Before I begin this review, I feel the need to point out one, essential truth about vitamin intake after bariatric surgery.
There is no product out there that will get you 100% of the required nutrients, according to the guidelines of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) in one pill. There’s just not.
While most one-a-day vitamins are smart enough not to say that outright (because it’s not true), the product packaging on many vitamin products can be confusing. And I want you to know the truth. There is no product that will allow you to take one pill and get everything in the recommendations. And that’s the truth.
However, there are one-a-day, multi-vitamins. And that’s a bit different. For most surgical types, the ASMBS recommends two adult multi-vitamins a day. That’s to ensure the proper level of nutrients to make up for malabsorptive procedures. For sleeve patients, the ASMBS has erred on the side of caution since long-term studies on vitamin absorption are still being conducted and it takes a while to come up with definitive findings.
I’m not a scientist. I don’t play one on TV. But I do know many post-ops who take both of their multi’s at the same time, at the direction of their surgeon. As per usual, with ANY change in your vitamin products, I’m going to tell you to refer to your surgeon. If this, or any vitamin product I review, looks good to you, show your doctor the information, get their opinion, and heed what they have to say!
We clear on that? Good! Let’s move forward.
BariatricPal Multivitamin One: What the hell is it?
First let’s talk about BariatricPal. It’s a one-stop shop for most of your bariatric needs. Seriously. It’s like Amazon for WLSers! If you’ve never been to their website before, you gotta check it out.
Last year, BariatricPal took the bariatric world by storm with the release of their very own protein supplement, Protein One, which combines a great-tasting protein supplement with a plethora of vitamins and nutrients, along with fiber! I reviewed it when it came out and, spoiler-alert, I loved it.
So this multivitamin is an extension of that “One” concept of trying to make it easier for bariatric patients to be compliant with their supplements by reducing the amount of stuff you have to take. I honestly don’t think I could summarize this product as well as BariatricPal itself, so let’s let them tell us about it.
BariatricPal Multivitamin ONE was designed and developed by a team of the world’s leading Bariatric medical professionals. The fast-dissolving small veggie capsules are easy to swallow. BariatricPal Multivitamin ONE is based on the latest post-op guidelines from the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) to provide over 20 vitamins and minerals. BariatricPal Multivitamin ONE is especially high in nutrients such as iron, vitamins B12 and D, folic acid, and biotin, that are known to be at risk for bariatric surgery patients.
I do want to make a few notes here that I think are important:
Take note of the “fast dissolving veggie capsule.” That’s important. Many capsules are made of fat byproducts and, therefore, would not be appropriate for RNY or DS patients who malabsorb fat.
According to the description above the vitamins were developed with the ASMBS guidelines at the forefront, which means that the nutrients that are in there should be of the type and quantity matching the ASMBS recommendations.
Lastly, notice that there is iron. Where there is iron, there shouldn’t be any calcium because calcium inhibits iron absorption. So while Multivitamin One does contain vitamin D, it does not contain calcium. You’ll have to take your calcium separately. Which is as it should be.
BariatricPal highlights a few other things about this supplement:
- 100% of the daily value for 20 essential vitamins and minerals.
- Formulated based on the latest ASMBS guidelines.
- One small convenient capsule daily.
- Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free.
- Fast-dissolving veggie capsules.
- Made in the USA.
- Easy to swallow.
But does it hold up to those claims? Let’s see.
This is a capsule and therefore probably has few or no calories. But when we talk about nutrition in a multivitamin we are also talking about nutrients. Here’s the nutritional panel:
Instead of going nutrient-by-nutrient through this label, let’s look at a few, key nutrients. They are the ones highlighted in BariatricPal’s product description. Let’s see how those stand up to ASMBS guidelines:
- Iron: For all surgery types, for patients at higher risk for anemia (menstruating women or those with anemia), the ASMBS recommends between 45-60 mg a day(from all supplements) and that it not be taken with calcium for all surgery types except Adjustable Gastric Band, where the recommendations are at least 18mg. Multivitamin one contains 45 mg of iron and no calcium.
- Vitamin B12: the recommended amount is 350-500 mcg daily oral B12. Now I know that’s not how a lot of you take B12, but stay with me here. Multivitamin One contains 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12.
- Vitamin D: The ASMBS recommends 3,000 IU/daily for all surgery types to stay at normal blood levels. Multivitamin One gives you 75 mcg of vitamin D. The ASMBS lists vitamin D recommendations in IU’s and so I had to go back to BariatricPal for a translation (because math is not my gift!). 75 mcg = 3,000 IU, which exceeds the ASMBS recommendations for Vitamin D.
- Folic acid: The ASMBS splits the recommendations for this, but they are the same across surgery types. For women of child-bearing age, the ASMBS recommends 800-1,000 mcg of folic acid daily from your multi-vitamin. For everyone else, it’s 400-800 mcg. Multivitamin One has 1,333 mcg of folic acid.
- Biotin: The ASMBS does not state a particular recommendation for biotin intake. Multivitamin One contains 600 mcg.
You can find the full ASMBS recommendations here (see Table 6).
Was I compliant?
Since we don’t have flavor and texture to talk about, I thought I’d talk about my actual experience taking these.
I opted to take these in the morning, as that’s when I usually take my iron supplement (I usually take a multi without iron and an additional iron supplement). I take my iron in the morning because I don’t tend to do dairy in the morning anymore and I don’t drink coffee until a few hours after I wake up. (Yes, I know this makes me a space alien to many of you!)
It’s also when I most consistently remember to do it.
Traditionally, I’m into chewable multi’s. That’s just my personality. I have a mind-thing about capsules for very personal reasons. So I was interested to see if I’d forget to take my vitamins while using this exclusively.
Verdict: I actually didn’t forget but I think that’s because I’ve built a strong habit of taking my vitamin right after I wake up. Also because it was the only time I had to take a multi. I’m used to taking my second at dinnertime and that felt a little strange, but otherwise I did ok with taking it.
But here’s the deal. The beauty of having many multivitamin choices is that you’re bound to find one that suits you well. If you can’t stand the sweetness of flavored chewables, a capsule may work better. And if working two multi’s into your day is challenging, a one-a-day multi may work better. Of course (and I know I sound like a broken record here) check with your doctor to make sure this, or any, vitamin product is ok!
Multivitamin One is sold on the BariatricPal website and comes in 30- or 90-count bottles.
- 30-ct. Is $16.99 for a one-time purchase or $12.99 if you choose auto-ship.
- 90-ct. Is $39.99 for a one-time purchase and $29.99 if you choose auto-ship.
BariatricPal also offers a six- and 12-month supply, and you can check out the prices on their website.