‘The ability of a drug, nutrient, or other substance to be absorbed and used by the body. Orally bioavailable means that a nutrient, drug, or other substance that is taken by mouth can be absorbed and used by the body.’
Nutritional scientists are aware of the importance of bioavailability. For example, when you eat, the food is taken into your digestive system. Useful nutrients are then absorbed into your bloodstream and are either stored or used by your cells. However, because your body is not perfectly efficient, not all the nutrient molecules will be absorbed: some are destroyed in the stomach and intestines, some are excreted back, and some simply just don’t go inside the cells.
Macronutrients such as carbs and fats are highly bioavailable, but the beneficial micronutrients found in vitamins, minerals, flavonoids and carotenoids and presented in supplements can sometimes be harder to absorb by the body
Increasing Bio Availability?
Bioavailability in supplements can be affected by a whole variety of factors, including:
- The choice of nutrient source
- The delivery mechanism; tablet, capsule, powder, liquid.
- Timing and meal choice, some nutrients are better absorbed with fats.
- Competitive inhibition avoidance, ensuring that nutrients that may compete are taken apart from each other.
- Gastrointestinal health including the production of enzymes and local inflammation or damage.
And the combining of specific lipids with nutrients to aid absorption.
A per a paper published in Bioactive Compounds in Health and Disease May 2022 confirmed what had been suspected based on observational data. Namely that the use of NT Factor Lipids, also known as Membrane Lipid Replacements aids in the absorption of 3 difficult to absorb nutrients – whilst also adding its own clinical benefits[i].
[i] Settineri R, Ji J, Shields ZP, Shirvani T, McLaren CE, Nicolson GL. The effects of Membrane Lipid Replacement with NTFactor® Lipids on increasing the bioavailability of three test nutrients. Bioactive Compounds in Health & Disease 2022, 5(5): 106-116