Bioavailability is the amount of a nutrient that is available for absorption into the large intestine and for the body to subsequently utilise - it is measured by the rate the supplement is absorbed into the body after consumption.
Just because you take a certain strength/dose of a supplement that doesn't necessarily mean that your body will get all of it to use.
You could buy a more expensive, lower strength supplement and gain more benefit than a higher strength cheaper alternative.
What does it depend on?
There are three main factors which affect the bioavailability of a supplement:
- How it has been formulated
- How it has been administered i.e. the type of tablet/capsule/caplet etc
- The quality of the supplement
Other factors include:
The quality of your vitamins and supplements is paramount - a poor quality supplement can mean that your body excretes a large proportion because it can't be absorbed efficiently. If it is excreted it cannot be used by the body.
High bioavailability indicates:
- A good quality, well formulated supplement
- A high proportion of the strength is utilised and absorbed by the body
- A poorer quality, cheaply formulated supplement
- A smaller proportion of the strength is utilised and absorbed by the body
Don't be fooled by cheap and mass produced supplements - be wary and investigate the quality of your supplier. You could literally be peeing your money away!
A healthy balanced diet is the best way to consume all the nutrients we need. Sometimes however this isn't possible and then supplements can help. This article isn't intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying any supplements or herbal medicines.