I have a tendency to talk to overweight patients who are contemplating bariatric surgery. For certain people who are overweight, the requirement to take certain mineral and vitamin supplements throughout their lives isn’t easy pill to swallow. Not taking them but to do so puts people at risk for severe nutritional deficiencies. Some patients are still hesitant at having to take this many pills on a schedul forever. That has led at the very the very least one doctor in our community to advocate for a Vitamin Patches for the skin to provide the necessary nutrients and vitamins.
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Brilliant concept, however how can they be implemented?
Certain nutrients, like Vitamins C and E found in some cosmetic creams are absorbed by the skin, but in small quantities. The “topical” ointments are only superficial, but.
Patients who underwent the gastric bypass procedure have been able to have the upper portion of their stomachs removed and relocated towards your smaller intestine. Additionally, it makes it difficult to eat regularly (hence it’s rapid reduction in weight) the procedure can limit the body’s capacity to absorb specific nutrients. This is why patients require an efficient methods to get additional vitamins and minerals into the body.
Unfortunately, there are only a few studies on humans that support the patching of the skin for the different kinds of vitamins required by patients with gastric bypass. A study that was small on patients who underwent the procedure, evaluated the results of the Vitamin skin patch against those who swallowed or chewed vitamins.
After a year after one year, 82% of the people who had used the patch were deficient in one or more nutrients , compared to 40% of those in those who took pills. In the end, researchers found that those who applied the patch on their skin had lower blood levels of vitamins B12, B1 and D than those who ingested pills.
Iron and calcium are the other essential nutrients for patients following the gastric bypass procedure. Do these minerals be absorbed into bloodstreams and their final destination within the body via an patch on the skin?
It would certainly be wonderful to be able to do this, but we’re not sure for certain. A few animal studies have shown potential with the use of special patches that aid the skin in absorbing nutrients, but the data are not available for people.
More human studies are being conducted, and we’ll know more in the near future. For now, let me recommend the tried and tested methods for getting the essential nutrients we need to our body. Select foods that supply essential nutrients with every bite. Also, chew your food carefully to make the nutrients available to your body’s use.
In the meantime, until we know more I’d suggest that the best course of action following abdominal surgery would be to take liquid or chewable forms of the extra minerals and vitamins required.