This article was written by Stephanie Moore MS, RD/LD, and updated on April 27, 2023.
In the weeks leading up to–and after–bariatric surgery, supplements are needed to make sure your body gets the amount of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs. Often, this is in the form of protein shakes, bariatric snacks, and even pills or capsules. Another popular option is gummies–but are gummy vitamins bad for you?
For patients who have had weight loss surgery, it can be difficult if not impossible to get adequate nutrients, especially in the few weeks right after surgery. Vitamins are a good solution. But traditional vitamins can be tough on the stomach from the start, and for some adults, it’s hard to swallow capsules.
Even chewable bariatric vitamins can sometimes give people fits. But before you switch to a gummy vitamin, let’s try a few other options. First, let’s get into the issues we have with gummies.
Are Gummy Vitamins Good For You?
Our concern with vitamin gummy supplements is the lack of complete vitamins and minerals. To make it still “gummy” manufacturing needs to eliminate lots of key minerals. The other concern is what remains in the ingredients list after removing the good stuff. The first ingredient is usually sucrose — also known as sugar.
Your daily multivitamin shouldn’t have grams and grams of sugar content. Whether they’re in the form of sugar alcohols, or glucose syrup, gummies often have more than the recommended amount of sugar intake, even for those who have not had weight loss surgery.
Bariatric vitamin companies are constantly working towards vitamins that settle well, taste good, and contribute to health benefits. We carry Bariatric Advantage vitamins. We have a few chewable options that come in dark cherry, strawberry watermelon, and grape flavors.
If you’re not loving the chewable, the next option is Bariatric Advantage Multiformula Capsules. These are bariatric-specific capsules that are quick to absorb. After weight-loss surgery, you have to be picky because over-the-counter capsules/tablets/gels are not as well absorbed in the small pouch and do not have appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals for a bariatric patient. With a bariatric-specific capsule, however, you don’t have to worry.
One more option you may consider: the bariatric advantage multi EA. This vitamin provides you with the recommended dosage of the majority of your vitamins and iron. You will just need to add in a separate probiotic, and calcium citrate. Have other questions on vitamin options–call/email your dietitian for more specific recommendations.
In the meantime, let’s go a bit more in-depth on this topic to help answer the question: are gummy vitamins bad for you or not?
Pros and Cons of Gummy Vitamins
Vitamins are crucial to health and well-being but they are not the only thing or necessarily the most important thing. The Food and Drug Administration will tell you proper nutrition and a proper diet provide the bulk of vitamins and minerals you and your body need. Gummy vitamins work just fine for some people as part of a balanced diet, but may not be the best option for people who have weight loss surgery.
It’s important to remember that the best resource for information on your particular health and well-being challenges is your doctor. Follow their recommendations and keep them informed of any changes to your post-op plans.
Vitamins are definitely one of the most important topics to discuss. As we explained above, gummy vitamins can often contain too much sugar and not enough vitamins and minerals. This may not necessarily mean that gummy vitamins are bad for you, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of gummy vitamins against the alternatives we discussed above.
Patients will be on a consistent regimen of vitamin intake after their weight-loss surgery. And regular medical care and checkups can help pinpoint when a patient is showing symptoms of vitamin deficiency.
We recommend avoiding gummy vitamins. But we also recommend avoiding other kinds of vitamins after bariatric surgery, including vitamin patches and vitamins in pill form with a coating.
Those last two types of vitamins along with gummy vitamins are not absorbed as readily as those your WeightWise team will recommend for you. This can lead to low vitamin levels.
Instead, we like to reinforce the idea of taking vitamins that are either chewable or in capsule form.
Why Vitamins are Important
It is clear and well-understood that vitamin deficiencies can lead to a host of health problems. Our bodies are designed to function at peak performance when we have all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that we need throughout the day.
Vitamins and minerals do so much for your body and your mind. They regulate your metabolism and appetite, assist in thyroid and brain activity, and provide us with energy. Your body without vitamins? Here are some of the health effects (although this list is not comprehensive):
- Vitamin B1: weakness, swelling, nausea, short-term memory loss
- Vitamin B12: fatigue, anemia, shortness of breath
- Calcium: bone loss (osteoporosis), weakness, cramps
- Vitamin D: bone loss (osteoporosis), cramps, liver issues
- Vitamin A: eyesight issues, problems with wound healing
- Iron: fatigue, anemia, hair loss, decreased immune function
- Vitamin E: neurological problems, muscle weakness, anemia
- Vitamin K: bruising or increased bleeding
- Zinc: rashes, decreased immune function, infertility, hair loss
- Copper: anemia, pale skin, cholesterol problems
Be sure to speak with your doctor and dietitian about the options available to you after bariatric surgery. Remember, some procedures, including the gastric bypass and duodenal switch, are restrictive and malabsorptive. You will need to take vitamin supplements unless you want to risk malnourishment.
Weight Loss Surgery In Oklahoma
We are here to help. At WeightWise, we can help you with any questions you may have about gummy vitamins and bariatric surgery, diet plans, and more. We have plenty of sugar-free chewable vitamins available in our shop. Online ordering can ship to your door at our new online storefront!
We want you to be at your best in mind, body, and spirit. So please do give us a call if you have any questions or concerns.