Taking regular supplements can be a pain especially if you already take a range of medications or hate taking things. So sometimes when you’re told to add a daily multivitamin to the mix it’s yet another thing to remember or fit in between the regime of eating and drink…
So is it really all that necessary? I mean you may be eating the healthiest you ever have so surely thats enough…right?
Unfortunately no. While you may be eating healthier which is fantastic and will help towards good nutrition and weight loss (as well as weight maintain later), there are several reasons why taking your daily multivitamin is essential, some include:
-You have a smaller stomach so are eating a much smaller amount of food. Reduced food intake while great for weight loss, does makes it harder to get all the nutrients you need each day.
-Malabsorption: some vitamins and minerals may not be absorbed as well post-surgery so your needs can be higher than before.
-You eating regime: just because you’ve had weight loss surgery and are losing weight doesn’t mean you are necessarily eating healthier rather you are eating less or less kilojoules / calories. You need to consume a balance of foods from all the healthy food groups daily with your reduced food intake to help you get the nutrients you need daily and this can be difficult especially initially when your food intake is smaller.
-You may have certain food intolerances or be unable to eat certain foods post-surgery. Often patients will tell me that they cannot eat certain foods post-surgery. This will vary from patient to patient whereby some patients will have no problems with any foods while others may not be able to consume red meat, eggs, breads or certain fruit or vegetables.
But I feel ok and my last blood tests were fine…
Just because you feel ok doesn’t mean you are getting everything you need, some deficiencies develop over time and won’t show up in blood tests initially. Long-term insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals can not only affect your weight loss and maintenance but lead to deficiencies and poor health e.g. anaemia and osteoporosis. Vitamins and minerals also play essential roles in your body to ensure it works properly some of their duties includes regulation of appetite and hunger, metabolism including that of fat and sugar, proper adrenal and thyroid function etc.
Having bariatric surgery shouldn’t only be about and losing weight and looking great but also about getting healthy and reducing risk of long-term health problems. So it’s essential to take the multivitamin recommended by your bariatric dietitian or surgeon.
Which multivitamin should I take…?
Not all multivitamins are created equal so you need to take one that contains the full range of vitamins and minerals at high levels. Taking a multivitamin especially designed for bariatric surgery is a good idea. Most of these come in a chewable or liquid format so that they can be consumed in the first 7 weeks post surgery when you are going through the liquid, puree and soft food phases. The same multivitamin can still be taken once you get to the Full solid phase and is recommended as the better choice as these are designed to provide the vitamins and minerals you need each day. While there are other good multivitamins out there, if you aren’t consuming the bariatric range, speak to your dietitian or surgical team about the best choices.
Can you recommend some brands?
If you are in Australia, there are 4 great options available:
• Surgical Nutrients – Bx Vitality (berry flavoured chewable tablet)
• Band Buddies Nutrichew (orange flavoured chewable tablet)
• BN Multi (orange flavoured chewable tablet)
• NutriFuel (orange flavoured powder you dissolve in water)
All in all getting good nutrition post bariatric surgery is essential to continual weight loss as well as good health so it’s essential to take your daily multivitamin and a good one at that.