A Growing Population at Risk of Nutritional Deficiencies
Over 200,000 people a year have undergone bariatric surgical procedures in the United States in recent years, and it is estimated that the total number of people who have undergone such obesity procedures in the U.S. will exceed 1 million in the very near future. (1,2) The medical and scientific literature recognizes this population is at serious risk of developing nutritional deficiencies. In fact, it is estimated that nutritional deficiencies are unrecognized in approximately 50% of people who undergo gastric bypass procedures. (3)
Why are Bariatric Procedures Associated with Nutritional Deficiencies?
Bariatric surgical procedures partition or divide the stomach, reducing the size of the stomach by over 90%. This reduction in stomach size leads to reduced food intake—the average person who undergoes such a procedure consumes only 600–900 calories daily after the procedure. (2) This reduced food intake in turn leads to a reduced intake of nutrients, often making it difficult for this population to consume the recommended daily intake of nutrients.
Nutritional deficiencies also develop due to the fundamental change to the digestive tract involved in these procedures. Digestive physiology is altered to bypass not only much of the stomach but also the parts of the small intestine (such as the duodenum and jejunum) where vitamins and minerals are absorbed, leading to increased risk of deficiencies. As a result, researchers have concluded that lifelong continuous use of a multivitamin supplement is necessary for people who have undergone bariatric procedures. (4)
What are some of the Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies in this Population?
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in cell growth and replication, and nervous system health function—and is the most common nutritional deficiency in patients who have had gastric bypass surgery. (3)
Other B vitamins including thiamine and methylated folate—are important to the health and function of brain and nerve cells, as well as the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The methylated form of folate offers a direct source of L-5-methyl-tetrahydrofolate, the active metabolite found in the body after intake of both supplemental and food folate. Research has shown ingesting folate in its most active form can support optimal uptake by the body.
Zinc plays a key role in the health and function of the brain and central nervous system.
Iron is a key part of many proteins and enzymes in the body, and an essential component of oxygen transport to cells.
Vitamin C helps with iron absorption.
Calcium is important to bone and skeletal health. The absorption and metabolism of calcium requires vitamin D.
Vitamin D is important to bone health, mineral metabolism, and to the health and function of the immune system.
All of these deficiencies can be avoided by supplementation with a high-quality, bioavailable multivitamin supplement. Bioavailability is a crucial consideration in this population, as explained below. With adequate supplementation, people who have undergone bariatric procedures can avoid nutritional deficiencies and the associated compromises to the health and function of vital bodily systems.
Not All Multivitamins Are Equally Effective In This Population
Research has determined that even with ongoing multivitamin supplementation, a large percentage of people who have undergone bariatric procedures still develop nutritional deficiencies. (2) A possible explanation for this, which is not discussed by the literature, is the delivery system of most multivitamin supplements—pills. The altered digestive physiology of people who have undergone bariatric procedures may not be able to adequately break down and absorb pills. Unlike pills, Oxylent’s effervescent delivery system ensures that the body absorbs the essential nutrients it needs! The revolutionary effervescent delivery system of Oxylent multivitamin supplement drink offers nearly 100% bioavailability—a crucial consideration for the unique digestive demands of this population.
Oxylent multivitamin supplement drink may be an ideal option for people who have undergone bariatric procedures. Oxylent provides a full spectrum panel of nutrients, including many of those listed above as particularly important for people who have undergone bariatric procedures—Vitamin B12, Thiamine, methylated Folate, Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C. It also provides additional antioxidants, electrolytes, amino acids, and enzymes to further support optimal health, energy, and wellness, and is third-party tested for purity and potency.
- Taylor K. Metabolic and bariatric surgery fact sheet. Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery website. http://www.asbs.org/Newsite07/media/asmbs_fs_surgery.pdf.
- Matrana MR, Davis WE. South Med J 2009;102(10):1025–31.
- John S, Hoegerl C. J Am Osteopath Assoc2009;109(11):601–4.
- Colossi FG, Casagrande DS, Chatkin R, et al. Compromises to the health and function of vital bodily systems. Obes Surg 2008;18:187–191.