Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do you formulate your vitamin A using 50% pre-formed and 50% beta-carotene in your multivitamin?

We believe that by doing this, we are optimizing 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. It is possible that following surgery, your body lacks the ability to convert all that it needs. Hence, our 50/50 approach.

2. Why do I need special bariatric vitamins after gastric bypass 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.

3. Why are your levels of vitamin D higher than most others? Is it safe to take this much vitamin D?

All of our products are developed by bariatric dietitians, so you can be sure that they are safe. We continue to see an increased number of vitamin D deficiencies across the country following bariatric surgery so we have opted to create a protocol with high vitamin D levels (yet well below the upper limits set by the FDA).

4. Why do you put so much B-12 into your multivitamin?

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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. Why do you separate your iron supplement for duodenal switch, sleeve gastrectomy, and gastric bypass patients?

The way that our protocol works, patients will usually take calcium in the morning and late afternoon / early evening along with their multivitamin. Since calcium and iron need to be taken at least 2-4 hours apart because they will compete for absorption, it is necessary to separate the iron from the multivitamin.

13. Why do you add vitamin C to your 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.

14. Will your chewable iron stain my teeth?

Some will, but ours will not. We have formulated our chewable iron by using a coated ferrous fumarate as the form. The coating is just enough to prevent staining but it will not have any problem breaking down in your gastric pouch following surgery.

15, I am a gastric bypass patient and I had surgery 3 months ago, can I take capsules now?

We always recommend that prior to making changes in your supplement protocol that you first speak with your bariatric surgeon or dietitian. From an absorption standpoint, our capsules and tablets are as effective as our chewables.

16. I love your chewables, do I have to switch to capsules?

Of course not. Our entire program is designed to provide you options so that you can make the final decision on what supplement form is right for you. Keep in mind that our capsules are less expensive and can end up saving you a few dollars each month. Not quite enough to offset the rising gasoline prices, but we are working on it.

17. 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 our multivitamin in a capsule (our Capsule is coming soon) form but you prefer your calcium and iron in a chewable form, that is perfectly ok. Our products are created to be almost identical in content between our capsules, tablet and chewable forms.