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Gastric Bypass Patients Need Nutritional Supplements

Posted Mar 24 2009 3:14pm

If you're contemplating gastric bypass- or if you've already had it- you'd be wise to bone up on your nutritional supplements. A recent review of all the literature on bariatric surgery found that of all the surgical procedures used to reduce weight, gastric bypass resulted in the most serious post-surgical nutritional deficiencies. The authors conclude that nutritional supplementation is absolutely necessary.

The most common micronutrients found to be deficient were:

  • vitamin B12
  • calcium
  • vitamin D
  • thiamine (vitamin B1)
  • folic acid
  • iron
  • zinc
  • magnesium

Gastric bypass is the most popular weight loss surgery in America but it is a double edged sword. While it can reduce some of the risks associated with obesity, it also presents a whole new set of health challenges, and is hardly without side effects or complications including blood clots, leaking, hernia and a fairly high rate of death (1 per 200-300 surgeries). It's not a decision that should be made lightly.

Since you'll have to eat very differently after the surgery, why not try eating that way first? Reduce calories to target weight times 10, trim your nutritional budget of all "non-essential" items (like processed carbs, sugar, soda, and junk foods) and fill your plate with protein and vegetables. You might be surprised at the results!

And if you do have the surgery- or if you've already had it- make sure you're supplementing with vitamins, omega-3 fats and that every calorie you do consume gives you the most nutritional bang for the buck.

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