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X Fact
July 10, 2020
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Does Gastric Bypass Surgery Cause Lifelong Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

Approximately 300,000 gastric bypass operations are performed in the US every year. The goal of the operation is to reduce the size of the stomach pouch dramatically or 'bypass' it completely so that the individual feels very full after consuming even a small amount of food. There are many different types of operation, but the most popular one and is performed in over 2/3 of gastric bypass operations is called the 'Gastric Sleeve'. In order to leave a narrow 'sleeve' for food to pass into the intestine, most of the stomach is removed, which also removes all the parietal cells that produce Intrinsic Factor (IF) which leads to vitamin B deficiency and a lifelong dependence on vitamin B12 supplements.

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Words You May Not Know
Gastric Bypass
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Gastric Bypass

a surgical bypass operation that typically involves reducing the size of the stomach and reconnecting the smaller stomach to bypass the first portion of the small intestine so as to restrict food intake and reduce caloric absorption in cases of severe obesity

Who Wrote This
Jonathan Bortz MD
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Jonathan’s background as a practicing diabetes specialist for 15 years and 17-year career developing nutritional prescriptive products for the pharmaceutical industry has contributed to his ability to understand nutrients, how they work and why they are important.

Over the years he has acquired broad and in-depth knowledge in minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients, but has special expertise in Vitamin B12 and choline metabolism. He is often asked to speak at national and international venues to articulate why B12, folate and choline are so important to gene function, brain development, liver and cardiovascular health. He applies pharmaceutical standards to nutrient science and has developed a unique ability to translate complicated concepts into simple promotional messages that resonate with practitioners and consumers. He has developed dozens of innovative nutritional products, of which many are category leaders in the US. Jonathan obtained his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in South Africa and did his fellowship in Endocrinology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

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