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What Bariatric Vitamins Do I Need?



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Which bariatric Vitamins do I need before and after surgery?” or “Do I need Vitamins if I am losing weight without surgery?

These are some of the most common questions for dieters and weight loss surgery patients before and after surgery. There are so many choices, so how do you know which ones to take?

The answer is: it depends!

As always, you should check with your own doctor and healthcare team before taking any supplements.

Here is a cheat sheet I posted on the BariatricPal Store for the Vitamin and other nutritional supplements you may need before and after weight loss surgery. When applicable, these guidelines are consistent with the latest guidelines from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS).

As always, you should check with your own doctor and healthcare team before taking any supplements.

Bariatric Vitamins Before Surgery

Before surgery, your goal is to make sure you are completely nourished. This will make surgery safer and promote healthy metabolism. Choose from Patches, pills, or chewableforms – whatever is easiest for you.

You may need:

Bariatric Vitamins for Gastric Sleeve Patients

Gastric sleeve (or vertical sleeve gastrectomy) can cause nutrient deficiencies because of your restricted food intake. These are the nutrient supplements you are likely to need.

You might also want to test your blood levels of thiamin, iron, Vitamin A, vitamins D, E, and K, and the minerals copper, zinc, and selenium. You may need liquids, chewable supplements or soft chews, or patches immediately post-op because swallowing can be difficult. You may be able to tolerate swallowing capsules or soft gels a few weeks after your surgery.

Bariatric Vitamins for Gastric Bypass Patients

Gastric bypass (or roux-en-Y gastric bypass) increases nutrient deficiency risk because it interferes with nutrient absorption AND because of your restricted food intake. These are the likely supplements you may need.

You might also want to test your blood levels of thiamin, iron, vitamin A, vitamins D, E, and K, and the minerals copper, zinc, and selenium. You may need liquids, chewable supplements or soft chews, or patches immediately post-op because swallowing can be difficult. You may be able to tolerate swallowing capsules or soft gels a few weeks after your surgery.

Bariatric Vitamins for Gastric Band (Lap-Band) Patients

Gastric band (or Lap-Band) does not interfere with nutrient absorption, but your nutrient intake from food can be inadequate because of your restricted diet. These are the likely supplements you may need.

You might also want to test your blood levels of thiamin, vitamin B12, and other B vitamins. You may need liquids, chewable supplements or soft chews, or patches immediately post-op because swallowing can be difficult. You may be able to tolerate swallowing capsules or soft gels.

Bariatric Vitamins for Duodenal Switch Patients

Duodenal switch increases nutrient deficiency risk because it interferes with nutrient absorption AND because of your restricted food intake. These are the likely supplements you may need.

You might also want to test your blood levels of thiamin, iron, vitamin A, vitamins D, E, and K, and the minerals copper, zinc, and selenium. You may need liquids, chewable supplements or soft chews, or patches immediately post-op because swallowing can be difficult. You may be able to tolerate swallowing capsules or soft gels a few weeks after your surgery.

Bariatric Vitamins for Mini Gastric Bypass Patients

Mini Gastric Bypass increases nutrient deficiency risk because it interferes with nutrient absorption AND because of your restricted food intake – similarly to gastric bypass. These are the likely supplements you may need.

You might also want to test your blood levels of thiamin, iron, vitamin A, vitamins D, E, and K, and the minerals copper, zinc, and selenium.. You may need liquids, chewable supplementsor soft chews, or patches immediately post-op because swallowing can be difficult. You may be able to tolerate swallowing capsules or soft gels a few weeks after your surgery.

What Vitamins Do I Need If I Didn’t Get Weight Loss Surgery?

Your nutrient absorption does not change if you do not get weight loss surgery. Still, you may need vitamin and mineral supplements because you are taking in much less food than you were before you started losing weight.

A multivitamin and mineral supplement with folic acid and vitamin B12 is a good idea for almost everyone! You might also want to ask your doctor to test your levels of iron, calcium and vitamin D, and vitamin B12 and folic acid.

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Good old Flintstones chewables were what my VSG surgeon said would work just fine for me.

They available at every grocery store I've ever looked for them in.

Taste great and very economical.

My 12 month blood work came back happy over Flintstones, too.

No need to overthink this one, folks.....that is if your surgeon did their job in counseling you properly....and you paid attention.

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My surgeon also recommended flinsto.es chewables, for preop, 1 a day and post op ill have to take 2 a day.

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Good old Flintstones chewables were what my VSG surgeon said would work just fine for me.

They available at every grocery store I've ever looked for them in.

Taste great and very economical.

My 12 month blood work came back happy over Flintstones, too.

No need to overthink this one, folks.....that is if your surgeon did their job in counseling you properly....and you paid attention.

Surgeons and nutritionists argue about this topic often. I mostly agree with you. Flintstones Vitamins don't include everything "suggested" by the ASMBS. Flintstones *MIGHT* be ok for certain Gastric Sleeve or Lap-Band patients but they're definitely not adequate for patients that have undergone malabsorptive procedures like Gastric Bypass or Duodenal Switch who require at least 200% RDA.

I know many Gastric Sleeve patients that don't use any Vitamins or supplementation whatsoever. They just eat an extremely healthy diet and get their vitamins and minerals from their diet. This is easily accomplished but one must make sure to take their blood work on a regular basis.

Keep doing whatever you're doing, as long as your blood work keeps coming back good.

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Unfortunately my surgeon said absolutely no Flintstones or gummies so I am choking down other chewables. They taste horrible; I've tried 3 different brands so far...

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Unfortunately my surgeon said absolutely no Flintstones or gummies so I am choking down other chewables. They taste horrible; I've tried 3 different brands so far...

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My surgeon was yes on Flinstones, although I've switched to Centrum chewables (with his approval) because the flavor is less cloying. He's an absolute no on Patches, because the patch companies have thus far not shared research or proven that Patches work. I also take liquid B12 once a day and his office advised I should start on Calcium chewables as well.

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My NUT, Cleveland clinic is mortified some surgeons recommend Flintstones. They give us a long list to chose from.

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@@trekker954, I'm curious... What's your doctors issue w/Flinstone?

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I just had to look up Flintstones Vitamins on Amazon (I'm in Germany). They look interesting but are way too expensive here to give them a shot out of curiosity.

I guess they're kind of cheap in the US compared to other Vitamins?

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I'm not sure, it was the nutritionist who had just returned from some Bariatric seminar. She's pretty well renowned, Lillian Craggs and speaks at many of these types of things and writes papers. We just had a monthly group session and there is a Q&A before we start on the topic. Someone asked about Vitamins. I know CCF doesn't recommend specific ones and the patch MD which I use isn't even listed, although she is okay with me using them especially my blood work came back okay. But she did make that comment about not understanding WHY some surgeons recommend Flintstones. Maybe its high in sugar? not sure.

I know that that nutritionist doesn't always agree even with their own surgeons when it comes to WLS patient meal plans either. I think surgeons are easier than the nutritionist are is my take-a-way on the topic.

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Well, a surgeon is a surgeon. A nutritionist is a nutritionist. Two entirely different job profiles.

I wouldn't expect a surgeon knowing as much about nutrition as a nutritionist any more than expecting a nutritionist being able to perform an appendectomy.

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My surgeon and his team, who is top-rated in his state, recommended Flinstones as well.

Same here. Flinstones chewables or Centrum chewables. No gummies, ever. And no Patches because they haven't been scientifically vetted in any peer-review journals.

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