Background & aims: Bariatric surgery increases the risk of micronutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency. We analysed early changes in biomarkers of B12 status following bariatric surgery.
Methods: We prospectively included adult patients (n = 27) referred for either Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) (n = 19) or Sleeve Gastrectomy (SG) (n = 8). Blood samples were drawn before surgery and 2 and 6 months following surgery for measurement of B12, holotranscobalamin (holoTC), and methylmalonic acid (MMA). The B12 absorption capacity was estimated from the increase in plasma holoTC two days after a standardised oral B12 challenge.
Results: B12 status decreased following both RYBG and SG. While a decrease in plasma B12 was not evident until 6 months postoperatively, we observed a statistically significant decrease in plasma holoTC and increase in MMA already 2 months postoperatively. These changes were more pronounced at 6 months post surgery. Correspondingly, the B12 absorption capacity was decreased following surgery.
Conclusions: HoloTC and MMA were superior to B12 to detect early changes in B12 status following bariatric surgery. Our data challenge the current concept that liver B12 stores secure long-term maintenance of B12 status. They indicate that B12 treatment in pharmacological doses may be warranted immediately after surgery.
Keywords: Bariatric surgery; Homocysteine; Methylmalonic acid; Transcobalamins; Vitamin B12.
Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.