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Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Basics

open vitamin bottle
These vitamin and mineral supplement basics will help anyone who is new at adding supplements into their daily routine. We will explain what "fat soluble vitamin" means, and provide clarity on why post-op Duodenal Switch patients need to take "dry" instead of "wet" vitamins. Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Basics will also provide details of what to look for on vitamin and mineral labels, because often the information can be very misleading.

A,D,E and K Fat Soluble Vitamins

A, D, E and K are fat soluble vitamins. This means that these vitamins dissolve in dietary fat, and since we malabsorb most of our fat, we also malabsorb most of the nutrients from these vitamins.

Wet vs Dry Vitamins

Wet vitamin is an oil filled soft-gel form of the vitamin.
Dry vitamin refers to a powdered form of the vitamin and can be called dry, allergy, miscible or water-miscible.

Since wet vitamins are delivered in an oil based solution we malabsorb them. This is why we need to take "dry" forms of A, D, E and K vitamins.

Understanding Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Labels

Vitamin and mineral supplement basics continues with a lesson on how to read vitamin labels. You have to read the fine print; the labels on these bottles can be very deceiving. Pay particular attention to the dosages. What it says in big print on the label may not be per tablet, you may need anywhere from 2-6 tablets to obtain that amount.

It is very important to understand the mineral potency of your supplements. We will use calcium as an example. Elemental calcium is the amount of calcium that is actually is in the supplement from the source. (The same is true for all other minerals.)

Example A: Elemental Calcium: 315mg

This means there is 315mg of calcium per tablet.

Example B: Calcium (Citrate): 500mg

When the source of calcium appears in parentheses it means the amount of calcium listed is elemental calcium, so in this example you are receiving 500mg of calcium.

Example C: Calcium Citrate: 500mg

When the source does not appear in parentheses, the 500mg is not elemental calcium. Since calcium citrate is 21% calcium you would actually only be receiving 105mg of calcium in this example.

Scientific Units of Measure

There are different scientific units for of measuring the amounts of vitamins and minerals in each soft gel or tablet. An international unit (i.u.) is the global standard for measuring fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K). Water-soluble vitamins and minerals measured in milligrams (mg) and micrograms (mcg); one milligram (1/1000 of a gram) is equal to 1000 micrograms.

How to Organize Your Daily Supplements

Some vitamin and mineral supplements have the potential to interact with prescription and over the counter medications. Be sure and check with your doctor. Check with your surgeon for their recommended post-op vitamin and mineral supplementation.

According to Michelle at Vitalady.com these are the simple DOs and DON'Ts everyone agrees with:

Do take your iron with vitamin C
Do take your calcium with vitamin D

Don't take iron at the same time as calcium or zinc
Don't take zinc at the same time as iron or calcium
Don't take calcium at the same time as iron or zinc

You can group the rest of your supplements together as long as you keep in mind the above rules.

Vitamins and Minerals

Detailed vitamin and mineral information on the benefits, best absorbed sources, synergistic nutrients (works with), negative interactions and deficiency symptoms.

Calcium
Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Zinc

For Vitamin and Mineral Supplements:
Visit Vitalady.com

Resources

This document is an invaluable resource for any bariatric patient or PCP providing follow-up care to bariatric patients.

Bariatric Nutrition: Suggestions for the Surgical Weight Loss Patient



Now that you know about Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Basics
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All material on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor.