Know Your Options for Bariatric Vitamins

My Bariatric Life | March 18, 2015

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UCSF Medical Center recommends a variety of ways for bariatric patients to take their post-surgery vitamins. This is because patients aren’t as able to absorb whole pills as easily, and pills may have difficulty passing though the new, altered digestive system. Use this guide to get familiar with some of the different types of vitamins available.

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Chewable bariatric vitamins

Iron supplements are essential after bariatric surgery. Chewable tablets have a unique form of chelated iron, that helps with maximum absorption without gastrointestinal irritation or constipating often found with iron. The Bariatric Advantage Chewable Iron starts at $10 for a 30-day supply, and the Twin Lab Bariatric Support Chewable Iron is $14 for a 60-day supply.

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Injections and intranasal sprays

If you have vitamin B-12 deficiency, an intranasal spray, such as Nascobal, can be prescribed by your doctor. Cost will vary depending on your health insurance, but a copay card is available. Your doctor can also administer B-12 as an injection. For those with iron deficiency anemia, your doctor can administer iron injections or infusions until your iron levels normalize.

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Powdered bariatric vitamins

Multivitamin powder can be mixed with water, added to a protein shake or yogurt, or eaten like a pixie stick. Essential nutrients are delivered in a way that the vitamins can readily be absorbed are easy on the delicate system. The Bariwell multivitamin powder developed by a bariatric surgeon meets ASMBS guidelines and is $32 for a 60-day supply.The Bariatric Advantage Crystals multi-formula powder mix is $38 for a 6-7-day supply.

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Liquid bariatric vitamins

Deficiencies in thiamine (vitamin B-1), vitamin B-12, folate and vitamin B-6 may be a concern for bariatric surgery patients. Liquid vitamins allow for effective digestion,  absorption, and usage of key vitamins. Twinlab Bariatric Support Super B Complex is $30 for an 8-oz bottle. For Vitamin B12, sublingual forms are the most readily absorbable.Nature’s Bounty Liquid Super Strength B-12 is $11 for a 60-day supply.

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Effervescent formulation bariatric vitamins

Effervescent fruit-flavored vitamin powder will bubble when poured into a glass of water. This makes a “vitamin water” that the bariatric patient either drinks or sips. The benefit is large doses of vitamins and minerals can be delivered in a way thats easy, delicate, and readily absorbed. Ameriwell Bariatric calcium and Vitamin D effervescent powder was developed by a bariatric patient and her husband and is $27 for a 30-day supply.  

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Gelatin bariatric vitamins

Gelatin tablets were created from an effervescent tablet and are one of the newer delivery systems for bariatric nutrients. The gelatin tablets are dissolved in hot water then refrigerated to make a 2-oz fruit-flavored gelatin that can be eaten with a spoon. The Ameriwell Bariatric multivitamin and mineral gelatin developed by a bariatric patient and her husband is $16 for a 30-day supply.

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Transdermal bariatric vitamins

Another new method is a patch that’s applied directly to the skin. Essential nutrients are slowly released over a 12-hour period and bypass the digestive system - which would otherwise destroy or neutralize oral vitamins. This drives more nutrients to cells compared to oral supplements, according to PatchMD. The PatchMD Multivitamin Plus Patch exceeds ASMBS guidelines and is $20 for a 30-day supply.