• Weight Loss Surgery

    Is Your Bariatric Vitamin Patch More Effective Than Pills?

    Bariatric Vitamins for Surgery Weight Loss Surgery Patients

    If you’ve had weight loss surgery, it is very important that you continue to take your bariatric vitamins every day for the rest of your life. Bariatric vitamins now come in different forms: chewable, pill, injections, and a transdermal patch. The question then becomes raised; are bariatric vitamins that come in the transdermal patch more effective than taking pills?

    What are the best bariatric vitamins for weight loss surgery patients?

    As a weight loss surgery patients, you are at high risk for developing vitamin deficiencies.

    After surgery- especially if you have had a malabsorption procedures (ie: Roux en Y gastric bypass, duodenal switch)- common micronutrient deficiencies are Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12, folate, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D.(2).

    Additionally, if you have had a duodenal switch, you are at a higher risk of developing deficiencies in fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. (3)

    The American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery update their nutritional guidelines in 2016.

    Here is a one-page resource on the correct dosing of micronutrients you should be taking in your daily Bariatric Vitamins.

    bariatric multivitamin resource

    As always, never make any changes to your current medications without first discussing with your Bariatric Provider.

    Are transdermal vitamin patches effective in gastric bypass patients?

    Taking pills for some patients can be challenging. As a result, bariatric vitamins have additionally been formulated into a patch to help ensure weight loss surgery patients are receiving enough micronutrients.

    Unfortunately, there is not enough high quality research on transdermal patients to validate how effective they are.

    One study (1) looked back on patients who had the laparoscopic Roux en Y gastric bypass (LRYGB). There were 48 patients in the study. Twenty one patients used a transdermal multivitamin patch every day for over a year. Twenty seven patients took pills instead for the same length of time.

    Here were the results:

    • In the patch group of patients, they developed significant lower blood levels of Vitamin D, B1, and B12
    • The patch group also had lower levels of folate and ferritin


    Unfortunately, there isn’t much data in the medical literature behind transdermal patches for delivery of Bariatric multivitamins.

    Based on the small studies that were conducted, the pill form was preferred over the patch due to significant deficiencies in certain micronutrients.

    One great way to boost your intake of micronutrients is to ensure you are eating a diet full of whole foods in a variety of colors (ie: “eat the rainbow”).

    For example, here are a list of whole foods in some of the most common micronutrient deficiencies:

    • Vitamin D: fatty fish (wild caught salmon), herring, sardines, canned tuna, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified foods
    • Vitamin B1: pork, fish (salmon, cod), whole grains
    • Vitamin B12: dairy, meat, fish
    • Folate: green leafy vegetables, fortified grains, orange juice
    • Vitamin A: liver, dairy, fish, bright yellow and orange plants

    Before You Go…

    bariatric multivitamin resource

    As always, never make any changes to your current medications without first discussing with your Bariatric Provider.

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