October 1, 2015 – Micronutrient Lack


Anchor lead:  People who are considering obesity surgery might want a nutritional assessment beforehand, Elizabeth Tracey reports

One in five very obese patients who were about to have obesity or bariatric surgery at Johns Hopkins were found to have nutritional deficiencies prior to the procedure, a study led by Kimberley Steele, a bariatric surgeon, has found.  Steele says specific micronutrients were seen to be at low levels.

Steele: We looked at vitamin A, D, and E, we looked at B1 which is thiamine, we also looked at B12, folate and we also looked at iron.  And why those? Well those are kind of the big vitamins that we also address following surgery because those are the ones that are most prominently found to be malnourished after surgery in our bariatric surgery population.  We found significant deficiencies in vitamin D and also in iron.   :25

Steele says while iron deficiency wasn’t that surprising, vitamin D was, and because the vitamin is involved in healing it’s concerning that it’s low before the operation.  She says further studies will look at whether supplements to normalize levels prior to surgery help.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.