Effectiveness of B Vitamin Supplementation Following Bariatric Surgery: Rapid Increases of Serum Vitamin B12

Carolyn E. Moore, Vadim Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Few prospective studies have compared changes of nutrient intake while assessing effectiveness of thiamin, vitamin B12, and folate supplementation to prevent B vitamin deficiencies immediately following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG). Therefore, we determined the response to 3 months supplementation on maintaining blood B vitamin concentrations. Methods: Women undergoing RYGB (n = 11) and SG (n = 11) consumed bariatric vitamin supplements (12 mg thiamin, 350 μg vitamin B12, 800 μg folic acid) daily for 3 months. Height, weight, body mass index, and blood vitamin concentrations were measured preoperatively and at 3 months. Wilcoxon signed-rank analyses compared body weight parameters, laboratory indices, and nutrient intake at baseline and 3 months. Results: Supplementation for 3 months maintained blood thiamin, increased serum folate from 13.1 ± 5.4 to 16.3 ± 6.0 nmol/L (P = 0.049), and increased serum vitamin B12 concentrations from 498 ± 150 to 736 ± 340 pg/mL (P = 0.005). Dietary intake of thiamin and folate decreased in the combined surgical groups, while dietary intake of B12 was maintained. Bariatric B vitamin supplements provided multiple intakes of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (1090 % thiamin, 14,583 % vitamin B12, 200 % folate). Conclusions: Although energy intake decreased 64 %, B vitamin supplementation for 3 months resulted in a 48 % increase of serum vitamin B12, a modest increase of serum folate, and no reduction of blood thiamin concentrations. Long-term effects of the rapid rise of serum B12 levels attributed to the high content of supplements warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)694-699
Number of pages6
JournalObesity Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Folate
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Effectiveness of B Vitamin Supplementation Following Bariatric Surgery: Rapid Increases of Serum Vitamin B12'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this