Celebrate Essential Nutrient Systems (ENS) is a vitamin drink mix designed for weight loss surgery patients. It comes in a little packet like those single serving packets of Crystal Light. It’s a powder that you mix with eight ounces of water. It comes in two flavors, grape and wild cherry. The wild cherry is new and I have not tried it yet, but I think the grape tastes just like grape Koolaid.
One packet of ENS contains 100% of the recommended daily allowance of most vitamins and minerals. Lap band patients and vertical sleeve gastrectomy patients need about 100% of the recommended daily allowance of most nutrients, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, so they would need to use one packet a day. Gastric bypass patients and duodenal sleeve patients, on the other hand, need 200% of the recommended daily allowance of most nutrients, so they would need to use two packets a day.
There are a few notable exceptions, though. Each packet of ENS contains 500 mg calcium, and lap band patients and vertical sleeve gastrectomy patients need 1500 mg calcium each day. Gastric bypass patients need 1500 – 2000 mg calcium per day, and duodenal switch patients need 1800 – 2400 mg calcium each day. Therefore all patients would need to take additional calcium beyond what is provided in ENS.
Celebrate Essential Nutrient Systems does not contain any iron. This is probably because of the large amount of calcium it contains. That much calcium would interfere with the absorption any iron. Patients will therefore need to take an iron supplement separately, if needed. Iron should be taken at least two hours apart from any calcium.
In addition, duodenal switch patients need additional vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K beyond what is provided in ENS. Individual patients may need other supplements, of course, based on their lab tests.
It is important to be aware that the calcium in ENS is calcium lactate-gluconate. Weight loss surgery patients, especially gastric bypass patients, are often advised to use calcium citrate. In general, they are advised not to use calcium carbonate because it is not absorbed as well as calcium citrate, particularly by gastric bypass patients. However, research indicates that calcium lactate and calcium gluconate are absorbed about as well as calcium citrate. Celebrate’s CEO informed me that they used calcium lactate-gluconate in ENS because it dissolves better in water than calcium citrate. They didn’t want a gritty drink. Calcium lactate and calcium gluconate have lower amounts of elemental calcium than either calcium citrate or calcium carbonate, but that just means they need to use more of it to get 500 mg elemental calcium per serving. One serving of Celebrate ENS does provide 500 mg elemental calcium.
Weight loss surgery patients are often advised to use chewable or liquid vitamin supplements, especially right after surgery. Some doctors and dieticians believe that liquid or chewable supplements will be absorbed better, and they also worry that large pills that are swallowed may get stuck in the narrow opening between the stomach and the small intestine, especially right after surgery. I like ENS myself because the chewables were making me nauseous, and I tried several brands of chewables. Since it’s important to get plenty of fluids after weight loss surgery anyway, I like it that I am getting my vitamins and my fluids at the same time. And I like the taste.
Celebrate Essential Nutrient Systems is expensive, at least compared to chewable vitamins and calcium. A 30 day supply of ENS (if you’re going to take two a day) costs about $50, while a 30 day supply of chewable bariatric multivitamins along with chewable calcium (1000 mg per day) costs about $31. I do like the ENS, but if the chewables didn’t make me nauseous, I would probably use the chewables just to save some money. However, I can highly recommend ENS for anyone who doesn’t want to use chewables, for whatever reason.
Celebrate Bariatric Vitamins. http://www.celebratevitamins.com/link_index.php?option=com_freeway&openfile=index.php&cPath=56_63. ENS.
American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. http://www.asbs.org/Newsite07/resources/bgs_final.pdf. ASMBS Guidelines.