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The Importance of Vitamins and Nutrients After Bariatric Surgery

After you undergo weight-loss surgery, the size of your stomach will be reduced substantially to accommodate smaller portion sizes and fewer calories.

Updated: December 6, 2020
Medical colorful pills, capsules or supplements for the treatment and health care
By MBL Featured Blogger: Karen Eisenbraun
Originally Posted: October 6, 2020

Since your food portions will be restricted from here on out, it’s important that you eat healthy foods rich in the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and energetic all throughout the day.

Additionally, some weight-loss surgeries, such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery, are malabsorptive procedures that limit your body’s ability to absorb certain vitamins and minerals. 

Following weight-loss surgery, you should work closely with your nutritionist or dietician to learn more about the types of vitamins and supplements your body needs to stay healthy so you can continue to boost your overall health and weight loss. In some cases, failing to keep your body properly nourished can lead to future health problems and nutritional deficiencies, while increasing the risk for osteoporosis, anemia, kidney stone disease, and more.


Zinc is responsible for maintaining the growth of hair, bones, and skin. A deficiency in zinc can lead to hair loss, eye and skin lesions, diarrhea, and numerous other health problems. Consult with your healthcare provider regarding the amount of zinc you should take daily, since taking too much zinc can affect the way your body processes other nutrients and may lead to nausea or vomiting.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A promotes good eyesight and also helps protect and strengthen your immune system. Vitamin A can be found in foods such as eggs, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, and squash. If your new diet post-surgery requires you to eat fewer amounts of foods rich in vitamin A, you may need to start taking vitamin A supplements as directed by your physician.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Vitamin B1 is essential for glucose metabolism and allows your body to use carbohydrates as energy. When lacking in vitamin B1, you may begin to experience memory loss and nerve problems. If you frequently experience vomiting and nausea following bariatric surgery, you may need to take vitamin B1 to replenish your body.

Vitamin B12 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B12 is important following bariatric surgery because it boosts your metabolism and further promotes your weight-loss efforts. Failing to take B12 regularly may result in anemia, especially if your body fails to absorb B12 properly post-surgery. 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential to bone growth and increases the flow of calcium in your bloodstream, leading to stronger bones and preventing a number of diseases; including osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. The most ideal way to get vitamin D is to spend time outdoors in the sun, however, if receiving daily sun exposure is not an option, then you may need to start taking vitamin D supplements.


Iron is one of the most important vitamins you should take post-surgery since anemia is a common side effect of weight-loss surgery. Examples of foods that are rich in iron include red meat, dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, turkey, and dried fruit. 

If you are interested in weight loss surgery, check out MBL’s Ultimate Guide To Weight Loss Surgery.




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Karen Eisenbraun is a certified holistic nutrition consultant and writer with a background in digital marketing. She has written extensively on the topics of nutrition and holistic health for many leading websites.

Karen received her nutrition certification from the American College of Healthcare Sciences in 2012. She follows a ketogenic diet and practices intermittent fasting. Karen advocates a whole foods approach to nutrition and believes in empowering yourself with information that allows you to make smarter decisions about your health.

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