Deficiency prevalence and the need for food supplements after a Gastric Sleeve

The Gastric Sleeve has become the most performed bariatric procedure worldwide. Unlike other procedures, the Gastric Sleeve keeps the anatomy of the intestinal tract largely intact. For this reason, the risk of developing nutritional deficiencies and therefore the need for food supplements was initially considered low. However, an increasing number of studies have reported that in Gastric Sleeve patients, deficiencies are as common as Gastric Bypass patients.

Want the highlights on the topic?

Download the Gastric Sleeve factsheet for:

  • The deficiency prevalence before and after Gastric Sleeve surgery
  • Reasons behind the high deficiency risk for Gastric Sleeve patients
  • The need for food supplements after a Gastric Sleeve
gastric sleeve supplements factsheet download

Pre- and postoperative deficiencies

Over half of all Gastric Sleeve patients already have one or more nutritional deficiencies before their surgery, due to a unilateral diet and impaired metabolism. Vitamin D, folic acid, vitamin B12 and ferritin deficiencies are most prevalent.

Postoperatively, the same deficiencies remain prevalant. Furthermore, vitamin B1 and zinc deficiencies are often encountered. A recent study on the effectiveness of supplements after a Gastric Sleeve found that, even when patients use a standard food supplement, 42% develop one or more nutritional deficiencies in the first year after surgery.

graph on deficiency prevalence after a Gastric Sleeve

The role of WLS Optimum

The unique changes of the GI-tract after a Gastric Sleeve have a specific impact on nutrient absorption. The high prevalence of deficiencies and hypervitaminosis underscore the importance of lifelong use of a tailored food supplement, containing the right nutrient compounds in exactly the right balance, to avoid deficiencies or hypervitaminosis.

FitForMe offers WLS Optimum, developed in 2009 and continuously optimized, based on FitForMe studies and scientific literature. The safety and efficacy of WLS Optimum has so far been evaluated in two separate studies. Both studies confirm previous findings, that even with the non-malabsorptive nature of the procedure, nutritional deficiencies after a Gastric Sleeve often occur.

Specialized supplements to benefit Gastric Sleeve patients

Gastric Sleeve patients benefit from specialized supplements

Smelt et al. found higher mean serum concentrations of ferritin, folic acid, vitamin B1 and vitamin D and less deficiencies in vitamin B12, ferritin, folic acid and vitamin B1 in Gastric Sleeve patients using WLS Optimum 1.0, compared to patients using standard food supplements. However, anemia was diagnosed more often in WLS Optimum users.

Read more
deficiencies after a gastric sleeve surgery

Deficiencies after a Gastric Sleeve

Heusschen et al. found a relatively high deficiency prevalence for Gastric Sleeve patients, regardless of which type of food supplement was used. Usage of WLS Optimum resulted in higher serum values for folic acid and vitamin B1, compared to patients using a standard food supplement.

Read more