Great Bariatric Supplements to Take Before Surgery

Weight loss surgery is a great tool to help you to improve your health and take control of your quality of life. The time from the consultation with your surgeon at Barix Clinics to the time of surgery can vary from a few weeks to several months. Use this time to prepare for post-surgery life and put healthy habits in place.

Pre-Surgery Supplements

Getting ready for surgery should include vitamin and mineral supplementation. Let’s face it; even the healthiest of eaters don’t always choose a diet that includes all of the vitamins and minerals their body needs. For that reason, it is in your best interest to supplement before surgery.

Multi-Vitamin and Mineral Supplement

For most, a complete multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is a great place to start. It will fill in the gaps that are lacking in your diet. There are several options for a pre-surgery multi vitamin. You don’t need to spend a lot of money –more expensive doesn’t always mean better. Many store brands have supplements that are equivalent to name brands.

While a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement typically provides a broad range of vitamins and minerals it may not meet all of your needs. There are two main reasons for that. The first is that not everyone has the same nutritional requirements—consider how different the nutritional needs are between a young female athlete and an inactive elderly male. The second reason is pill size—including the recommended amounts of all vitamins and minerals isn’t practical. Calcium, for instance, is bulky so most multi-vitamin and mineral supplements only contain a small amount of calcium–not nearly enough for those who don’t eat or drink calcium-rich foods or drinks.


Many people do not get in the number of servings of calcium-rich foods needed to meet their body’s need for bone-building calcium. If you consume 3 cups of low fat milk or yogurt daily, you’re probably getting enough. If not, you may want to start a calcium supplement (1000 mg) with vitamin D-3 (400-800 IU) daily.

Bones reach their maximum strength or density by age 35. After that, they become more fragile as we age. The loss of strength is accelerated when your diet is lacking in calcium from foods, drinks or supplements. Osteoporosis can develop and often isn’t identified until it’s too late and bones begin to easily break.

Calcium supplements come in two forms, calcium carbonate and calcium citrate—either is well-absorbed before surgery. After surgery, you’ll want to take calcium in the form of calcium citrate for better absorption.


If you plan to see your primary care physician before your surgery, you may want to discuss a screening for Vitamin D (everyone) and iron (females only) deficiencies. These deficiencies are quite common in the general population and can be corrected prior to your surgery if identified.

Bottom Line

Starting vitamin and mineral supplements before surgery can help you to correct any minor deficiencies you have, promote faster healing, and help you start your new life as healthy as possible. Be sure to:

  • Start a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement (pills are fine pre-surgery)
  • Start a calcium supplement of 1000 mg which includes 400-800 IU Vitamin D-3
  • If you are seeing your primary care physician, ask for a vitamin D and iron screening to see if you would benefit from supplementation

About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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