Every year Swanson Health Products sponsors the Fargo Marathon’s Health & Fitness Expo. It’s an exciting, energizing, and uplifting event with runners and walkers from all over the world. During the Expo, we get to meet loyal Swanson Health Products customers, many of whom have been with us since the early days of the catalog. This year, I met 5K participants Barb and Kent H., of Fargo, North Dakota. I learned of their amazing health & wellness journey. Both of them are gastric bypass patients and belong to a local support group, which helps them stay focused on permanent lifestyle changes and habits necessary not just for maintaining weight loss levels but also for total health. No longer snacking between meals, consuming less carbs, as well as the physical changes to their GI tract, necessitate the need for nutritional health products. Bariatric specialists told them how truly important it is to take health and nutrition supplements, so they can ensure proper nutritional intake well after gastric bypass surgery.
Barb and Kent asked me what sort of supplements we carry to help meet these requirements. I explained that as members of the dietary supplement industry, we’re unable to replace medical advice or treatment, and our dietary supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical condition as defined by federal regulators (I’ve got this memorized). I did tell them that we have received feedback from other gastric bypass patients, though, and our product development team is always looking at the demand for specialty items, such as liquid vitamins. Trust me, this is frustrating for everyone, but I really can’t say “this is great for bariatric patients.”
The next day, Barb and Kent returned to the Expo with some information from their support group. They gave me a flyer reminding gastric bypass patients to take these nutritional health supplements the rest of their lives:
- Multivitamin: adult or children’s chewable with at least 400 IU of vitamin D to help with calcium absorption. The flyer emphasized the word “complete.” Interestingly, this term is just clever marketing jargon. A better term would be comprehensive, which really means this multivitamin should consist of all the basics, vitamins A, C and E, vitamin D and magnesium, potassium, and other essential minerals.
- Calcium Citrate: chewable or liquid calcium citrate totaling 1,200-1,500 mg daily. The body is only able to absorb 500-600 mg at a time, so splitting the dose is crucial, but it should be taken separately from iron-containing supplements. Calcium Citrate is the preferred form over calcium carbonate; citrate is easier for the body to absorb and utilize.
- B-Complex: liquid or chewable form with at least 100 mg of thiamine (vitamins b-1). Thiamine is not stored in the body and must be consumed daily. It’s essential for the conversion of carbohydrates into energy, and it's necessary for brain and nerve cell function.
- B-12: 1,000 mcg daily of the sublingual form. This form is the most readily absorbed form. Along with the other B vitamins, B-12 helps metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- Iron: chewable is the most tolerable after gastric bypass surgery; vitamin C helps with absorption. A simple blood test can help determine if this trace mineral supplement is necessary, especially for men.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find liquid, powder or sublingual forms of vitamins and health supplements. Swansonvitamins.com shoppers can use the list of categories on the left-hand side of the website to begin a search. For example, click on “Multiple Vitamins Plus Minerals.” Look for a listing of "Forms" on the left hand side. Click on “Liquid” to see the results of all available multivitamins in liquid form. Browse these selections even further by sorting by brand, price or even by top rated! Check out the customer reviews to find feedback from gastric bypass patients like Barb and Kent. And, remember, we’re listening. Let us know if you’d like to see more powders, mini-tabs or liquid vitamins and health supplements.
Disclaimer: As part of your care, certain dietary supplements have been recommended by your healthcare provider. Consult with your healthcare provider before using any dietary supplement to determine your specific needs. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.