Bio-availability refers to the bodies ability to absorb and use a particular substance or nutrient.
Vitamins and minerals are manufactured from either ‘organic’ or ‘inorganic’ materials. Minerals in the form of sulphates, oxides, carbonates or artificial chelates are inorganic, meaning they rarely occur naturally in the plant or animal kingdoms. Minerals in the form of gluconates, phosphates, citrates, lactates are called ‘organic’ minerals because they do occur in the plant and animal kingdoms. Organic mineral forms are believed to be absorbed easier by the body.
One example can be seen in the supplement calcium, in 1987 Maryland University carried out a study to investigate the different forms of calcium and absorption since it already had been determined that the solubility of many calcium salts, depends on pH, the type of salt used, the condition of the patient and the time of administration.
Previously it was assumed that all calcium supplements were equal, as long as the amount of calcium in each supplement was the same, however it was found that calcium must be in the form of ions to be absorbed. As with many salts the solubility depends upon the pH of the solution its dissolving in. To be of use in the body first the tablet must disintegrate, It was found that some tablets had coatings on “enteric-coated” that were insoluble in acid, these coatings are of use to other supplements where the disintegration is needed further down the digestion track, or packed too tightly together ‘bed pan bullets’ (The standard laboratory test for disintegration (part of the test known as the United States Pharmacopeia [USP] “Disintegration and Dissolution of Dietary Supplements” method <2040>), is an important test of product quality, although passing this test alone does not assure bioavailability). The research also found that calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate dissolved well at a pH of 1.01(very acidic) but their solubility reduced as pH increased, the average stomach acid pH of a human is 1.5-3.5, therefore for bioavailability calcium citrate and calcium lactate are better forms.
Susan has a practitioner account with Natural Dispensary where she can offer her clients a 10% discount off their price list. If you want to discuss any of your supplements, please contact Susan.