Vitamin Craziness

Ask 20 bariatric patients about their supplementation, and you’ll get 20 different answers. For some people, Flintstones vitamins are all it takes. For others, it’s a $40 pill every 5 minutes all day long. Everyone swears their labs are great, everyone is alive and kickin’, so who knows.

My inclination is to follow what some of my favorite post-ops from the boards are doing. People like MelissaF and PamT seem to have their stuff together. They sound like they’ve done the research, compared costs, figured it out. Even still, their regiments are different, so who’s to say?

I took a survey of vitamin schedules on the OH boards. I asked on both the RNY board and the WLS graduates board. Because the answers varied so much, I went back to the ASBS for their recommendations. I’ve read this report before, but it’s nice to get a refresher every now and then.

The report reminds me of things I know, but often forget. Like the fact that vitamin and mineral levels affect “appretite, hunger, nutrient absorption, metabolic rate, fat and sugar metabolism, thyroid and adrenal function, energy storage, glucose homeostasis, neural activities” and so on. Thus, one reason to avoid junk food is calories and weight gain. The more important reason to avoid junk food, though, is because it keeps me from eating something else, something nutritious, something that helps maintain countless bodily functions. I need to re-learn that every now and then!

Table 5 of the report shows all of the vitamins and the names of the specific blood tests that can help determine whether levels are okay. I plan on taking this with me next time I see my primary doctor!

So based on the ASBS research, post-op proximal RNYs need the following supplementation:

  • A high-potency vitamin containing 100% of daily value for at least 2/3 of nutrients. And we’re to take TWO of these to get 200% recommended daily value. Should have 18mg iron, 400 units folic acid, and should contain selenium and zinc. Complete children’s formulas should be okay. Take with food. Each brand should be evaluated for absorption and bioavailability. Progress to whole tablet/capsule as tolerated.
  • 1000 units of sublingual B12 daily
  • 1500-2000 units of calcium citrate plus D3 daily split into 500-600 mg doses. Also eat calcium-rich food, for a total of 1700 or more units of calcium daily.
  • Additional iron (18-27mg) for a total of 50-100mg elemental iron daily. C may enhance absorbtion.
  • B-complex is optional, but 1 serving per day is recommended.

Here’s what I’m currently taking:

  • Two bariatric advantage multi’s per day. It meets the above requirements except for iron.
  • Two bariatric advantage calcium citrate lozenges per day. This equals 200 IU of D3, 20mcg of K, 800 mg calcium citrate, and 20mg magnesium.
  • One bariatric advangtage chewable iron per day. 29mg with 60mg C.
  • One sublingual B12 per day.   Mine is 500 units daily.

And here’s how it’s going to change:

  • I’m going to add 3 citrical petites every day. That will give me a grand total of 1745 mg calcium citrate. I may do 4 citrical petites for a while to make up for lost time! I’ll finish the bariatric advantage calcium citrate that I have and then probably begin using citrical petite exclusively… the bariatric advantage come out to 15 cents each whereas citrical is about 7 cents each for the same nutrition. But the bariatric advantage ones are so yummy!
  • Keep the bariatric advantage chewable iron before bed… I haven’t been able to find another substitute for the type of iron we need, so I’m going to stick with the bariatric brand for now.
  • Double sublingual B12. I use the store brand.
  • Add B-complex. I’ll grab a store brand as long as I can find a small enough tablet.
  • For the multivitamin, I’m going to finish up what I have and then switch to a cheaper “complete” formula like centrum silver, flintstone’s complete, etc. There’s nothing special about the bariatric formula, it just costs more.
  • Add dry D3 from vitalady. Better safe than sorry I say.

As for timing, this will take some adjusting. It’s a lot more pills!

  • breakfast: first multi, dry D3, citrical, B12
  • snack: calcium citrate
  • Lunch: second multi, citrical, B12
  • snack: calcium citrate
  • Dinner: citrical, b-complex
  • Bedtime: iron/c

Am I missing anything?? How is this similar or different to your routine?


One Response

  1. Hey – on the vitamin D… which is the one I’ve had the most problem with – I’ve had a lot of success bringing my level back up with a product by Twin Labs… it’s a sublingual D3+K supplement – and it’s tangerine flavored. I take it with my sublingual B12 – which I use the same people and I think it’s cherry flavored… so I get like a little fruit party when I take them. 🙂 Just an idea.

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