Why take a Multivitamin Post-Bariatric Surgery...

Taking regular supplements can be a pain especially if you already take a range of medications. So sometimes when you're told to add a daily multivitamin to the mix it's yet another thing to remember to take...

So is it really all that necessary? I mean you may be eating the healthiest you ever have so surely that's enough...right?

Unfortunately no. While you may be eating healthier which is fantastic and will help towards getting good nutrition and weight loss (as well as weight maintain later), there are several reasons why it is essential to take your daily multivitamin.

4 Reasons Why your Should Take a Multivitamin

  • You have a smaller stomach so are eating a much smaller amount of food. Reduced food intake while great for weight loss, does makes it harder to get all the nutrients you need each day. Long-term this can lead to nutrient deficiencies that can not only affect health but also influence weight.
  • Malabsorption: some vitamins and minerals may not be absorbed as well post-surgery so your requirements can be higher than before.
  • Your eating regime: just because you've had weight loss surgery and are losing weight doesn't mean you are necessarily eating healthier rather you are eating less or less kilojoules / calories. You need to consume a balance of foods from all the healthy food groups daily with your reduced food intake to help you get the nutrients you need daily and this can be difficult especially initially when your food intake is smaller.
  • You may have certain food intolerances or be unable to eat certain foods post-surgery. This will vary from patient to patient whereby some patients will have no problems with any foods while others may not be able to consume red meat, eggs, breads or certain fruit or vegetables.

What if I feel ok and my last blood tests were fine?

Just because you feel ok doesn't mean you are getting everything you need, some deficiencies develop over time and won't show up in blood tests initially. Long-term insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals can not only affect your weight loss and maintenance but lead to deficiencies and poor health e.g. anaemia and osteoporosis. Vitamins and minerals also play essential roles in your body to ensure it works properly some of their duties includes regulation of appetite and hunger, metabolism including that of fat and sugar, proper adrenal and thyroid function etc.

Having bariatric surgery shouldn't only be about losing weight and looking great but also about getting healthy and reducing risk of long-term health problems. So it's essential to take the multivitamin recommended by your bariatric dietitian or surgeon.

Which multivitamin should I take...?

Not all multivitamins are created equal so you need to take one that contains the full range of vitamins and minerals at high levels. Taking a multivitamin especially designed for bariatric surgery is a good idea. Most of these come in a chewable format so that they can be consumed in the first 7 weeks post surgery when you are going through the liquid, puree and soft food phases. Once on the Full solid phase, it is still recommended to stay on a bariatric multivitamins as these are special designed for those that have had the surgery, providing the vitamins and minerals you need each day. While there are other good multivitamins out there, if you aren't consuming the bariatric range, speak to your dietitian or surgical team about the best choices.

Can you recommend some brands?

If you are in Australia, there are 4 great options to choose from (only need one):

Surgical Nutrients - Bx Vitality (berry flavoured chewable tablet) - 1 per day
Nutrichew (orange flavoured chewable tablet) - 2 per day
BN Multi (orange flavoured chewable tablet) - 2 per day
NutriFuel (orange flavoured powder you dissolve in water) - sachet per day (add to liquid and shake)

Once on the full solid diet e.g. around 7 weeks after surgery, there is a bariatric multivitamins in capsule form available:

If you'd like to order these, click on the above links or check out the products tab.