Bioavailability: What is it and Why Does it Matter?

Receptra | April 3, 2017

With the world of nutritional supplements ever-expanding, it is hard to keep up with “what you should and shouldn’t be taking” on a daily basis. Supplements are not only sold online, in health food stores and at designated vitamin stores, but at gas stations too. What you probably do not know, though, is that you can take numerous pills per day, and they won’t necessarily absorb into your body’s systems. This is why bioavailability is so important.

What is Bioavailability?                

Bioavailability of a drug (in pharmacology) or vitamin is its ability to be absorbed and processed by the human body . During testing for new pharmaceutical drugs, the rate of absorption is examined thoroughly. In order to gain approval from the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), drugs must absorb at a consistent rate.

While nutritional supplements are unregulated by the FDA, the same principles chemically apply – you can literally take vitamins and other supplements daily, but reap no benefits if you don’t help to make them bioavailable.

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Healthy Fat: The Key to Bioavailability

Recently, biologists and nutritionist have engaged in conversation distinguishing healthy fat from unhealthy fat. Saturated and trans fats have been labeled as harmful to the heart, while monosaturated and polysaturated fats have been identified as beneficial to heart and circulatory health.

Healthy fats play a key role in making nutrients bioavailable. Many supplements are fat-soluble, meaning—if they are ingested with a healthy fat they will be better absorbed by your body’s systems.

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Identifying Healthy Fats

While it can be difficult to distinguish healthy and unhealthy fats, this is a good best practice to remember:

If you are consuming a fat that did not need to be created, it is probably a healthy fat.

Examples of healthy fat:

  • Nuts (walnuts, cashews, pecans)
  • Avocado
  • Coconut (MCT Oil)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fish (salmon, herring, trout)

Examples of unhealthy fat (created fat):

  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Vegetable Oils

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Bioavailability: More for Your Health

If you are spending money on nutritional supplements for your health, you should reap all of the benefits. To do so, help them to be bioavailable by ingesting healthy fats with any of your daily supplements!

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