A reader emailed My Bariatric Life and asked bariatric dietician Elizabeth Anderson for her perspective on bariatric vitamins. Learn how to get your question answered.
It’s been 10 years since I had my gastric bypass surgery. I’m confused as to which bariatric vitamins I should be taking and which ones are best? I can’t swallow large tablets so I’m wondering about gummies or the new vitamin patches. Any insight you might offer would be awesome.
Thanks so much,
Let’s Talk about Bariatric Vitamins
I’m so glad you asked about bariatric vitamins! It’s one of my favorite topics and one that can be confusing.
Elizabeth’s Scoop on Bariatric Labs
Take your results to a bariatric dietitian to find out if you need to make changes to your multivitamin, calcium, and other supplements.
Some doctors don’t know what labs for bariatric patients to order. Here’s the list:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
- Copper and zinc
- Complete protein
- HgbA1c (if applicable)
- Lipid panel
- Liver function tests
- Parathyroid hormone (PTH)
- Bone density test or (DXA) every 2 years
Elizabeth’s POV on Bariatric Vitamins
Skip the bariatric vitamin patches for now, there’s not enough evidence they work.
Skip the bariatric vitamin gummies for now. I haven’t seen one yet that’s complete for bariatric clients.
Celebrate® brand vitamins makes a nice complete multivitamin that comes in a tiny capsule that most can easily swallow about 6-months after bariatric surgery.
- 3 mg thiamine (that’s vitamin B1)
- 18-36 mg of iron
- 800 mcg of folic acid
- 2 mg of copper
For clients who’ve had duodenal switch or biliopancreatic diversion (BPD), you likely need an individualized plan from a bariatric dietitian as your needs are unique.
Some post ops will need to take 1200 mg of calcium citrate daily if they’re not eating that much in their diets.
Don’t take more than 600 mg of calcium at one time and don’t take it with your multivitamin—they compete for absorption in your body and only one wins.
Bariatric Vitamins are Important!
It’s a LOT, I know, but bariatric surgery changed your anatomy permanently. You want to protect that investment and not risk potentially life threatening vitamin and mineral deficiencies—so take those bariatric vitamins, please!
Until next time, be good to YOU!
*not the reader’s actual name