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Ask an Expert: Vitamin and mineral supplements after bariatric surgery

Man taking Elan supplements after weight loss surgery

Bariatric surgical procedures, such as Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy, significantly reduce the capacity of the stomach, leading to reduced food intake. Absorption of vitamins and minerals can also be affected, especially after the Gastric Bypass. This, in turn, can potentially cause deficiencies of various vitamins and minerals, some more than others. To prevent these deficiencies and maintain overall wellbeing, bariatric patients require vitamin and mineral supplements. In this article, George Hamlyn Williams, Clinical Services Manager and Bariatric Dietitian, highlights the significance of vitamin and mineral supplements following bariatric surgery.

Although it is possible to take off-the-shelf supplements to meet the requirements after surgery, because these are not tailored to bariatric patients, more tablets need to be taken. We also cannot be sure that they will be absorbed as well as in someone who has not had bariatric surgery.

Vitamin and mineral supplementation after weight loss surgery needs to provide specific levels of certain nutrients such as zinc, copper, selenium, vitamin D, iron and calcium.

 

We have partnered with Elan, who have developed a range of specialist vitamin and mineral supplements that are formulated specifically for people who have undergone bariatric surgery. Elan have carefully chosen specific levels of certain vitamins and minerals, based on scientific evidence. Elan have also developed formulations that are more easily absorbed by the body. These together reduce the risk of deficiencies.

In the UK, the British Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society (BOMSS) have produced guidelines for vitamin and mineral supplementation and monitoring after bariatric surgery. These include recommendations for specific doses of calcium, vitamin D, folate, vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, copper and selenium. These specific recommendations for monitoring and managing the levels of vitamins and minerals ensure that patients receive appropriate care and supplementation to prevent nutritional deficiencies that may arise as a result of bariatric surgery.

Streamline, in collaboration with Elan, has developed a bespoke package of vitamin and mineral supplements which meet the BOMSS guidelines for both Gastric Bypass and Sleeve Gastrectomy.

 

This package includes:

1. Compass Tablet or Chewable: The Compass tablet or chewable tablet serves as a foundational multivitamin and mineral supplement specially formulated for post-bariatric surgery patients. It provides vitamins and minerals in optimal levels. This helps in maintaining overall health, promoting healing, and reducing the risk of nutritional deficiencies.

2. Ferro-Vital Tablet: This supplement is specifically recommended for individuals who have chosen the chewable version of the Compass tablet. Ferro-Vital contains iron, which is not included in the chewable tablet in order to enhance the taste. Adequate iron intake is essential to prevent anaemia and maintain energy levels.

3. A-C Booster Tablet: The A-C Booster tablet is an additional supplement in the package that offers essential vitamin A as well as additional vitamin C. Vitamin A is important for vision and immune function, while vitamin C supports wound healing and overall health. This is provided as a separate tablet to enable use of the other products during pregnancy. High doses of vitamin A are not recommended during pregnancy because an excess, especially in the form of retinol, has been associated with an increased risk of birth defects, particularly affecting the development of the baby’s heart, nervous system, and facial features.

4. Calcium Chews: Calcium is a critical mineral for bone health, and the Calcium Chews are designed to provide this essential nutrient in an easy-to-consume form. Maintaining proper calcium levels is important for preventing bone-related complications that can arise after surgery. These are provided separately to maximise absorption. If calcium is included in the multivitamin & mineral tablet, absorption of other nutrients is affected.

Priced at £250 for a 6-month supply, this package equates to just over £1 per day. To put this into perspective, the cost is roughly equivalent to what many people spend on a daily cup of coffee or a mid-range meal at a restaurant. This affordability is further enhanced by an additional 5% discount offered exclusively to Streamline patients, making the package even more accessible.

By making this package available at such a reasonable cost, Streamline and Elan are ensuring that post-bariatric surgery patients can receive the critical vitamins and minerals they need without straining their finances nor compromising on quality. This not only simplifies the post-surgery regimen but also exemplifies a commitment to providing cost-effective healthcare solutions that enhance the overall wellbeing of patients on their journey to better health.

 

View the full range here – https://www.elan-products.co.uk/STREAM-range/

Please follow your dieticians advice when choosing the best vitamin and mineral package for you.

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