Are Liquid Multivitamins Better Absorbed by the Body?
Have you heard statements like “liquid multivitamins are more bioavailable than multivitamins in tablet form” or “multivitamin tablets cannot be fully absorbed by the organism and just create expensive urine”? If you’ve heard such claims, you may wonder if there is any truth to them. The answer is “yes”, there is some truth to them, but not as much as you may expect.
Ineffective multivitamins come in all forms
It is true that there are multivitamin tablets out there that have very low absorption rates and may pass through your body unabsorbed. These are usually tablets made of cheap ingredients that are typically produced by manufacturers with low quality control standards. However, the issue of poor quality is equally applicable for multivitamins that come in the form of tablets,capsules or liquids but are made of cheap ingredients. All things being equal, liquid multivitamins are not any better at being absorbed by the body than high-quality multivitamins that come in tablet or capsule form.
Some active ingredients lose their potency when dissolved in liquid
Liquid multivitamins actually have a major drawback when compared to vitamins that come in tablet form. Not all active ingredients can be dissolved in water without losing some of their efficacy. Because of that, liquid multivitamins tend to be less potent than their tablet counterparts.
Liquid multivitamins contain more artificial fillers
Another factor that has to be taken into account is that liquid multivitamins often include artificial colors and flavorings to make them more palatable and mask the unpleasant taste of the nutrients that they contain. Multivitamin tablets and capsules, on the other hand, do not need such artificial ingredients and tend to contain less fillers.
The potency of liquid vitamins is degraded by stomach acid
You may have heard marketing claims like “our liquid multivitamins have a 98% absorption rate.” This sounds impressive, but, in fact, it is simply not possible. You see, most of the nutrients that your body metabolizes are absorbed through the small intestines. To get to the small intestines, the ingredients have to pass though your stomach. When you take liquid multivitamins, their ingredients come into direct contact with the acids and enzymes in your stomach at which point some of them partially lose their potency, while others completely lose potency. Only the nutrients that survive the assault of the stomach acids and enzymes and make it to the small intestines that can be absorbed by the body.
Some of the nutrients in the multivitamins are not affected by the stomach acids and enzymes, but many of the nutrients in liquid multivitamins are lost due to the erosion caused by the stomach fluids. So it is not possible to achieve a 98% absorption rate with liquid multivitamins. The same is true for multivitamin capsules and tablets unless they are enteric-coated, which enables them to withstand the stomach acids because they are designed to release their nutrients in the small intestines.
Liquid vitamins have lower concentrations of active ingredients
When you take liquid multivitamins, you need to check the list of ingredients on the label, since many of these products are highly diluted. You need to check the amount of each active ingredient that is in one serving. If these amounts are not listed, it is quite likely that the product is sub-standard and does not contain the right amount of nutrients. In such cases you are better off taking a pass and finding a product that has all the necessary nutrients in its dosage.
The bottom line
Enteric-coated multivitamin tablets, if manufactured correctly with high-quality ingredients and quality control, can deliver better results than liquid multivitamins. Such tablet multivitamins contain less artificial fillers, are not degraded by your stomach acid, and deliver higher amounts of each active ingredient to your small intestines in order to maximize your body’s absorption rate.