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The art and science behind choosing nutritional supplements after bariatric surgery

Should I take supp

lements? Does the food I eat contain every nutrient I need? Gosh, I don’t eat enough after my surgery anyhow; my doctor told me to take “any” brand, are all of them the same? How do I choose one, who should I ask? Who is the expert? What if I take too many? These are only a few of the frequent questions people have when it comes to nutritional supplements after bariatric and metabolic surgery.

Nutrition now a day is facing three challenges:

1. – For many reasons the food we eat provides more than enough calories but only a part of our essentials nutritional requirements. I am referring to vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, amino acids, and essential fatty all needed to keep body functions at an optimal level. It is a fact that nutritional supplements are a second intake of nutrients to meet our needs.

2. – The nutritional supplement industry provides so many options that not only customers are confused when buying, but also doctors when recommending.

3. – To date, most doctors, nutritionists, and nurses training programs do not include the subject of supplementation; and they don’t have time in their busy agenda to review characteristics, benefits, advantages, and real value among brands. In part, because they are not drugs, and their prescription and surveillance are not required.

Thanks to a personal challenge, I had to become knowledgeable about the subject. For twenty years I have shared my experience with patients and attendees to my speeches in different countries, now I am pleased to participate with NUBARICS® patients in their life and health improvement journey. The following are only a few guidelines and tips I use to coach people when they start or perfection their habit of food supplementation.


NSF® certification is one you should look for in any supplement you will eat; the National Sanitation Foundation reviews supplements label claims, toxicology, and contamination, and will put its logo on a safe supplement with a formula that matches its label and its amounts (with no more, fewer, or hidden ingredients). No NSF® certification on a supplement, it’s a no go! Especially if the brand is private-labeled.

Halal certified supplements meet Muslims’ religion needs; Halal standards are internationally recognized for high quality, healthy food.

Kosher certification ensures a product is fit for consumption by observant Jews.

Gluten-free certification is reassuring to the extremely high percentage of individuals who are sensitive to these proteins.

USDA organic certification is found in food products made with one key ingredient like orange juice or bread. Thus, is not a certification that should be considered to choose or rule out a nutritional supplement. If you ever find a USDA (United Stated Department of Agriculture) certified supplement chances are is made with one food ingredient. Fish oils could never be certified since is not a farm product or any product containing coral or algae calcium, just to give you an example.

FDA certification is one you shouldn’t look for in a nutritional supplement, the Food and Drug Administration may visit laboratories and assure quality, but you will never see its logo in a brand. A doctor or nutritionist asking for such certification on supplements proves my aforementioned point number 3; and someone who claims to have an FDA certified supplement is misrepresenting his brand.


Both come in the form of supplements. Nutrients have a daily-recommended allowance (RDA) or Daily Value (DV), their shortage may result in a lack of energy, diseases like osteoporosis, and anything in between. Some examples are vitamin A, B complex, C, D, E, iron, calcium, iodine, and copper, just to mention a few; our health in its optimal version depends on the adequate and sufficient daily intake of nutrients. Herbals (a.k.a botanicals) don’t have a daily requirement, meaning that you wont develop symptoms or diseases if you don’t consume them. Still, are helpful on specific occasions, conditions, or stages of life; some examples are Saw palmetto for prostate health, Black cohosh for menopause symptoms, and Valerian for a night of better sleep. After your surgery, focus on nutrients.


Most supplements are 100% synthetic; some combine synthetic compounds with plants in their formula. In a smaller group, much smaller, are a few with formulas that include organic plant concentrates, thus combining the best of both worlds; my favorites so far. Peace of mind is when I eat and recommend supplements that contain the organic fruits and vegetables, and wild-caught fish in the case of EPA and DHA that we should eat, but we are not.

As a NUBARICS® patient, you will enjoy these and many more useful guides and guidelines for the appropriate use of nutritional supplements after your surgery. We work to help our patients to be fit and well-nourished, not only lighter. By the way, I have been supplementing my food for twenty years; the supplements I use and recommend comply with the certifications, benefits, and characteristics I have mentioned in this article.

At NUBARICS® we don’t just help people lose weight. We put them in a path to a healthier, happier life.

Call today:

1.619.573.4667 | 1.855.700.2522

Dr. Gabriel Gutierrez

NUBARICS® pre- and post-operative support coordinator

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