Changes in fat-soluble vitamin levels after gastrectomy for gastric cancer

Surg Today. 2017 Feb;47(2):145-150. doi: 10.1007/s00595-016-1341-5. Epub 2016 May 25.


Several authors have reported the relationship between gastric cancer risk and vitamins. However, there are few reports on fat-soluble vitamins after gastrectomy for gastric cancer. Fat malabsorption and suppression of food intake after gastrectomy for gastric cancer have been previously documented. Because of fat malabsorption and suppression of food intake, a potential deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, has been readily suggested. In about 20 % of patients, the serum vitamin E levels were decreased. Indeed, vitamin E deficiency is a common complication after gastrectomy. Continuous vitamin E deficiency could develop from neurological symptoms, i.e., peripheral neuropathy, limb or truncal ataxia. The total cholesterol level is associated with the vitamin E levels. However, the serum vitamin A levels were decreased in only 1.8 % of patients. In total gastrectomy cases, the serum vitamin A level may readily decrease. In contrast, 1,25(OH)2 vitamin D deficiency, which is the most active vitamin D metabolite, is rare. Additionally, vitamin K deficiency after gastrectomy has not been reported thus far. Evidence that serum fat-soluble vitamin levels may decrease after gastrectomy for gastric cancer has not been established yet. Future research must explore fat-soluble vitamin deficiency after gastrectomy.

Keywords: Gastric cancer; Vitamin A; Vitamin D; Vitamin E; Vitamin K.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gastrectomy*
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Stomach Neoplasms / blood
  • Stomach Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Vitamin A / blood*
  • Vitamin A Deficiency
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin E / blood*
  • Vitamin E Deficiency
  • Vitamin K / blood*


  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E