Vitamin D status following bariatric surgery: Implications and recommendations

Abigail J Johnson, Lauren M. Beckman, Carrie P. Earthman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Individuals with extreme obesity who qualify for bariatric surgery are frequently vitamin D deficient before and after surgery. The anatomical changes that occur during some bariatric procedures may lead to decreased absorption of vitamin D, although vitamin D absorption and metabolism has not been quantified or compared across surgeries, and multiple other factors could influence vitamin D status in these individuals. Vitamin D treatment and dosing studies show that there is variability in how individuals respond to supplementation regimens regardless of the bariatric procedure. It is unknown if improving vitamin D status before and/or after bariatric surgery can affect health-related outcomes in this population beyond the traditional roles of vitamin D. Vitamin D has been purported to positively influence a variety of obesity-related comorbidities. Furthermore, in light of the potential role of vitamin D in immunity and inflammation, it seems important to consider the ramifications of vitamin D deficiency in the postbariatric individual in the critical care setting and particularly in the context of aging. Additional research is needed to develop evidence-based guidelines for optimal treatment of vitamin D deficiency in individuals before and after bariatric surgery and to determine the impact of vitamin D repletion on non-bone health-related outcomes in these individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)751-758
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition in Clinical Practice
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 20 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.


  • bariatric surgery
  • biliopancreatic diversion
  • duodenal switch
  • gastric band
  • gastric bypass
  • malabsorption
  • obesity
  • sleeve gastrectomy
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin D deficiency


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