Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Bariatric surgery?

WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY
Medical Weight Loss
Weight Loss after Bariatric surgery is due to restriction, malabsorption, and malnutrition. The results are fast initially due to the physical inability to consume enough calories to maintain the current weight, so stored fat/ muscle is then used to keep your body functioning. A starvation state will mean the loss of precious muscle tissue and bone density, and retention of adipose tissue or fat, so correct nutrition and supplements are important for life.
Gastric Bypass

Gastric bypass surgery refers to a surgical procedure in which the stomach is divided into a small upper pouch and a much larger lower "remnant" pouch and then the small intestine is rearranged to connect to both.
Duodenal Switch

The duodenal switch (DS) procedure, also known as biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD-DS) or gastric reduction duodenal switch (GRDS), is a weight loss surgery procedure that is composed of a restrictive and a malabsorptive aspect.

Sleeve Gastrectomy

The sleeve gastrectomy (SG) is a restrictive weight loss operation. The outer part of the stomach is removed and the shape of the stomach is changed from a sac to a long narrow tube (sleeve). The gastric volume is reduced from approximately 2L to 100-150 mL

Adjustable Gastric Band

A laparoscopic adjustable gastric band is an inflatable silicone device placed around the top portion of the stomach to treat obesity, intended to slow consumption of food and thus reduce the amount of food consumed.

Intragastric balloon

The intragastric balloon is an inflatable medical device that is temporarily placed into the stomach to reduce weight. It is marketed to provide weight loss when diet and exercise have failed and surgery is not wanted or not recommended.

 

Listen to the podcasts:

What is Bariatric Surgery? What can I expect?

Ensuring long term success after Weight Loss Surgery

2. Why do I need special bariatric vitamins after weight loss surgery?

Bariatric vitamins are formulated specifically to meet the needs of a patient after undergoing weight loss surgery. The amounts and the forms of these supplements are also important and play a critical role in your long-term health. Bariatric surgery patients simply have a much greater need for vitamins and minerals than people who have not had surgery.

Absorption of nutrients
It's well known: you take in nutrients via your food that are essential for the health of all of your body.
Your ability to absorb nutrients is heavily affected after surgery, and you now have very limited space coupled for food - and it's very difficult to take in enough nutrition through food alone to keep you healthy for the rest of your life.

Supplements help you to bridge this gap and prevent chronic conditions that are linked to lack of nutrition.

The role of Nutrients (Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids)
 

Nutrients in food and supplements all have varied but essential roles in protecting the body from disease, as well as creating an overall feeling of health and wellness.

Vitamins:
B Group - Healthy development of Red and White blood cells, Energy Production, healthy mood, memory, and clear thinking, hormonal balance.
Contribute to a healthy immune system, protect DNA from damage.
Vitamin A - Healthy skin and eyes, night vision.
Vitamin C - Aid wound healing, maintain skin elasticity, protect immune system
Vitamin D - Protects bones by aiding calcium absorption, protects immune system, prevents autoimmune disorders

Minerals:
Magnesium -
Relax, Sleep, Reduce stress and tension, improve recovery, assist in bone density
Potassium -
Regulate heart rate, maintain electrolyte balance, muscle contraction regulate hart rhythm
Phosphorus -
An essential mineral primarily used for growth and repair of body cells and tissues.

Calcium - Is a mineral that is necessary for life. In addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium helps our blood clot, nerves send messages and muscles contract, aids weight loss
Iron -
energy production, transport of oxygen, healthy immune system, red blood cell health, memory, mood. 

Amino Acids - (Protein) healthy hair, skin nails, healthy mood, maintain lean muscle tissue, increase metabolic rate, curb hunger, maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

So you can see - deficiency of one or two of these nutrients, and many systems of the body can be affected
B group deficiency, for example, effects your Immune system, Endocrine, Energy Production, Brain and Nervous system red blood cells and your skin...

Macro and Micro
Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are also called macronutrients. Your body needs many of these because these substances function as fuel for your body. In addition, they are also necessary for the development and maintenance of your muscles, hormones, organs, enzymes and your blood.

Vitamins and minerals are also referred to as micronutrients. Vitamins and minerals do not provide energy but are necessary for many processes in your body.

3. Why are high B-12 levels so important?

Vitamin B-12 is a critical water soluble vitamin that is difficult to absorb following bariatric surgery due to decreased levels of gastric acid and a substance called intrinsic factor. In order for your body to absorb the necessary levels, we need to provide a very large amount by comparison. At this level, research has shown that the vast majority of patients will not need an additional sublingual.

4. I am a lap band patient and I would like to mix chewables and capsules, is this ok?

Absolutely! Regardless of your surgery, if you would like to take a multivitamin in a capsule form but you prefer your calcium and iron in a chewable form, that is perfectly ok.

5. Why should a multi-vitamin include Vitamin A using 50% pre-formed and 50% beta-carotene in your multivitamin?

To optimize your ability to absorb the necessary amount of Vitamin A that your body needs. When you take Vitamin A as a preformed (retinyl acetate or palmitate), your body can use it immediately but it is possible to get too much. When you take vitamin A as beta-carotene, your body must first convert the beta-carotene before it can be used.

6. I have heard that niacin can cause a negative reaction, is this true?

Yes, this is why it is important to know what to look for on a supplement label. You should always make sure that the niacin listed on the label says as niacinamide.

7. What about lap band vitamins?

The question is also often posed regarding patients that have had an adjustable gastric band (lap band). While their needs are not quite as drastic, these patients also require vitamin and mineral supplementation. After this surgery, the volume of food being consumed will drop dramatically and with that, the level of nutrition. And by taking a complete bariatric vitamin as well as calcium, you can be sure that you are getting the appropriate level of supplementation and that they are in the proper forms.

8. Why is thiamin so important?

Thiamin (vitamin B1) is a water soluble vitamin that is critical for your central nervous system and it is also a vitamin that cannot be stored in the body for extended periods of time. So it is important that thiamin is a part of your daily supplement in order to replenish your body's supply. Low levels of thiamin may lead to potentially life threatening complications.

9. Why do you have so many different things in your calcium?

While calcium is critical, this mineral alone is not enough to provide strong healthy bones. Calcium cannot be absorbed without Vitamin D. And magnesium, zinc, copper, Vitamin K, and boron are all necessary for long term bone health.

10. Why is calcium citrate better than calcium carbonate?

All forms of calcium require that gastric acid be present for calcium to be properly absorbed. Calcium carbonate simply requires a much higher level of gastric acid to be present, which can be a problem, especially for a person that has had a malabsorptive procedure. Calcium citrate is actually 2.5 times more readily absorbed than calcium carbonate.

11. Should I only take citrate forms of minerals - what about magnesium?

In most cases citrate or chelated forms are the best because they are easier for your body to absorb. Magnesium is best absorbed in the citrate form.

12. What is an amino acid chelate?

Chelate is a term that simply means attached to. When an item is listed as an amino acid chelate, it means that we have bound those molecules to this. When minerals are chelated, it is easier for the body to absorb them.

13. Why should Vitamin C be added to iron?

In order for iron to properly break down and absorb, it needs to be in an acidic environment. Including vitamin C in our formulation ensures that the acid required for this process will be present.