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Weight loss surgery patients need to take certain vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent deficiencies. Bariatric patients are at high risk for deficiencies because of:
- Limited food intake—meeting nutrient needs without supplements is difficult on very low-calorie diets, such as the weight loss surgery diet.
- Nutrient malabsorption—malabsorptive surgeries, such as RYGB and BPD-DS, further increase the risk of deficiencies because they reduce the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
- Extra losses—your body loses iron, vitamin B12 and folate with bleeding, which can occur during and after surgery. Rapid weight loss increases calcium losses.
Many weight loss surgery patients need to take the following supplements for life. Since overconsumption can be as dangerous as deficiencies, only take the nutrient supplements that your surgeon and nutritionist recommend.
- Daily multivitamin and mineral with 100% of the daily value for most vitamins and minerals (RYGB and BPD-DS patients may need two of these per day)
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- Folic acid