What is bioavailability?

5 min read
A micronutrient will only take effect if it can be digested and absorbed by the body. Bioavailability is the ease with which any nutrient can make its way from the food you eat into your bloodstream.

The bioavailability route that every nutrient takes is the same. In the first part of the journey, the food must be broken apart so that the nutrients in the food can be freed. Once the nutrient has been freed from the food that contained it, the digestive tract needs to absorb the nutrients and the nutrients will be passed on in the bloodstream to be either stored or used by your cells.

If we eat in a healthy way and have healthy body functions, we don’t have to worry about the bioavailability of nutrients. However, the majority of us have sub-optimal body functions ( stomach, gut, liver, pancreas) or have sub-optimal diets, and even when eating healthy, due to modern agricultural practices it has become increasingly difficult to get enough micronutrients from our food. That’s where supplements can come to the rescue.

Nutritional scientists are well aware of the importance of bioavailability. Supplements that are formulated to have high bioavailability will be more effective, as they will help the body to absorb more of the appropriate nutrient, without having to take higher doses. There are multiple methods to increase the bioavailability of active ingredients. One of the methods is to choose the high-bioavailable version of the nutrient. This is a more expensive form, so that's why some manufacturers choose differently. Secondly, choose whole-food combined supplements instead of isolated nutrients. Herbs, roots, algae, and mushrooms are whole food supplements and help the body with the absorption of the other micronutrients. Bioavailability is the key to creating a supplement that delivers proven benefits.

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