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Iodine absorption is not affected by bariatric surgery

Bariatric surgery is often accompanied by malnutrition of several vitamins, minerals and trace elements. Iodine is a trace element, needed for synthesis of thyroid hormones. Since iodine is absorbed from the intestinal tract, patients after bariatric surgery are hypothetically at risk of malabsorption. This study aimed to estimate the daily absorption of iodine for patients after bariatric surgery in which several parts of intestine were bypassed.

Iodine excretion after Roux-en-Gastric Bypass or Biliopancreatic Diversion

To measure the daily iodine status, the Urinary Iodine Excretion (UIE) was used, which reflects the iodine intake within the past few days. 35 severely obese patients were included after either a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass or a Biliopancreatic Diversion procedure. Before, and 3 and 6 months after surgery, UIE was measured and compared to a control group.

Urinary iodine excretion is not reduced after bariatric surgery

At baseline, the UIE was similar in the obese and control group, consisting of 35 messmates following a similar diet. Three months after surgery, the UIE increased, which means a lower iodine absorption at that moment. 6 months post-surgically, UIE levels lowered to baseline levels. This indicates that after a bariatric procedure, the remaining gastrointestinal tract is capable of sufficiently absorbing the recommended daily iodine intake.

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Michalaki, M., Volonakis, S., Mamali, I. et al. OBES SURG (2014) 24: 1921.

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