Pills, Powder or Liquids? What works and why?

What’s the story? What’s more effective? And … Why?

As consumers we are bombarded with products for our skin, hair, nails, joints, immune system, colds and flus, coughs, baby products, nipple creams, ab machines…..

You name it – it’s out there!

I suppose I’ve always know this, however it wasn’t until a recent trip to a vitamins store that I really, really noticed the abundance of choice that we, as consumers, have.

Now, although I’m a bit of a product junkie, I’ve become a lot more aware of what I’m putting on my body (creams and lotions) and in my body (food and supplements).

I use a combination of Aspect Skincare and Mukti Organics for the skin on my face. For my body it’s a mix between Sukin and Kora Organics. I love that these brands are natural, and the consistency feel on my face and body work really well for me.

I have a balanced and healthy diet. I always ensure my shopping trolley is full of the good stuff – organic fruit and vegetables, good quality proteins, wholemeal or rye carbohydrates and quality organic dairy. I have no food intolerances, and eat the lot, so my grocery shopping just revolves around choosing quality produce. Ensuring that I can get most of my vitamins, and minerals from real food. I’m not a big drinker, and really only have a couple if I’m out to dinner with friends.

I do have a sweet tooth, so I also stock up on “healthy” chocolates such as Loving Earth and Conscious Chocolate. And I have been known to occasionally indulge in something delicious and bit naughty, like Pink Cupcakes from Thomas Dux or a Doughnut from Doughnut Time (hey I’m human).

It’s only recently since coming off the contraceptive pill that I’ve began supplementing my diet with vitamins – tablets, capsules, pills. Prior to this Vida Glow marine collagen and the Beauty Blend were my only supplement additions.

I now take Chaste Tree to help regulate my cycles, and assist in ovulation. A pre-pregnancy multi-vitamin called InNatal, and a Zinc and Vitamin C (1000mg) tablet, by Fusion, daily.

The reason I visited the vitamin store was because I had just come home from holidays (long plane trip, and change in temperature) and was feeling flu-ish – sore throat, ears, swollen glands, and a bit of a cough – you know the drill. I hardly ever get sick and wanted to boot the symptoms quick smart. I spoke to the naturopath thinking that he would give me some cold and flu tablets. Instead he handed me “cough mixture” with all the good stuff including echinacea and sent me, a little bewildered, on my way.

Within two days of taking this I was back to my old self again. I couldn’t believe it. And it had me asking, why did it work so effectively?

I believe it’s because it’s a liquid.

I know with Vida Glow marine collagen, the reason why it’s so effective in achieving results is because of the low weight hydrolysed collagen peptide powder which is highly bioavailable. Studies previously stated that the absorption rates of liquids (or powders dissolved in liquids) were between 85 – 95%, and tablets and capsules of between 30 – 40%.

Generally, supplements in liquid form are much more readily broken down, and completely and quickly absorbed in the body. The Physician’s Desk Reference (page 1542, #49) states that 85 – 90% of nutrients in liquid supplements are absorbed in 22 – 30 seconds. It’s also noted here that it has been demonstrated that only 10 – 20% of nutrients in pills are actually absorbed. Further, binding agents which are chemicals used to keep the pill ingredients “together”, can prevent pills from breaking down completely.

Powder dissolved in water, or liquid supplements, after being ingested, pass through the lining of the stomach and enter the bloodstream directly. Pills and tablets must pass through the digestive system, where the process of breaking down can take up to 40 minutes. Just taking extra pills to increase absorption, isn’t a good idea either, as it can cause toxicity and overburden the digestive system, kidneys and liver.

When is comes to collagen supplementation the options are tablets, liquids and powders. Given the information above done on tablets; I’ll be further researching my options.

As for liquids although the absorption rate is significantly higher, beware of certain liquid brands that contain synthetic chemical nutrients. Synthetic chemical nutrients are simply ingredients that do not occur in foods naturally. They are formulated in a lab, and do not contain the same molecular structures that occur in nature. Many also require specific storage requirements such as refrigeration, making them less portable. If they’re not stored correctly at home or via transport, it can jeopardize their potency.

For collagen products, the low molecular weight of the collagen peptide is essential for it’s bioavailability. The lower the weight, the more likely it is to be absorbed by the bloodstream and be distributed by blood vessels to the collagen matrix below the dermis.

I hope this information helps you become more conscious of the ingredients you are consuming – whether by food or supplements. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we are kind to our bodies - this incredible walking, talking, moving - vessel, that sustains our everyday living and wellbeing.

 

Anna x

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