Everyone knows that taking vitamins benefits your health. However, it is less often known why this is true. In order to function properly, your body needs the correct balance of vitamins and minerals. These vitamins not only help to regulate some of the body’s most important processes, they also have an impact on weight. Vitamins regulate brain activity, hunger, appetite, nutrient absorption, energy storage, and metabolic rate, which all directly affect body weight.
Vitamin A, essential for overall good health, promotes growth, the immune system, reproduction, and vision. The two most common sources of Vitamin A are retinol and beta-carotene.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
The body does not store Thiamine; therefore it needs to be consumed each day. Thiamine is essential for the conversion of food into energy. It is also essential for brain function and nerve function.
A vitamin B12 deficiency is the most common deficiency among people who have undergone bariatric surgery. While about 5% of patients have this deficiency prior to surgery, about 13% have it once surgery is complete. The B12 deficiency tends to occur due to the inadequate digestion of vitamin B12.
Vitamin C should be taken to promote the healing of the wounds created during surgery. A deficiency in vitamin C can lead to the failure of the tissues in the body to repair themselves.
Calcium is a mineral found in a variety of foods and is a key player in the maintenance and development of strong bones and healthy teeth. It is very important that bariatric patients use nutritional supplements that their systems are able to absorb easily, especially Calcium Citrate, which is designed for altered digestive systems. Without Calcium Citrate, bariatric patients may experience a deficiency that could lead to long-term complications and compromised health.
Vitamin D promotes bone and cell growth and reduces inflammation. This is very important to the healing of bariatric patients. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are frequent bone fractures, fatigue, and muscle weakness. Vitamin D is especially vital to take because often you will not show symptoms of being deficient until your levels are dangerously low.
Folate (also known as B9 or Folic Acid) is one of the building blocks that is necessary for all human cells to grow. It creates red blood cells and neurons. Folate can be found in various foods, including:
Bread • Cereal • Flour • Pasta • Rice • Legumes • Lean Meats • Eggs • Nuts • Seeds • Soy products
Iron is an essential nutrient found in vegetables and red meat. Although it is unclear exactly how iron is absorbed, the small intestine appears to play a large role in the process. Because bariatric surgery may interfere with iron absorption, it is important for patients to take an iron supplement to avoid becoming anemic.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an integral role in blood clotting and bone health. What is alarming is that most bariatric specific multivitamins completely omit vitamin K! Cases of vitamin K deficiencies in adults with unaltered intestinal tracts is rare; however, for those who have undergone bariatric surgery, the intestinal tract is altered.