Are you taking your health supplements the right way? A medical doctor reveals 4 of the most common delivery methods for supplements
A medical doctor with extensive experience in clinical trial programs, clinical pharmacology and internal medicine has revealed four of the best supplementation delivery methods to get the most benefit from your supplements.
Dr Janakan Krishnarajah, Chief Operating Officer at Entity Health (entity-health.com) – a line of Australian-made natural health supplements that address specific health and skin conditions – says: “Most of us take supplements to help address any shortfalls in the essential nutrients our bodies need, with the overall goal of maintaining or improving our health. However, the form in which you choose to take the supplements makes a significant contribution to the efficacy of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Supplements are available in various forms, from tablets, to capsules, liquids – and even wafers. The formulation (ingredients), the dosage (amount) and the carrier (vehicle) determines how the body receives the therapeutic effect.
“The first tablet formulation was recorded in 1500BC using natural ingredients that were smashed up to deliver a unit-dose. Since then, drug delivery has evolved and individuals can now get the therapeutic effect of a drug or nutraceutical in many different ways. Every nutraceutical has a purpose to get from where it enters your body to its intended destination and has different properties which creates different responses in our body. This alters the way a drug or supplement should be taken.
“The dosage forms used in the supplements and nutraceuticals which you take can improve bioavailability in the body – the degree and rate at which an active ingredient or nutraceutical is absorbed and becomes available at the site of action. Therefore, it’s vital to understand the most effective way to take your supplements to get the most out of them.”
Dr Janakan highlights the 4 most common delivery methods to help you make the most of your supplements
- Tablets and capsules. Oral tablets and capsules are economical, easy to consume and simple to handle unit-dosage systems. They are the most common delivery methods for supplements, however, some supplements that are digested and broken down by the digestive tract and liver are not effectively delivered orally.
- administration. A dissolvable wafer placed under the tongue (sublingual method) is an incredibly effective delivery method. Certain supplements, when swallowed, are digested and broken down in the stomach, resulting in sub-optimal absorption of the supplements. Sublingual administration allows the supplement to be absorbed directly into the blood stream through the mucosal membrane under the tongue. This helps to increase the bioavailability of the supplement.
Entity Health has a range of innovative sublingual nutraceuticals, delivered using the patented WaferiX™ technology. An example of a supplement in this range is LumeniX™, which brightens and beautifies the skin by reducing dark pigmentation on the skin. The active ingredient in LumeniX™ is glutathione which has very low bioavailability when taken orally. Entity’s fast-dissolving sublingual glutathione wafers allow for greater absorption and faster, more perceptible effects.
- Liquid formulations. Liquid and effervescent delivery – the latter being tablets or powder dissolvable in water – helps with ease of consumption, particularly if someone is unable to swallow a tablet due to sickness or discomfort. However, often these liquid formulations have been heavily fortified with a taste-masking agent or flavouring to eliminate the bad taste of the medicine. This delivery method can work on multiple levels – by providing superficial relief to the throat as well as treating the condition at the localised area. This is the case with effervescent drinks that are designed to treat a sore throat.
- Topical or transdermal application. Some nutraceuticals can be absorbed when they are directly applied to the surface of the skin. When treating certain conditions such as a muscle pain, one can target an area with pain relief gels rather than a painkiller in tablet form, so that the drug need not be circulated in the blood throughout the body in order to reach the treatment area. This approach is often as effective and may cause less side effects.