Diet and Lifestyle

Calcium and Vitamin B12 before Bariatric Surgery

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Question: Should I take a multivitamin before bariatric surgery? What about Calcium and B12?

Answered by a US-registered Bariatric Diet Expert

A multivitamin is generally not needed before surgery, but is not going to hurt either. If you are not getting 1,500 mg calcium daily, it is a good idea to start taking a calcium supplement. Pick up a Calcium Citrate vitamin. It is a higher quality product and doesn’t need stomach acid to be absorbed and therefor is a product you will use after surgery as well (stomach acid production is decreased after a Roux-en-Y or sleeve gastrectomy). Citrical contains calcium citrate and there are many other generic brands as well. Below is a list of the Calcium content of some foods (source: University of California San Francisco Medical Center):

  • 1 cup Milk: 300 mg
  • 1 oz Cheese: 200 mg
  • 1 cup Yogurt: 450 mg
  • 1 cup Broccoli (cooked): 180 mg

Vitamin B12 before surgery, is only needed if you are a strict Vegan, meaning you do not eat meat, fish, eggs, cheese, or other dairy products including milk, yogurt, etc. or lab results show that your B12 is low. This is very uncommon.

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US-registered Bariatric Dietitian

US-registered Bariatric Dietitian
Katelyn Mock is a US-registered Bariatric Dietitian certified by the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. With more than 8 years of experience in formulating and reviewing diet programs across various hospital settings, Katelyn has also served as the Lead Bariatric Dietitian for the Ohio State University Medical Center.

On-site Bariatric Nutritionist in Tijuana