Which Form of Supplement is Best Absorbed?

Did you know that more than half of Americans aged 20 and older take dietary supplements? In fact, 80% of women aged 60 and over take some type of supplement. The bioavailability of vitamins is something that many people don't consider when adding vitamins or supplements to their diet. Bioavailability is the ease with which the body can absorb the nutrient, which plays an important role in the effectiveness of a supplement or vitamin. In general, a liquid in the stomach will be absorbed at a much faster rate than in the form of a solid pill.

In fact, the body can begin to absorb liquid vitamins even before they reach the stomach. When it comes to choosing a supplement, it's important to consider the bioavailability of the nutrient. Liquid supplements are absorbed more quickly and easily than pills, tablets, capsules, chewables and gummies. The body can absorb up to 98% of liquid vitamins, while pills range from only 3 to 20%.

This is because pills must pass through the digestive system before their nutrients are absorbed. Liquid vitamins have no external “barriers”, so they do not need to undergo physical decay, making them easily available for absorption. Calcium supplements are available as capsules, tablets, powders and chewables and are better absorbed in smaller doses, so you should consume doses of 500 mg or less (several times a day). Choose a calcium supplement that combines with vitamin D, or take calcium together with foods rich as eggs (with yolk), mushrooms, and fatty fish.

Vitamin B12 is important in the creation of red blood cells and is found naturally in animal foods. Most vitamin B12 supplements are made from cyanocobalamin, a synthetic form of the vitamin. It is easily absorbed by the body and is cheaper to manufacture. Taking vitamin B12 with water on an empty stomach will help the absorption of vitamin B12. A positive side effect of vitamin B12 supplements for some people is increased energy, so it's best to take them in the morning.

Taking vitamin B12 with vitamin C can reduce the bioavailability of vitamin B12, so if you're taking both supplements, it's best to keep them separate for a few hours. The best form of vitamin D for absorption is a soft gelatin capsule. They are more likely to break down evenly and completely than tablets, and the liquid contained in the pill is easier for the body to absorb. Some liquid supplements may require refrigeration, making it difficult to carry them with you during the day or while traveling.

It's also important to disclose what you're taking in case your supplements make any prescription less effective. Some groups of people actually benefit from vitamin supplements, such as those who are pregnant, have restrictive diets (either by choice or medical necessity), or have limited exposure to sunlight. For example, if family members share a supplement, such as liquid drops of vitamin D or liquid fish oil, it is very easy to give each person their specific dose by changing the number of drops or the fraction of a teaspoon given. We've covered liquid supplements, tablets, capsules, chewables and gummies, and there's always liquid coming out on top.

Liquid supplements are already in the form your body needs and have no external “barriers” so they do not need to undergo physical decay making them easily available for absorption. Health professionals recommend this type if they want faster results.

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