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The Importance of Understanding the Bioavailability and Efficacy of Food Supplements

The Importance of Understanding the Bioavailability and Efficacy of Food Supplements

This webinar is now available to purchase as a recording for only £10! 

 
WEBINAR 1 - The Importance of Understanding the Bioavailability and Efficacy of Food Supplements.:
THE NUTRIGOLD APPROACH




Introduction:

General introduction to Nutrigold.

Aims of talk:
1. To understand supplement bioavailability: basic anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of vitamin and mineral GI absorption pathways and inhibitory factors

2. To understand factors involved in supplement absorption and bioavailability

3. To understand supplement formulations and labels. Side effects of poor supplement formulations

4. The Nutrigold Approach: The case for using truly biologically active supplements

 

1. UNDERSTANDING SUPPLEMENT ABSORPTION (1-8)

• Nutrient absorption occurs after digestion of foods by exocrine secretions including enzymes in the saliva, stomach and small intestine and stomach hydrochloric acid.
• Absorption occurs via several pathways throughvilli endothelial cells in the duodenum, ileum and also the colon.
• Correct balance of GI microflora are vital for overall gut health and also absorption of some nutrients.

Overview of vitamin and mineral GI absorption pathways:

• Transport proteins (passive & active requiring ATP) in the duodenum carry the majority of minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, etc) across the GI barrier into the blood stream. Some colonic absorption of calcium also occurs.
• Fat soluble vitamins and carotenoids are absorbed in the small intestine as part of lipid micelles from fat digestion. They cross the GI barrier and enter the circulatory system as chylomicrons to be stored in the liver and adipose tissue.
• Water soluble vitamins are absorbed by passive diffusion at high concentrations or specific transport proteins either in active form or converted once absorbed, e.g. thiamine, riboflavin.

Factors Affecting Nutrient Absorption

1 Low stomach acid, digestive enzyme and bile levels.
2 Overall GI pH.
3 Mineral competition for transport pathways in GI tract (minerals prone to more GI absorption issues than vitamins).
4 Dietary absorption inhibitors such as tannins in tea, phytic acids in wheat, alcohol.
5 Lifestyle factors of stress, antibiotics, medications, illness (9).

REMEMBER: LOW ABSORPTION RATE = POOR BIOAVAILABILITY = EXPENSIVE EXCRETIONS!



2. WHAT’S IN A SUPPLEMENT?
UNDERSTANDING SUPPLEMENT ABSORPTION (11)

• A healthy bowel environment is required to maintain the delicate balance of nutrient absorption and bioavailability but nutrients need to be in a form that are suitable for absorption in the first place.

• Understanding supplement forms of minerals:
 

  • The ELEMENT form of mineral means the mineral in its simplest state (i.e. not bound to anything). Absorption rate is only1-8% so this a very poor form of minerals for supplements (minerals in food are bound to organic molecules to increase absorption).
     
  • Metallic minerals (sodium, potassium and calcium) in elemental form would either be highly reactive or insoluble so metal minerals can be CHELATED to inorganic (e.g. carbonate, sulphate, oxides) or organic ligands (e.g. acetate, malate or citrate). Nutrigold chelate metal minerals with the organic CITRATE ligand to create an ‘organic’ mineral (i.e mineral form that would appear in living tissue) with high absorbability,i.e. Citrizorb® minerals.

• Chemical factors that reduce/ inhibit supplement absorption include:

  • Element form of mineral in supplements.
     
  • Poor choice of ‘inorganic’ chelating compound e.g. calcium carbonate (i.e. chalk!), magnesium oxide and zinc sulphate.
     
  • Fillers and binders (e.g. talc).

A HIGHLY ABSORBABLE FORM OF SUPPLEMENT IS NOT ONLY BENEFICIAL TO YOUR HEALTH BUT ALSO TO YOUR WALLET!



3. UNDERSTANDING SUPPLEMENT FORMULATIONS:
MISLABELLING AND POOR QUALITY SUPPLEMENT ISSUES (10).

• There are many supplement formulations on the market but they are NOT all equal in terms of absorbability and therefore bioavailability. DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE! ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.

• Mislabelling examples include:

  1. Amino acid chelation with minerals (e.g. iron) may be misleading as mixtures may not actually be chelated therefore no improvement in absorption but a more expensive supplement.
     
  2. Expensive ‘bound’ form of vitamins labeled as ‘Food State’/ ‘Food Form’/ ‘Food Matrix’ claim increased absorption properties but are only compared with poorly absorbed inorganic materials like oxides and carbonates for marketing purposes. These supplement forms are often bulky so more tablets are required making them less cost effective. They often have a strong taste and/or smells so are not consumer friendly!
     
  3. Aloe Vera labels often state ‘made from’ or ‘contains’ 100% pure Aloe Vera but do not say how much is actually in bottle. Some Aloe Vera products are reconstituted from dried powder or bulked out with inactive fillers. These products are often cheaper versions but are very poor quality so not cost effective compared to Nutrigold Golden Aloe.
     
  4. Always check the supplementary form of vitamers and minerals, as often several forms exist with different activities and biochemical roles. E.g. Vitamin E (d-tocopherols versus d-tocotrienols).
     
  5. Synthetic versus natural forms of nutrients in supplements makes a difference to the absorption and bioavailability, e.g. ß-carotene where the natural ‘trans’ form are more bioavailable and required for enzyme activity therefore take a natural source not synthetic.

Side effects of poor quality inorganic supplements include (11):

  • GI problems with inorganic mineral supplements as carbonate and oxide ligands can alkalise the stomach acid leading to digestive problems such as diarrhoea
     
  • Some ligands may be toxic e.g. large intake of ascorbate (linked to Vitamin C) may increase kidney stone formation (12) or reduce Vitamin B12 utilisation (11)
     
  • Many products are derived from yeast so may cause problems for allergy sensitive clients




3. THE NUTRIGOLD APPROACH:
THE CASE FOR USING TRULY BIOLOGICALLY ACTIVE SUPPLEMENTS

  • Nutrigold use the organic, highly absorbable, safe and hypoallergenic CITRATE ligand to chelate minerals.
     
  • Nutrigold unique formulations have four times more absorption capacity compared to calcium carbonate ormagnesium oxide. This has a direct bearing on cost as well as limiting unwanted side effects.
     
  • Citrate ligand is safe as they are normal metabolites of major biochemical pathways (citrates found in breast milk). They may even inhibit nephrolithiasis (11).
     
  • Nutrigold Citrizorb® formulae on paper delivers reduced levels of calcium compared to high street brands as we state elemental weight on supplement labels not total weight. However our supplement bioavailability is far greater per milligram due to citrate ligand delivery system and will not suppress digestive system. This means a more effective mineral supplement and more cost effective!
     
  • Upper Safety Levels (USLs) described by FSA for long term use of food supplements (13) will become enforceable so if 350-400mg is USL for magnesium you want it in its most absorbable and biologically active form. Citrizorb® minerals are also less bulky so can deliver much more of the mineral in each capsule.
     
  •  All Nutrigold supplements are in capsule form as this also enhances absorption capacity. They are also vegetarian or vegan.


CONCLUSION:

The most expensive nutritional supplement you have ever taken is the one that didn’t work!
Nutrigold supplements are safe and cost effective for every nutritional therapist to include in their practice.

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