The Importance of Calcium After Bariatric Surgery: A Guide for Patients

The Importance of Calcium After Bariatric Surgery: A Guide for Patients

Bariatric Supplements: Calcium Deficiency Following Surgery


We have all been told by our parents to drink milk as kids to get calcium and grow up strong and tall. For those who have had bariatric surgery such as gastric bypass, lactose intolerance is a common side effect and dairy products should be avoided. Calcium plays an important role in our overall health and nearly half of all bariatric patients experience calcium deficiency following surgery. For those who experience calcium deficiency, our parents would tell us to take a quality calcium supplement.  

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body with the majority found in our bones and teeth. Inadequate calcium levels will lead to reduced bone mass and even osteoporosis, a condition where bones turn fragile and fracture easily. Calcium does more than support bone health though, our nervous systems, organs, hormone secretion, and muscle and blood vessel contraction rely on calcium to function properly. Calcium deficiency has also been linked to high blood pressure or hypertension which can lead to stroke and heart disease. Calcium is essential for our bodies to grow, maintain, and reproduce.

In addition to lactose intolerance, bariatric surgery impacts the small intestine of the digestive system where calcium is absorbed. Bariatric patients often also have hyperparathyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland has difficulty maintaining proper calcium balance. Your vitamin and mineral levels should be tested on a regular basis after surgery and any deficiencies should be supplemented to avoid malnutrition. All bariatric patients need to take a daily bariatric multivitamin but if other deficiencies are found such as calcium deficiency, additional supplementation is necessary. With the inability to consume dairy products, absorb calcium, and the thyroid gland not able to function properly, additional calcium supplementation is common for bariatric patients.

When choosing a calcium supplement, we recommend calcium in malate chelate form for bariatric patients as it has a higher absorption rate than calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, and calcium hydroxyapatite. Combining calcium malate chelate with vitamin D-3 enhances the effects and absorption ability of calcium and is highly recommended. Vita4Life offers an excellent bariatric calcium malate chelate product with high vitamin D-3 levels. Vita4Life’s capsules are designed to dissolve in less than 2 minutes and contain no fillers for maximum absorption and ultimate results. It is an excellent choice for bariatric patients in addition to the Vita4Life daily multivitamin.

For those who struggle with their calcium levels following bariatric surgery, do your parents proud and make sure to take a daily calcium supplement!

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