B Vitamins: What They Are and Why Weight Loss Surgery Patients Need Supplements
Patients undergoing weight loss surgery are advised to supplement their diet with a vitamin B supplement that is often taken as a sublingual tablet or through monthly injections. Some surgical weight loss procedures inhibit the absorption of B vitamins, which can result in deficiency. Additionally, the low calorie, high protein diet after bariatric surgery does not provide an adequate dietary intake of B vitamins. Patients should follow the specific instructions of their bariatric center when taking vitamin B supplements. Annual blood tests are required. to ensure that deficiencies are quickly identified and addressed.
The B vitamins are eight water-soluble vitamins that play an important role in cell metabolism. B vitamins are found in all unprocessed whole foods. The B vitamins play a key role in supporting and increasing the rate of metabolism; maintain healthy skin and muscle tone; improve the immune and nervous system; promote cell growth and division; including red blood cells that help prevent anemia; and it can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Vitamin B1: thiamine
Thiamine is highly concentrated in yeast, which is why cereals are an important source of this vitamin, which is essential to help the body transform food into energy and contributes to the functioning of the brain, nerve cells and the heart. Pork, fish, sunflower seeds, rice, and pasta also provide good amounts of thiamine. Many processed foods are fortified with thiamine. The Reference Daily Intake (RDA) for thiamine is 1.4 mg; however, some studies suggest that taking 50 mg increases mental alertness. Thiamine absorption occurs in the jejunum and ileum, so gastric bypass and gastric sleeve patients have less opportunity to absorb vitamin B1 from food.
Vitamin B2: Riboflavin
Riboflavin is found in dairy products, lean meats, eggs, nuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables, and enriched breads and cereals. It plays an essential role in red blood cell production, energy production, and growth. Riboflavin is an easily absorbed micronutrient that is best known visually as the vitamin that imparts the color orange to solid B vitamin supplements. People taking a B complex in high doses will notice an unusual fluorescent yellow color in their urine as they remove excess vitamin B2. Riboflavin is continuously excreted in the urine of healthy individuals, making deficiency relatively common when dietary intake is insufficient. Visible symptoms of riboflavin deficiency included chapped and red lips, inflammation of the lining of the mouth and tongue, mouth ulcers, cracks at the corner of the mouth, and a sore throat. The RDA for vitamin B2 is 1.3 mg / day for men and 1.1 mg / day for women. Most vitamin B complex supplements provide a much higher dose of riboflavin.
Vitamin B3: Niacin
Like thiamine, niacin is important in converting food into energy. It is also necessary for normal growth and DNA synthesis and helps keep the skin, nerves, and digestive system healthy. Niacin is found naturally in lean meats, poultry, and seafood. Milk, cereals, and some diet meal replacement bars and drinks are fortified with niacin. The RDA for niacin for men is 16 mg and 14 mg for women. Extreme doses (1.5-6 grams / day) of niacin can cause redness and itching and can also raise blood sugar. Standard supplementation should not result in this toxic reaction.
Vitamin B5: pantothenic acid
Pantothenic acid also helps the body convert food into energy and plays a role in the synthesis of hormones and other chemicals in the body. Pantothenic acid deficiencies are virtually unknown. The name pantothen is Greek for “from everywhere,” and small amounts of pantothenic acid are found in plant and animal food sources, including grains, legumes, eggs, meat, and poultry. The recommended daily dose for men and women is 5 mg / day.
Vitamin B6: pyridoxine
Pyridoxine is important in the utilization of proteins and in the production of red blood cells. It works with other B vitamins to boost the immune system and produce antibodies. Good sources of vitamin B6 are chicken, beef, fish, beans, bananas, and fortified cereals. Pyridoxine is not commonly found in plants.
Vitamin B7: biotin
We often hear about the role biotin plays in hair and skin growth, but this powerful vitamin also plays a key role in metabolizing protein and carbohydrates into energy. Studies indicate that biotin may also be helpful in maintaining a stable blood sugar level. Biotin is found in eggs, dairy products, legumes, whole grains, and cruciferous vegetables. People who are in the rapid weight loss phase after weight loss surgery often experience hair loss, which can be the result of a biotin deficiency. Increasing biotin supplementation immediately after surgery can reduce the risk of hair loss due to biotin deficiency.
Vitamin B9: folic acid
This B vitamin, also called folate or folacin, is vital for tissue growth and plays a role in preventing certain birth defects. It is important that women of childbearing age get enough of this nutrient. Folate is also believed to help prevent certain cancers and help prevent heart disease. Good sources of folic acid include artichokes, asparagus, avocado, blackberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chickpeas, peas, lentils, oranges, raw peanuts, pinto beans, romaine juice, spinach, wheat germ, and wild rice. Many cereals and refined grain products are fortified with folic acid.
Vitamin B12: various cobalamins
Vitamin B12 plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and in the functioning of the nervous system and allows the body to use folate. Called cobalamin, vitamin B12 is abundant in meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.