin/mineral supplements you are
taking. Most can be mixed with water. Some products come pre- mixed and are very
Keep following in mind when looking for protein supplements:
Iron Supplements after Gastric Bypass Surgery
Iron is a trace element nutrient that the body uses for several discrete areas of normal health and function. The primary
role of iron is in the formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is the
protein in your red blood cells that transports oxygen around the body.
Myoglobin is a protein that is similar in structure to hemoglobin that is
important for the storage and usage of oxygen by muscles, including the heart.
Pre Digestion - Pre-digested means that the amino acid peptide chain has been severed. This
is the first stage of digestion. Severing this step allows for faster
absorption, which is essential for the Bariatric Patient.
Quality - Most protein products provides 30 grams of protein per serving, but often includes
ingredients the bariatric patient should avoid.
Convenience - Powders require much work to prepare, thick and heavy and often including
ingredients the bariatric patient should avoid. Liquid form reduces the
necessity to use additional products to consume it.
Taste - Most protein products don't taste well. Most products are adding flavors to make
consuming the necessary amino acids tastier than before.
Sublingual Vitamin B12
- The roles of B12 in the Body
B-12 absorption relies heavily upon an in-tact digestive tract. Vitamin B-12 is
a large molecule that will not cross any part of your body unless it is
specifically brought across by a transport system. In the case of B-12, this
requires a system that involves a special protein made in the stomach, called
intrinsic factor. The creation of the gastric pouch separates the part of the
stomach that creates Intrinsic Factor. Hence, Vitamin B-12 is not extracted from
proteins and remains unavailable for absorption.
Vitamin B-12 is essential for the production and regeneration of red blood
cells. It is also needed for proper function of the central nervous system. It
improves concentration, memory, balance, and relieves irritability. Vitamin B12
is necessary for the proper utilization of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins for
body building and muscle regeneration. Vitamin B-12 is also involved in many
vital metabolic and enzymatic processes, including the metabolism of folic acid.
Sublingual Vitamin B12 are separate available in tablets - Dissolve 1 tablet daily under
the tongue, or as prescribed by your surgeon or nutritionist.
Multi Vitamins - Optimized for intake by Bariatric
Those who have had bariatric surgery are encouraged take
supplements for the rest of their lives in order to maintain their health.
Vitamins should be formulated for unique malabsorption issues, delivered
in such a way that your body absorbs the nutrients it needs. Use multi-vitamin
with no fillers such as sugars, starch, sand, coloring, or other such
contaminants which have been proven to inhibit absorption. For those who have
difficulty swallowing either a capsule or tablet whole, then choose tablets which
can either be cut in half or crushed for convenience and ease. Capsules should
be designed to dissolve quickly so that the maximum amount of supplement is
absorbed in to the body.
Liquid Multi Vitamins are also available. For correct dose check with your surgeon or
Calculate Your BMI
Diet after gastric Bypass
After your stomach pouch is to the size of a walnut, you'll need to follow a gastric bypass diet. The diet the dietitian creates tells you what type and how much food to eat with each meal and the required consistency and texture of the food. The gastric bypass diet helps you maintain good nutrition while losing weight.