iron and calcium supplements in hands

Nutritional supplements containing both iron and calcium prevent deficiencies after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and allow for simplified intake

In order to prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies after malabsorptive and restrictive bariatric surgery, lifelong nutritional supplementation is recommended. However, since several tablets have to be taken separately and scheduled in time to avoid potentially competitive absorption of iron and calcium, compliance is difficult.

A retrospective study was conducted to determine whether a combined multivitamin supplement with both iron and calcium still prevents deficiencies in patients after a Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB).

Simplified compliance regime

In total, 309 RYGB patients were instructed to take a tailored multivitamin supplement, containing all of the recommended vitamins and minerals including iron and calcium. Development of deficiencies in iron and vitamins A, B1, B12 and D was monitored in the first year after surgery. Patients were considered compliant when taking their supplements at least 5 days per week.

Compliant patients develop less deficiencies

The importance of compliance is clear: compliant RYGB patients develop significantly less deficiencies in iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and vitamin D, compared to non-compliant patients. Furthermore, the combination of both calcium and iron still resulted in an iron deficiency reduction in the compliant group, indicating that separation of iron and calcium does not need to be mandatory. This allows for a simplified postoperative regime with one tablet containing all necessary vitamins and minerals, hopefully improving compliance rates.

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Boyce S.G., Goriparthi R., Clark J., Cameron K., Roslin M.S. (2016) Can Composite Nutritional Supplement Based on the Current Guidelines Prevent Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency After Weight Loss Surgery? OBES SURG (2016) 26:966–971 DOI 10.1007/s11695-015-1853-x

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