How to Maximize The Absorption Of Supplements
By Ali Kuoppala | Last reviewed Mon 24 September 2018
Medical Review by Gerardo Sison, PharmD
All of the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) have important actions in the body. Some so much that we would die without them in our system.
Supplements, herbs, amino acids and whatnot, can also be important, but they are not vital for our survival.
With that being said, certain supplements can help increase testosterone, thyroid function & metabolism, and even make you smarter.
But the thing is, not all supplements and supplemental micronutrients are created equal, some absorb better, some worse, some don't absorb and get into the bodily system at all...
...On top of that, your nutrition habits can either hinder or help in the absorption and bioavailibity of supplemental compounds.
In this article, I'm going to walk you through the most common factors you can use in maximizing vitamin and supplement bioavailibity naturally.
So let's get at it:
Vitamin Solubility Makes a Difference
There are some vitamins that are soluble in water, and some that are soluble in fat.
Vitamins C, all of the B-complex vitamins, and choline are water-soluble, and thus absorb fairly easily into the bodily system even if you haven't eaten anything.
Vitamins A, E, D, and K2, however are fat-soluble, meaning that they will have a hard time reaching their target tissue without dietary fat as a "vehicle".
So a good rule of thumb: you don't need to worry about vitamin C, choline, or the B-vitamins, they will absorb without any foods. For vitamins K2, A, E, and D, always consume some fat with them. I personally just take them with some coconut oil and/or a fat containing meal.
Note this about Minerals
The minerals calcium, sodium (salt), zinc, magnesium, copper, boron, potassium, selenium and so forth come in many different forms.
You have the oxides, the chelates, the citrates, carbonates, glycinates...
In terms of their goodness in in bioavailibity; citrate, picolinates, chelates, glycinate, gluconate, and the carbonate forms tend to be well absorbing...
...Whereas oxidase forms tend to be cheap and poorly absorbing, as are asparates, and stearates.
Now there is another thing to keep in mind for mineral absorption, and that is how your nutrition habits impact the absorption.
Here's few examples;
- Coffee can slightly prevent the absorption of calcium, which is why you shouldn't take it at the same time.
- Grains high in pythic acid prevent absorption of many micronutrients. Don't consume micronutrients with any grains.
- eating too much processed food messes up the delicate gut flora and reduces the production of HCL, which decreases absorption of nutrients.
- High fiber intake, as well as high intake of nuts and legumes can prevent the absorption of calcium, iron, magnanese, and zinc.