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Annu Rev Nutr. 2013;33:183-203. doi: 10.1146/annurev-nutr-071812-161225. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Nutrient deficiencies after gastric bypass surgery.

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Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Bariatric surgery, and in particular, gastric bypass, is an increasingly utilized and successful approach for long-term treatment of obesity and amelioration of comorbidities. Nutrient deficiencies after surgery are common and have multiple causes. Preoperative factors include obesity, which appears to be associated with risk for several nutrient deficiencies, and preoperative weight loss. Postoperatively, reduced food intake, suboptimal dietary quality, altered digestion and absorption, and nonadherence with supplementation regimens contribute to risk of deficiency. The most common clinically relevant micronutrient deficiencies after gastric bypass include thiamine, vitamin B₁₂, vitamin D, iron, and copper. Reports of deficiencies of many other nutrients, some with severe clinical manifestations, are relatively sporadic. Diet and multivitamin use are unlikely to consistently prevent deficiency, thus supplementation with additional specific nutrients is often needed. Though optimal supplement regimens are not yet defined, most micronutrient deficiencies after gastric bypass currently can be prevented or treated by appropriate supplementation.

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