Vitamins: Bariatric offices & Flintstones

One item I’m seeing popular is the selling of vitamins and the like by bariatric groups. They have their own or you can purchase vitamins and the like from them. The question is why? When any of the vitamins will do, why do they have this “amenity”? Is it due to profits? Getting people back in for visits so that profits can be made? What about associated exercise centers? Do you have to pay for those? Are they part of your “surgery package”?

The main question being: is this for my health or does it provide a bigger profit range, or even both? If so, how do you know this is for you? How many people take advantage of these “amenities” and if so, what are the demographics? That might help you to know whether or not it is going to help YOU in your INDIVIDUAL journey.

Flintstones aren’t compliant with the Guidelines of the ASMBS (American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery). Some “Centers of Excellence” do recommend them, but ask why.

ASMBS Guidelines for the surgical weight loss patient/
Vitamin & Nutritional Guidelines

After a bypass, we need about 200% of the RDA of most vitamins and minerals. The reason for this is because part of the intestine is bypassed and that’s where a lot of vitamins and minerals are absorbed (some but not all). So you’ll have to take extra.

If you look at Flintstones vitamins, you’ll see that getting 2 of them a day is not going to give you 200% of the RDA for most vitamins and minerals. Some but not all. You’ll only get 120% of Vitamin A, 25% of biotin, 150% of niacin and nothing for Vitamin K (btw, the author took this vitamin and at 2 years post op, was so Vitamin K deficient blood levels didn’t register in tests, along with bleeding episodes). If you have to take more than one in a day, you’ll end up getting a lot more of some vitamins and minerals than others. Vitamin toxicity can be an issue – as can too much iron (Iron overload or hemochromatosis and a href=””>copper).

Just an FYI: the type of Vitamin A is beta carotene. This is not Vitamin A but turns into it in the body. There is a lot of beta carotene you need to turn it in to Vitamin A (also known as retinol). Children can convert this into Vitamin A easier than adults. So its more suited for kids than adults. So if you take 4 Flintstones and get 240% of beta carotene, which may not be enough to turn into retinol.

Ask your surgeon why they still recommend Flintstones for post surgery bariatric patients. If they’re not up on this data, or their group isn’t, how up to date are they going to be on other items?