How to Improve Nutrient Absorption & Bioavailability from Natural Foods and Health Supplements

Posted by Mike Miryala on


Sumeet: One last big topic that we want to touch on is Absorption. We talk about eating all of these good nutrition. We talk about taking supplements, taking multivitamins. But there have been stories that, I don't know how true those stories are. There have been stories around, “hey, I've been taking this capsule that you get in different pharmacies, in Costa and all of those places, which are like multivitamins.” But then the stories are that, “hey, I saw the capsules covered in my poop or…” I don't know how true these things are. But if you go and look in Reddit and other forums, you will see these kinds of stories. So the question is, how do we improve the absorption of nutrients that we take? What are the things we can do naturally to improve the absorption? Sam, you want to talk a little bit about it? 

Sam: Yeah, for sure. So in general, as we've been saying this whole time, the more other, as you eat the rainbow, because as I said before, all these compounds feed off of each other. And so they just naturally will help the absorption rate. It's like going all the way back to our sugar, talking about the sugar from the start, how I said, how natural sugar is, like maple syrup and honey, those can also contain nutrients. So then our body is able to react in a way that makes our body break it down in a healthier way, as opposed to when there's nothing, when they have nothing else to work off of. 

So, the first easiest thing is just to combine more of a variety of foods, as we're talking about eating the rainbow is going to increase the absorption rate of any of the vitamins and minerals that you're eating. But then if you want to get more specific, you would have to look more specifically at what's going to help me, what specific vitamin or mineral will help me absorb B6 better, for example. Like some say like magnesium, having more magnesium can increase your absorption rate of B6, for example there. 

But also like vitamin D is a huge one, vitamin D and going to the mental health piece as well, like all of this is related. Vitamin D comes from the sun. The sun boosts our serotonin levels. I'm not sure what the statistic is, I'm not so I don't want to say it, but majority of the people in the United States are deficient in vitamin D, because we're not exposed to the sun enough on a day to day basis by covering our clothes, covering our arms, covering our legs, our entire body needs to be getting like a full daily dose, not just your face, it's the entire body and most of us aren't getting that, especially depending on where you live. So that's why then supplementing, or well that's why then it's harder for us to get the complete absorption of these vitamins and minerals because we are deficient in it. And all of this then just leads to our mental health not being as well, we're not feeling our best. So everything as we're starting to see is connected. So definitely looking into a vitamin D supplement if you feel like you don't get outside enough, but again, the more natural way would be to go outside, go for a 30 minute, one hour walk or a run. That's like a great way to get exercise in and to get your vitamin boost in. 

And then specific to Turmeric, there's a compound and we did touch on this last week called curcumin. Curcumin increases exponentially when it is combined with black pepper. So that's why you'll see in a lot of like pre-made turmeric latte powders, they have black pepper part of it because it's just that extra boost. And it's like, why not just increase the Bioavailability, which means the amount of nutrients that we can absorb in our body. 

Sumeet:  So you're saying that if you have black pepper, it increased the bioavailability of turmeric. Does it improve bioavailability of any other thing? Like, because there have been several other products I've seen black pepper being added saying that increases bioavailability. So does it not just improve turmeric's bioavailability, does it improve every other thing that you have with black pepper? 

Sam:  I think yes, to the point of just what I was saying at the start of all this is that every compound combining together is going to end up increasing the bioavailability as it comes together. It's like a symphony, with one person, it's a little more quiet as it gets louder, as more people come, or more people come, it gets louder, it becomes more of like an experience. It's the same thing with our foods and what we're eating. 

But there's like specific ones, for example, black pepper, curcumin are, when they come together, it's more of a spark than as opposed to necessarily like black pepper and cinnamon. 

Sumeet: Got it, right. Any inputs from your side, Mike, from bioavailability? 

Mike:  I mean, mostly the (Vitamins) A, D, E, and K, which are fat soluble, are absorbed slowly than B and C. B and C absorb faster, especially vitamin C is absorbed very fast. So if anybody is taking vitamins, supplements together, they need to see what the intention of taking it and which one they want more. Let's say, if somebody's goal is taking vitamin A just by itself, probably they have to take with more fatty food. It's always better to take it with food, if they're taking, but mostly I recommend anybody, less pills and more of the natural food. Apart from that, I think Sam told pretty much everything.



If you missed Samantha's and Mike's discussion on Eat The Rainbow, you can still watch the full episode here (Part 2 - Orange / Yellow) -->