Americans are a very health-conscious group of people.  On average, Americans spend more than $30 billion a year on dietary supplements — vitamins, minerals and herbal products.  People take vitamins and supplements for numerous reasons, depending on their diet, lifestyle, or perhaps medical issues they’re facing. Consumers are also getting savvy about what kind of supplements they’re taking, opting for organic supplements and those that have been through numerous tests to ensure quality. However, one question is often overlooked:  how well does your body absorb the nutrients in your supplements? It’s an important question, and one worth looking in to.

Why nutrient absorption is a problem

There are several reasons why your body doesn’t absorb the nutrients in your supplement as well as you had hoped. Here are just a few reasons:

  • Disintegration in the system – in order for your body to access the nutrients in your supplement, your body has to disintegrate it effectively, breaking it down and getting it into your system. Pills, tablets and even powders are more difficult for your body to digest than extracts. Though there are many products that add ingredients to help with this, it’s a good idea to always seek out a product that is the easiest for your body to digest.
  • Fillers, binders and other by-products – many products use other materials to help bind their product together.
  • Sweeteners and corn syrups – Not only are these  sweeteners causing insulin spikes leading to weight gain, but they block micronutrients from being absorbed into the body as well. High fructose corn syrup contributes to deficiencies in chromium, magnesium, zinc, and copper, while sugar blocks the absorption of vitamin C, calcium and magnesium.

How your body can better absorb the nutrients in your supplements

At this point, you might feel that perhaps taking vitamins and supplements is just pouring money down the drain:  not true!  There are a few things you can look for to ensure you’re getting optimal absorption.  First, look for organic supplements whenever possible, which tend to have less (if any) fillers, binders, or other add-ins that may actually block absorption. Second, whenever possible, seek out extracts over powders, pills and capsules. Why?  In an extract, you’re more likely to get supplements made from the fresh source, such as a turmeric extract made from the fresh root of the turmeric vs. powders. It’s more pure, more complete nutrition.

A third item to look for are products that use bioperine. Bioperine is the active ingredient in black pepper that contributes to that unique spice you taste.  This is not merely adding black pepper to a product; bioperine is unique in its ability to help the nutrients in vitamins and supplements get absorbed more easily into the system. Sometimes referred to as “bioenhancement,” this ability means you get more out of other nutrients that you consume.  Bioperine is the only product sourced out of piperine to obtain a patented status for its ability to increase the bioavailability of nutritional compounds. In other words, bioperine is simply the patented, more refined version of piperine.

Last, do your research. Read labels. Look for supplements that are made in the USA, are certified, third party tested, and provide complete and detailed information about information such as shelf life, ingredients, etc. Supplements are a wonderful way to enhance your health overall. Be sure to choose the right ones to get all the benefits!