Bariatric Vitamins vs. Over-the-Counter Vitamins
Everyone needs vitamins. Everyone. There is no exception to that rule. But not everyone may require a vitamin supplement because their food intake is sufficient in the food sources that provide needed vitamins.
Why are vitamins (also called micronutrients) needed in the body?
Vitamins are not synthesized in the human body, meaning our body cannot make these nutrients. That is why vitamins are required in our food or supplement form. Vitamins are need for many body functions and the absence of these can lead to lasting diseases.
Vitamins are essential for processes including:
- Metabolic rate
- Energy storage
- Brain activity
- Nutrient absorption
- Fat and carbohydrate metabolism
- Bone health
- Cardiac (heart) health
- Muscle building/maintenance
Bariatric Vitamins vs Over-the-Counter Vitamins
Bariatric surgery can make you more susceptible to vitamin deficiencies. Weight loss surgery limits food intake and can affect absorption of vitamins. Due to the limitations of your pouch after weight loss surgery, very specific types and amounts of vitamins are required to maintain your health and keep your weight loss going.
Bariatric specific vitamins are better absorbed, cause less irritation to your pouch, and will prevent vitamin deficiencies better than an over-the-counter (OTC) vitamins. OTC vitamins are made with the general population in mind, not the bariatric patient.
The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery has guidelines for specific amounts of micronutrients that are essential for each person undergoing bariatric surgery. These recommendations are based on preventing deficiencies and best patient outcomes.
When considering the ASMBS guidelines for vitamins, OTC vitamin supplements do not provide adequate nutrients to prevent deficiencies in post bariatric surgery patients. The reference chart below is a useful guide in comparing bariatric specific vitamins to common OTC supplements.
Discuss specific products with your bariatric dietitian before choosing your vitamins. Our dietitians will guide you to the supplements that are best to keep you healthy.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment at WeightWise, please call 405-359-2475.
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