Nutritional Deficiencies After Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass for Morbid Obesity Often Cannot be Prevented by Standard Multivitamin Supplementation

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Despite the increasing use of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP) in the treatment of morbid obesity, data about postoperative nutritional deficiencies and their treatment remain scarce.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a standard multivitamin preparation in the prevention and treatment of nutritional deficiencies in obese patients after RYGBP.


This was a retrospective study of a 2-year follow-up of obese patients after RYGBP surgery. Between the first and the sixth postoperative months, a standardized multivitamin preparation was prescribed for all patients. Specific requirements for additional substitutive treatments were systematically assessed by a biologic workup at 3, 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months.


A total of 137 morbidly obese patients (110 women and 27 men) were included. The mean (±SD) age at the time of surgery was 39.9 ± 10.0 years, and the body mass index (in kg/m2) was 46.7 ± 6.5. Three months after RYGBP, 34% of these patients required at least one specific supplement in addition to the multivitamin preparation. At 6 and 24 months, this proportion increased to 59% and 98%, respectively. Two years after RYGBP, a mean amount of 2.9 ± 1.4 specific supplements had been prescribed for each patient, including vitamin B-12, iron, calcium + vitamin D, and folic acid. At that time, the mean monthly cost of the substitutive treatment was $34.83.


Nutritional deficiencies are very common after RYGBP and occur despite supplementation with the standard multivitamin preparation. Therefore, careful postoperative follow-up is indicated to detect and treat those deficiencies. (Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87:1128–33.)

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