Are Liquid Multivitamins Good For Gastric Bypass?
Gastric bypass surgery falls under the broader category of bariatric surgeries, also known as weight loss surgeries. The purpose of this type of surgery is to facilitate weight loss by decreasing how much your stomach can hold as well as how many calories and nutrients it is able to absorb (1). This is done by altering the structure of your stomach in order to help you feel fuller for a longer amount of time.
Following a procedure like this that drastically impacts your diet, your body may experience deficiency in several nutrients as it adjusts to the changes. Multivitamins are designed to fill in these gaps by supplementing your regular diet with a daily dose of micronutrients, typically the essential vitamins and a few important trace minerals. Bariatric supplements in particular may contain somewhat higher doses than typical supplements. A liquid multivitamin is usually recommended for bariatric patients as it showcases much better absorption rates than pills. In this article, we will discuss what makes liquids superior when it comes to absorption as well as some other details as to what you can expect when taking supplements after your bariatric procedure.
Liquids Provide Better Absorption
One of the greatest advantages to taking a liquid multivitamin as opposed to solid forms like chewables and capsules is its absorption. Solid supplements have an added barrier that encases their ingredients. Before your body can begin to absorb the nutrients of your supplement, it must first break down that barrier to access them via digestion. Digestion majorly slows down the absorption process and may result in a partial amount of your supplement leaving your body before it can be absorbed. Liquid supplements, on the other hand, eliminate the hassle of digestion entirely. The nutrients inside a liquid multivitamin will already be present in their liquid forms, meaning they are ready to be absorbed by your body as soon as you swallow your dosage. For this reason, you may want to consider a liquid multivitamin as your bariatric multivitamin, as it can provide you with faster and more efficient absorption than other options.
After gastric bypass surgery, you will obviously be eating less than the amount you were able to consume prior to surgery. As your body adjusts to your diet, a multivitamin becomes extremely important for filling in the nutritional gaps that form in the meantime. Rapid absorption, then, is an essential aspect of bariatric vitamins because you simply cannot risk your body consistently missing out on part of your multivitamin dosage.
You may also begin to experience difficulty swallowing after surgery or your stomach may become more sensitive than usual. A liquid multivitamin easily quells both these issues, as it is much easier to swallow than a pill and can be mixed into drinks to avoid any mineral-y tastes that other supplements, especially chewables, may have.
Important Nutrients After Gastric Bypass
There are a number of nutrients that are particularly important following gastric bypass and other bariatric surgeries. You should follow the instructions of your physician when it comes to taking bariatric supplements, but you can most likely expect to take a multivitamin or other form of supplement that contains vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D.
Like the other B complex vitamins, vitamin B12 plays an important role in the metabolism on a cellular level, helping convert food into the energy that powers your cells. Your doctor will likely recommend you a supplement containing vitamin B12 following various types of bariatric surgeries because these procedures have the potential to negatively affect how your body utilizes B12 during digestion (2). And, without proper amounts of this vital nutrient, your metabolism, along with your energy levels and many other important functions affected by the B vitamins, may suffer.
Calcium & Vitamin D
Calcium, a trace mineral, is essential for building and maintaining strong bones. Lacking calcium in your diet after bariatric surgery may result in bone loss, so it is recommended by many physicians as a supplement (3). Vitamin D works hand in hand alongside calcium when it comes to bone health, as it is a key component of calcium absorption. For that reason, you may also need to take a supplement containing vitamin D or a multivitamin containing both nutrients and vitamin B12 as well.
- “Gastric Bypass Surgery.” UCLA Health, 2022, http://surgery.ucla.edu/bariatrics-gastric-bypass.
- “About Post-Surgery Bariatric Vitamins & Bariatric Supplements.” UPMC, 2022, https://www.upmc.com/services/bariatrics/surgery-process/post-surgery/diet/vitamin-supplements.
- “Life After Bariatric Surgery.” UCSF Health, 2022, https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/life-after-bariatric-surgery.