The reasons to take vitamins are simple: since your stomach is smaller, you may not be able to get in the nutrition that you did before. Vitamins are required for a number of important functions that your body performs. Without vitamins you will become quite ill.

A complete list of the vitamins, and what they do are available in Dr. Simpson’s book, Weight Loss Surgery: A Lighter Look at a Heavy Subject. A number of companies make vitamins and some of them make the claim that their vitamin is better than another company’s. Vitamins made by reputable companies are listed in the chart below, as well as what percent of the adult daily recommended allowance they contain. Most surgeons recommend taking two of the below vitamins.

Beware of vitamins that are over-priced or those that make promises that are not found in scientific literature. Vitamins will not cure or prevent cancer. We strongly recommend that you find out what fillers vitamin companies use. If the filler is lactose or gluten you may develop an upset stomach, bloating, or diarrhea. Bariatric Advantage is the only company on this list that does not include fillers in their vitamins.

One a Day Flintstones Centrum Chew Bariatric Advantage
Vitamin A 100% 100% 70% 100%
Vitamin D 100% 100% 100% 75%
Vitamin E 100% 100% 100% 833%
Vitamin K 31% 0% 13% 75%
Thiamin (B1) 100% 100% 100% 100%
Riboflavin (B2) 100% 100% 100% 100%
Niacin (B3) 100% 100% 100% 125%
Pyridoxine (B6) 100% 100% 100% 100%
Folate 100% 100% 100% 100%
Calcium 16% 10% 11% 5%
Iron 100% 100% 100% 0%
Zinc 100% 100% 100% 50%
Vitamin C 200% 100% 100% 100%

Calcium supplements:

Calcium is mainly obtained from dairy products; however, many patients after bariatric surgery (although not the lap band) who were able to take milk and dairy products become intolerant of dairy products (lactose intolerance). It is recommended that a calcium supplement be taken after weight loss surgery to insure that enough calcium is available. A lack of calcium can lead to weak bones, osteoporosis, lethargy, and other problems. The daily-recommended dose of calcium is 1000 mg per day. Distal bypass patients (distal RNY, duodenal switch, and BPD) we recommend 1800 to 2000 mg of Calcium per day. Citrate is better absorbed in the stomach than calcium carbonate. Calcium should be taken with meals to diminish risk of forming kidney stones.

Viactive 500 mg Calcium Carbonate, 25% Vit. D,50% Vit. K
Cal-100 1000 mg Calcium Carbonate (dissolves in liquid)
Citracal (ultradense) 2 tablets 400 mg Calcium Citrate
Tums 500 mg of Calcium Carbonate
Tums 500 1250 Calcium Carbonate
Bariatric Advantage 400 mg Calcium Citrate, 25% Vit D, 25% Vit K (in two tabs) lozenge

Iron Supplements:

The most common reason for patients to develop anemia (low blood count) is because of a lack of iron. Iron is not absorbed well after RNY bypass, and iron supple -mentation is recommended for women still having periods. We recommend Ferrous Sulfate or Ferrous Gluconate 300-350 mg per day. Bariatric Advantage chewable contains iron from Ferronyl (100 per cent RDA) which is very bioavailable. Chromagen Forte contains 151 mg of elemental iron (which is more available than either ferrous sulfate or gluconate). Ferrous fumarate, used in Chromagen® Forte Capsules, is an organic iron complex which has the highest elemental iron content of any hematinic salt – 33%. This compares with 20% for ferrous sulfate (heptahydrate) and 13% for ferrous gluconate.1,2 Chromagen® Forte contains 151 mg of elemental iron.

Calcium and iron should NOT be taken together