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Nutritional Deficiency

Bariatric surgery is able to provide a better quality of life for many obese individuals, however, it comes with complications of malnutrition. Peterson et al. found malnutrition in bariatric surgery candidates prior to surgery that were correlated with adverse surgical outcomes [36]. Up to 4.7% of the patients in a study by Faintuch et al. were reported to have protein-calorie malnutrition [37]. Numerous nutritional deficiency reports abound in the medical literature [38-44].

Nutrient deficiencies were not only found in RYGB. The SG and adjustable gastric banding research also indicated severe nutrient depletion for Vitamin B12, folate, and Vitamin D [45-47].

Food or Pills

There are many factors that influence nutrient uptake and utilization. Mechanisms that regulate the absorption or excretion of nutrients in a bariatric patient depend on a host of factors—age, sex, physiological state—in addition to dietary sources and its nutrient content. Plant foods contain phytates, oxalates, and polyphenols, which reduce absorption of nutrients from them. There is much to learn about the analytical versus biological dietetics aspect of food. Many questions remain about bioavailability of food components and their effect on the microbiome. Bariatric surgery creates even more consequences. Are the innate nutrients in food better than those found in dietary supplements? As Roger Clemens, Doctor of Public Health, Chief Scientific Officer, Horn Company, LeMirada, CA states, “At this juncture of our understanding of nutrient bioavailability, it just depends” [48].

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