Importance of the Bioavailability of Supplements

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Importance of the Bioavailability of Supplements

By Will Cartwright | Frequently Asked Questions | 0 Comments | 18 December, 2017

Several years ago, most consumers didn't know what the term "bioavailability" meant. Instead, they simply bought the products with the best labels or the lowest price. However, thanks to enhanced consumer education, today's supplement consumers understand this concept. Instead of picking up the first thing on the shelf, they actively search for products that offer better biovailability, as well as other benefits. In order to maximize profitability, your supplement brand needs to understand the concept of bioavailability and leverage it properly. 

What Is Bioavailability?

Bioavailability refers to the ability of the ingredients in a given supplement to be actively absorbed by the consumer's body and delivered in the right form to the targeted site. If an ingredient isn't bioavailable, it is essentially useless to the consumer even when taken in large amounts. However, it is also important to note that bioavailability is only one part of the picture when it comes to the quality and efficacy of a nutritional supplement. Although consumers may look for a supplement with more bioavailability, their primary concern is whether the supplement will be effective for its intended purpose. Thus, it is important to consider bioavailability in combination with other factors that improve product effectiveness. 

Factors Affecting Absorption

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Absorption doesn't only depend on the quality and structure of the supplement itself. Certain characteristics of the consumer can also affect the absorption of a supplement's ingredients.

Some of the characteristics that may impact absorption include nutritional status, diet, growth and maturation of the gastrointestinal tract.For example, absorption of certain ingredients is often different in children and adolescents than it is in adults.

In addition, the absorption of a supplement may be affected by certain medications or health conditions the consumer may have. For supplement brands, this means that the target consumer should always be considered when a new supplement is being developed or tested.

Another important factor affecting the absorption of supplement ingredients is a given ingredient's relationship with other substances in the human body. For example, certain nutrients work in tandem with one another, which means that both ingredients must be present in the right amounts in order to give the consumer the best results. Examples of pairs of ingredients that work together include:

  • Tryptophan and niacin
  • Copper and zinc
  • Vitamin B12 and folate
  • Potassium and sodium
  • Vitamin D and calcium

When designing supplements that include any of these ingredients, supplement brands should always consider their relationship with other ingredients. For example, when designing a supplement to raise folate levels, brands should consider including Vitamin B12 or encouraging consumers to take Vitamin B12 separately. 

Competing Based on Bioavailability of Supplements

As a brand, you may want to use the bioavailability of your supplements' ingredients to separate yourselves from the competition. However, when making claims based on bioavailability, you need to make sure that every claim you make is based on solid research studies and accurate data. If you make unfounded claims, your brand may eventually become the subject of legal action. 

Unfortunately, making well-researched claims about bioavailability can be challenging. Designing tests for bioavailability is difficult, making it hard for scientists to determine exactly what percentage of a supplement is actually being absorbed. That being said, testing for bioavailability is not impossible. 

Assessing Bioavailability 

Bioavailability is usually analyzed by determining the area under the plasma concentration--time curve (AUC--view Representative plasma concentration--time connection following a single oral dose of an hypothetical drug.) . The most dependable measure of a supplements bioavailability is AUC. AUC is directly proportional to the total number of unchanged drug that reaches systemic circulation. Supplements might be considered bioequivalent in extent and rate of absorption if their plasma concentration curves are essentially superimposable.

Absorption; the highest  plasma concentration is attained when drug elimination rate equals absorption speed. Bioavailability determinations dependent on the peak plasma concentration might be misleading because medication elimination begins when the drug enters the bloodstream. Peak time (when maximum plasma drug concentration happens) will be the most widely used general index of absorption rate; the quicker the absorption, and the later the peak period.

For medication excreted primarily unchanged in urine, Bioavailability may be approximated by measuring the whole quantity of drug excreted After one dose. Ideally, urine is collected within a span of seven to 10 Elimination half-lives for whole sinus recovery of the absorbed drug. After multiple dosing, bioavailability could be estimated by quantifying unchanged Drug recovered from urine over a 24-h interval under steady-state ailments.

ABH Pharma wouldn't be an industry leader in supplement manufacturing if we didn't understand how our products work on a cellular level. Allow us to help you create a supplement marketable for it's bioavilability built into it! 

Sources: 

  1. http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/articles/dietary-supplements-and-bioavailability-looking-some-action
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11285353
  3. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Nutritions-dynamic-duos

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Cartwright

Written by Will Cartwright

Will specializes in internet marketing for the nutraceutical industry. Will has years of experience working with both Supplement Brands & Manufacturers, giving him great insider knowledge of operations & marketing methodology that works within this industry. Will is constantly reviewing new product trends and listening to feedback from industry leaders.

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