Weight Loss Surgery SupplementsJune 11, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
For better or for worse, bariatric or weight loss surgery has been become a mainstay in modern medicine. Obesity and related health conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, are on the rise and more and more physicians are recommending gastric bypass as a last ditch solution. Given this reality, I’ve researched this topic thoroughly with the knowledge that I’d likely be working with quite a few bariatric clients as part of my consultation service. Today, I’d like to share some of findings I’ve encountered along the way.
More often than not, there’s a considerable difference between what doctors recommend and what I’ve learned. Typically, there is some common ground. In the field bariatric medicine, this means testing for nutrient deficiencies and supplementing accordingly. However, many physicians are unaware of certain lesser known supplements that may be of particular benefit. That’s where I come in. I put together a packet of evidence-based information for patients and physicians to discuss together. And, when there’s willingness to try out some of the options I suggest, the results are frequently a pleasant surprise for all parties involved.
When it comes to nutritional support for bariatric surgery, I’ve learned the following: 1) Ironically, many supplements that are marketed for weight loss patients are not the best options. The primary reason is that the nutrients contained in these supplements are rarely provided in highly bioavailable forms or optimal dosages. 2) Encapsulated supplements tend to be more effective than chewable wafers, softgels or tablets. Why? I suspect it’s because capsules often contain fewer extraneous ingredients and higher concentrations of nutrients. 3) Taking supplements in conjunction with fatty foods or supplements seems to enhance absorption of fat soluble nutrients including Vitamins A, D, E and K. This latter point may seem obvious, but since many bariatric supplements come in fat-free chewable or powdered forms, it bears repeating.
In particular, there are three supplements that are rarely used by allopathic physicians treating bariatric patients. The first is emulsified fish oil, a source of omega 3 fatty acids that is combined with ingredients such as lecithin to render it easier to digest. It’s well established that gastric bypass surgery affects the assimilation of dietary fats. This same surgery can negatively impact the availability of certain medications such as antidepressants. Supplementing with emulsified fish oil, as is found in products such as Coromega or Barlean’s Omega Swirl, assists the absorption of mood elevating omega 3 fatty acids. The addition of magnesium and potassium citrate, likewise, serves a specific purpose for those who’ve undergone weight loss procedures: it helps minimize the risk of kidney stones, while simultaneously contributing well absorbed forms of two frequently deficient minerals. Last, but not least, is whey protein isolate. Maintaining optimal protein status is vital to the preservation of lean body mass during any period of significant weight loss. Consuming protein from healthy dietary sources such as chicken, eggs, fish and grass fed meat is the premier way of ensuring adequate amino acid intake. However, when diet isn’t enough, whey protein powder is perhaps the best alternative because of its high protein efficiency ratio (PER).
In closing, I want to mention something that is unlikely to come up in standard medical consultations. An issue that affects a fair share of bariatric patients is hair loss or thinning. Ensuring adequate nutrient and protein intake is the first line approach to addressing this prevalent concern. Still, this isn’t always enough. In such instances, some clients have reported positive changes in hair growth when high dosages of biotin (a B vitamin) and Biosil (a form of the trace mineral silica) are incorporated into a comprehensive dietary protocol. In terms of dosage, biotin is often used in a daily dose of 5 to 10 mg/day and Biosil at 10 mg/day. Both supplements are generally regarded as safe, and may even support other aspects of appearance and health, including nail and skin integrity.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – The Effect of Gastric Bypass on the Pharmacokinetics of Serotonin … (link)
Study 2 – Omega-3 Fatty Acid Augmentation of Citalopram Treatment for Patients … (link)
Study 3 – Fat Malabsorption and Increased Intestinal Oxalate Absorption are … (link)
Study 4 – Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) in Clinical … (link)
Study 5 – Hypocitraturia and Hyperoxaluria After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass … (link)
Study 6 – Reduction of Renal Stone Risk by Potassium-Magnesium Citrate … (link)
Study 7 – Effects of Whey Protein Supplements on Metabolism: Evidence from … (link)
Study 8 – Protein Intake Compliance of Morbidly Obese Patients Undergoing … (link)
Study 9 – Hair Loss in Long-Term or Home Parenteral Nutrition: Are Micronutrient … (link)
Study 10 – Effect of Oral Intake of Choline-Stabilized Orthosilicic Acid on Skin … (link)
Gastric Bypass Surgery May Affect Drug Absorption
Source: Diabetes Care. 2011 June; 34(6): 1295–1300. (link)
Tags: Diabetes, Hair, Whey Protein
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements