Most of your multiple vitamins, Vitamin C, or melatonin may be getting rejected by your body. Studies show that typically only a small percentage of oral supplements get absorbed into the bloodstream. If they’re not obliterated by gastric juices in your stomach, then they’ll likely be ushered out by liver enzymes to become waste (on several levels, e.g. waste of time, waste of money, waste of your body’s energy).
We’d all like to get our vitamins from a healthy diet. But lifestyle factors and aging, especially, can limit our ability to get proper nutrients from food. And not everybody has access to an all-natural, organic diet. As we age, poor appetite and an unhealthy gut can affect the quality of our nutrition. Supplements become the go-to in these situations. But if we can’t efficiently digest nutrients from food, why do we expect to get them from supplements that are processed in the same way?
Along with an inefficient absorbency, many supplements have additional downsides that are purposely added. Vitamins often contain binders, fillers, and flow agents, used to make the ingredients stick together or to make the vitamins easier to manufacture. And sometimes companies will coat pills with wax or other substances to give them a longer shelf life. Unfortunately, all of these things can prevent vitamins from disintegrating, being absorbed, and ultimately being effective.
It’s believed that some people react differently to oral supplements because of their genes. Preliminary studies have found that genetics could prevent some people from absorbing vitamins like Vitamin E. More studies are needed to determine if this might apply to other vitamin supplements. This is important because when you take a lot of vitamins that are not being absorbed, this could cause harmful effects.