Vitamin supplementation is necessary after Bariatric Surgery to prevent nutritional deficiencies. There are a handful of vitamins and minerals that bariatric patients may become deficient in quite fast. A group of these vitamins are called the B vitamins.
There are eight, water-soluble B vitamins that play crucial roles in energy metabolism, red blood cell function, nerve conductivity, cognitive processes, hair skin and nail structure and more. Most of these vitamins help enzymes function properly in the body and are named respectively as coenzymes. Below are all eight B vitamins:
- B1 (Thiamin)
- B2 (Riboflavin)
- B3 (Niacin)
- B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- B6 (Pyridoxine)
- B7 (Biotin)
- B9 (Folate or folic acid)
- B12 (Cobalamin)
Two of these B vitamins are incredibly important to the bariatric patient after surgery: B1 (Thiamin) & B12 (Cobalamin). Why is this? The structure of the stomach and intestines are altered during weight loss surgery and this affects how these vitamins are absorbed and utilized in the body. Thiamin deficiency can present quickly and cause very serious side effects such as permanent nerve damage, decreased cognition and even death in rare cases. It has been reported in up to 49% of the bariatric population. This is mainly in part due to malabsorptive surgeries like the gastric bypass, chronic vomiting and diarrhea and those who have diabetes.
Recommended B Vitamin Dosages for Post-Bariatric Surgery:
- B12: 350-500 mcg/day, we recommend 1000 mcg (sublingual)
- Thiamin: at least 12 mg/day
- Folic Acid: 100-800 mcg/day from MVI
So how can you make sure you’re getting enough each day? Talk with one of our Registered Dietitians to see what regimen is right for you and utilize the Baritastic App to help remind you to take vitamins consistently.