Background Patients with short bowel syndrome have significant fluid and electrolytes loss. Objective Evaluate the mineral and electrolyte status in short bowel syndrome patients receiving intermittent parenteral nutrition or oral feeding. Methods Twenty two adults with short bowel syndrome, of whom 11 were parenteral nutrition dependent (PN group), and the 11 remaining had been weaned off parenteral nutrition for at least 1 year and received all nutrients by oral feeding (OF group). The study also included 14 healthy volunteers paired by age and gender (control group). Food ingestion, anthropometry, serum or plasma levels of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper were evaluated. PN group subjects were evaluated before starting a new parenteral nutrition cycle. Results The levels of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and zinc were similar between the groups. The magnesium value was lower in the PN group (1.0 ± 0.4 mEq /L) than other groups. Furthermore, this electrolyte was lower in the OF group (1.4 ± 0.3 mEq /L) when compared to the Control group (1.8 ± 0.1 mEq/L). Lower values of copper (69±24 vs 73±26 vs 109±16 µg/dL) were documented, respectively, for the PN and OF groups when compared to the control group. Conclusion Hypomagnesemia and hypocupremia are electrolyte disturbances commonly observed in short bowel syndrome. Patients with massive intestinal resection require monitoring and supplementation in order to prevent magnesium and copper deficiencies.