Mineral Malnutrition Following Bariatric Surgery

Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
Advances in Nutrition (Impact Factor: 4.9). 09/2013; 4(5):506-17. DOI: 10.3945/an.113.004341
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Moderate/severe obesity is on the rise in the United States. Weight management includes bariatric surgery, which is effective and can alleviate morbidity and mortality from obesity-associated diseases. However, many individuals are dealing with nutritional complications. Risk factors include: 1) preoperative malnutrition (e.g., vitamin D, iron); 2) decreased food intake (due to reduced hunger and increased satiety, food intolerances, frequent vomiting); 3) inadequate nutrient supplementation (due to poor compliance with multivitamin/multimineral regimen, insufficient amounts of vitamins and/or minerals in supplements); 4) nutrient malabsorption; and 5) inadequate nutritional support (due to lack of follow-up, insufficient monitoring, difficulty in recognizing symptoms of deficiency). For some nutrients (e.g., protein, vitamin B-12, vitamin D), malnutrition issues are reasonably addressed through patient education, routine monitoring, and effective treatment strategies. However, there is little attention paid to other nutrients (e.g., zinc, copper), which if left untreated may have devastating consequences (e.g., hair loss, poor immunity, anemia, defects in neuro-muscular function). This review focuses on malnutrition in essential minerals, including calcium (and vitamin D), iron, zinc, and copper, which commonly occur following popular bariatric procedures. There will be emphasis on the complexities, including confounding factors, related to screening, recognition of symptoms, and, when available, current recommendations for treatment. There is an exceptionally high risk of malnutrition in adolescents and pregnant women and their fetuses, who may be vulnerable to problems in growth and development. More research is required to inform evidence-based recommendations for improving nutritional status following bariatric surgery and optimizing weight loss, metabolic, and nutritional outcomes.

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