So how do vitamins keep me healthy?
Vitamin A is most notable for the role that it plays in night vision, it is also important for maintaining healthy skin.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that fights early signs of aging.
Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin, assists in the healthy formation of new cells.
Consuming a diet high in antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, and E) is a powerful way to naturally slow the aging process.
Common Food Sources of Vitamin A
Liver (beef, pork), carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, butter, spinach, leafy vegetables, pumpkin, collard greens, cantaloupe melon, eggs.
Signs Of Deficiency:
Frequent and persistent skin infections
Acne, dry and scaly skin
Throat infections or mouth ulcers
Dandruff and dry hair
Sore eyelids and in extreme cases poor vision in the dark (night blindness)
Alo part of the power packing antioxidant nutrients, , Vitamin C is well known for its immune boosting capabilities. Vitamin C is the precursor to collagen, making it essential for healthy skin, wound healing and formation of scar tissue.
Signs of deficiency:
Slow wound healing
Dry and splitting hair
Dry red spots on the skin
Rough, dry, scaly skin
Food Sources of Vitamin C
Red and green capsicum
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver and fatty tissues and can be obtained from sunlight, or through supplementation - ideally a combination of both when a deficiency is present.
Vitamin D helps calcium absorption, as is a known protector of bone density.
Vitamin D is somewhat different than other vitamins because our body makes most of our vitamin D on its own, rather than solely relying on food sources.
After surgery, 2000IU vitamin D is recommended per day, to maintain levels within recommended range
According to research, vitamin D deficiency symptoms can be linked to the following health problems:Osteoporosis
High blood pressure
So how much should I have in my blood?
As a general guide, Osteoporosis Australia recommends most people should have a vitamin D level of at least 50 nmol/L at the end of winter, which means people may have levels 10 – 20 nmol/L higher during summer (60-70 nmol/L).
30-50 means that you will want to be supplementing vitamin D, working on spending more time in the sun and adding in vitamin D rich foods to your diet.
<30 means that you are very deficient and you will definitely want to take immediate action to bring those levels up!
Vitamin D and food
Food cannot provide an adequate amount of vitamin D and most people are reliant on sun exposure to reach recommended levels.
A limited number of foods contain small amounts of vitamin D:
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and herring,
Liver, egg yolks, and some fortified products
Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
A water-soluble B-complex vitamin that aids the body in converting carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for proper heart and muscle function. Proper supplementation is most critical in the first several weeks after bariatric surgery or at any point that persistent vomiting may occur.
Thiamin deficiency is a potential hazard for surgical weight loss patients.
Since your diet is greatly restricted and your body cannot store large amounts of thiamin. Deficiencies can be very serious and sometimes irreversible.
BN Multi Supplements provide 800% of the RDI for Thiamin, which is well above the levels needed to maintain proper health.
Common Food Sources of thiamin
Green peas, Spinach, Liver, Beef, Pork, Navy beans, Nuts, Pinto beans, bananas, soybeans, whole-grains, bread, yeast.
Signs of Thiamine Deficiency:
- Poor appetite
- Ongoing digestive problems such as diarrhea
- Nerve damage
- Nerve inflammation (neuritis)
- Decrease in short-term memory
- Muscle weakness
- Mental changes such as apathy or depression
- Cardiovascular effects such as an enlarged heart
Vitamin B12 deficiency is believed to be one of the most common nutrient deficiencies, especially among people taking stomach acid-altering medications or procedures, and the elderly.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can onset quickly;
fatigue and weakness,
poor moods, and
pins and needles / tingling / numbness
Symptoms can replicate those of MS - tingling in the fingers or toes numbness, fatigue, poor memory.
- Organ meats, such as beef and chicken liver
- Wild-caught fish, including salmon, herring, mackerel, tuna, trout and sardines (also great sources of other vital nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids)
- Organic dairy products, including probiotic-rich yogurt or raw milk
- Pasture-raised poultry, including turkey or chicken
- Grass-fed beef and lamb
Also known as folic acid, this B-complex vitamin plays an important role in the production and maintenance of new cells. It is especially important to women who may become pregnant to reduce the risk of premature births and some birth defects.
A common effect of a folate deficiency is anemia, which can be associated with fatigue, muscle weakness, or dizziness. One concern associated with folate deficiency is that it may actually mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency, so it is important that your healthcare provider is monitoring both of these levels.
BN Multivitamins deliver 800 mcg per day, which is the level that most bariatric professionals agree is appropriate for maintaining halthy levels of folate, whilst not interfering with B12
Common Food Sources of folate
Chicken liver, fortified breakfast cereal, soy flour, beef liver, chickpeas, pinto beans, spinach, lima beans, papaya, avocado, wheat germ, asparagus, orange juice, whole wheat flour, peas, white rice, dry roasted peanuts, wheat flour, broccoli, crunchy peanut butter, banana.
Signs of Folate deficiency
- Poor immune function; frequently getting sick
- Chronic low energy (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
- Poor digestion; issues like constipation, bloating and IBS
- Developmental problems during pregnancy and infancy, including stunted growth
- Canker sores in the mouth and a tender, swollen tongue
- Changes in mood, including irritability
- Pale skin
- Premature hair graying
The most abundant mineral in the human body, calcium is critical to your overall health. Known primarily for its purpose in ensuring healthy bones and teeth, it is also needed for muscle contraction, hormone control, and for sending messages throughout the nervous system.
Calcium is also known to help facilitate weight loss. Early symptoms of deficiency can include muscle cramps, facial spasms, and brittle nails.
Long-term effects include brittle bone disease or osteoporosis.
Calcium is best paired with Vitamin D, and Magnesium is also recommended both for its benefit to bone health but also to help reduce the risk of constipation.
Common Food Sources of calcium
Milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, and green veg (but in small quanitites only)
Signs of Deficiency
- Osteopenia or Osteoporosis
- Tooth decay
- Muscle tension
- Poor appetite
- High blood pressure
- Painful/aching bones
One of the most prevailing deficiencies following bariatric surgery is that of iron. Many patients are deficient prior to surgery, making catch up after surgery quite a task.
The most important function of iron is to carry oxygen in red blood cells to muscles. It is also essential to the production of energy.
Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia.
Neglecting to maintain iron can lead to the need for infusion therapy - a costly, time-consuming process that can impact on work and family life; so prevention is the best medicine here!
Iron is best absorbed in the presence of Vitamin C - and is blocked by caffeine - so a two-hour window either side of taking your vitamins is recommended.
Food sources of iron
Good sources of iron like grass-fed meat products, organic free-range poultry, cage-free eggs, organic (ideally unpasteurized) dairy products like raw milk, plenty of different fruits and vegetables, beans, and, on occasion, whole grains.
Signs of Deficiency
- Chronic fatigue or low energy
- Pale or yellowing of the skin
- Shortness of breath
- Abnormal heartbeats
- Signs of a hormone imbalance
- Trouble exercising
- Muscle weakness
- Changes in appetite
- Trouble getting good sleep
- Changes in weight
- A cough
- Trouble concentrating, learning, remembering things
- Sores on your mouth or tongue
- Mood changes
A key mineral necessary for building healthy bones, healthy nervous system, and regulating body temperature.
Symptoms associated with deficiency include muscle cramps, muscle pain, constipation, and headaches.
Insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity, irritability and panic attacks may also be attributed to a magnesium deficiency. Much like calcium, the form of magnesium is also important.
Magnesium citrate is more readily absorbed than other forms. Our soils are quite low in magnesium due to over farming, so supplemental magnesium is often required to maintain healthy levels .
Common Food Sources of magnesium
Halibut fish, almonds, cashews, soybeans, spinach, mixed nuts, shredded wheat cereal, oatmeal, baked potato, peanuts, peanut butter, wheat bran, black-eyed peas, yogurt, bran flakes, baked beans, brown rice, avocado, kidney beans, pinto beans, banana, milk.
Signs of deficiency:
High Blood Pressure
type 2 Diabetes