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By: Jennifer Davis, RD, LD

Weight loss surgery is not only about the number on the scale or how many clothes sizes you have shrunk down. We often forget the most important benefit of weight loss surgery: your overall health and wellness. The quality of your diet and the types of nutrients and minerals you consume are just as important.

All bariatric patients know that supplementing with vitamins after surgery is vital to health, but what about prior to surgery? The following statistics show prevalence of vitamin deficiencies before going under the knife:

  • At least one micronutrient deficiency was present in 85% of pre-op bariatric surgery patients.
  • 75% of patients had a vitamin D deficiency.
  • 5% of patients had a folate deficiency.
  • 32% had an iron deficiency.
  • 13% had a calcium deficiency.
  • 10% had a B12 deficiency.

It is highly recommended that all bariatric patients start a general over-the-counter multivitamin along with a vitamin D supplement to better prepare for surgery. Taking a preventative approach versus treating after the fact helps with overall health outcomes.

After surgery, consuming the proper vitamins and minerals through supplementation assists with optimal bodily function which includes, but is not limited to:

  • energy level maintenance (B vitamins help facilitate energy release in your cells)
  • mood stabilizer (a side effect of low Vitamin D levels can be depression)
  • hair loss prevention (a low iron, omega 3, and biotin diet can lead to this, but so can low protein)
  • skin moisture levels (Vitamins A and E play a role in your skin health)
  • red blood cell function (iron, vitamin B12, and many others play a role in this function)
  • disease prevention (antioxidants decrease free radicals in your body which can develop into cancers)

Bariatric patients need to consume more of certain vitamins and minerals to make up for the limitation in food volume. Products that are designed for bariatric patients are the best choice as they enhance absorption and have the correct amounts of nutrients needed. Our clinic partners with two popular supplement brands that provide everything a bariatric patient needs in terms of vitamins post-op. If you have questions about these offerings or any other vitamin questions, please give us a call!


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