One’s ability to absorb particular vitamins and nutrients is heavily influenced by multiple factors-- current gut health, lifestyle choices, chronic stress and illness and level of toxic load. Environmental toxins can greatly impact gut health, causing inflammation and the inability to absorb nutrients. Blocked detox pathways may lead to further inflammation and inability to rid toxins effectively. This vicious cycle may further influence the body’s ability to properly absorb nutrients and utilize them effectively.
Vitamins and nutrients also piggyback on one another to create synergy that affects absorption. For example, zinc and copper play a balancing act which impacts how each is absorbed. They need one another. Iron’s ability to be absorbed is influenced by vitamin C in that vitamin C helps increase iron's absorption rate. Magnesium and boron play a huge role in vitamin D’s proper absorption and utility.
The fat soluble vitamins work together in a similar manner. Vitamins A, D, E and K have an important synergistic relationship. They are also vital in ensuring proper absorption and bioavailability of calcium from the foods we eat. Vitamin A, for example, works with vitamin D to support your immune system and bone and teeth health. Studies have demonstrated that a checks and balances system exists between vitamin A and vitamin D in that vitamin A also reduces D toxicity levels and vice versa. This goes for all fat-soluble vitamins.
Fat soluble vitamins, therefore, work like hormones in our system. One is linked strongly with the other. In lab rats given 10 times the normal amount of Vitamin A, for example, blood levels of vitamin E and D dropped, as a result. When given 50 times the normal amount, their vitamin K levels also decreased. The findings suggest that vitamin A and E toxicity may be due to a vitamin K deficiency, being that rats began to experience internal hemorrhaging as their vitamin K levels dropped.
When you’re reviewing your diet and supplement protocol, make sure you’re getting a balanced amount of these crucial vitamins daily.
Fat soluble vitamins also require fat in order to be properly absorbed. This means that it is important to take them with a meal that contains fat to help with proper absorption. Even so, people may have issues with properly absorbing fat soluble vitamins effectively.
To help the body assimilate fat soluble vitamins, a process known as micellization creates extremely small clusters of water-soluble fat that is nearly identical to fat created intrinsically by our small intestine. Many people with absorption issues have been able to absorb micellized forms of fat soluble vitamins more efficiently than regular forms.
Because fat soluble nutrients are insoluble in water, and the small intestine is composed of water, the fats must be broken down in a fashion that mimics our own digestive process, making it more water soluble and easier to be absorbed. In other words, our bodies do the micellization process already, although some people’s bodies may not micellize as well as others. And so, a product that is already micellized helps the body do what bile, lipase and other enzymes inside of us naturally do to fats in order to chemically create a substance that can be readily absorbed. Micellization allows the nutrients through the gate of your intestinal lining where they can be efficiently absorbed with minimal digestive effort.
To create a micellized concentration, a surfactant is added to the liquid, which decreases the surface tension of the water. Surface tension is naturally high due to the hydrogen bonding that exists in water.
Surfactants have both hydrophilic (water loving) and hydrophobic (not so water- loving) parts. The surfactants help create the structure of the micelle, which directs the hydrophobic molecules inwards and creates a spherical outer shell that is hydrophilic. This allows for greater absorption by the body.
It is believed that 10% of individuals are not able to absorb and utilize vitamin D effectively. According to studies, micellization of D3 increases serum 25 (OH) by five times compared to emulsified vitamin D, so it may be the best option for those with absorption issues. Vitamin D is vital for bone health, immune function, cardiovascular health and more.
Currently, our Vegan ADK contains micellized forms of vitamin A. In our upcoming production run, we will also be micellizing the vitamin D. Our Vegan ADK with micellized vitamin D will be launching at the end of April.
You might be wondering, why not micellize the K2, as well? The K2 does not require micellization because it is all trans.
Here is more information regarding Cis vs Trans
and how this affects purity and absorption:
Cis and Trans: Cis and Trans speaks to the purity of the product. Most MK-7 found in supplements are a blend of Cis and Trans. If a label says 100 mcg (microgram) of MK-7, you’d expect most of it to be absorbed or bioavailable, which is not necessarily the case. In most scenarios, it is impossible to tell how much of the 100 mcg is in the biologically active and beneficial trans form. Most of it is probably in the trans form.
K2 supplements analyzed at the University of Oslo suggests that some products contain only about 15% of MK-7 in the trans form. This means that the product may be providing you with just 15 mcg of trans MK-7 and 85 mcg cis MK-7 instead of the 100 mcg of usable K2 as claimed by the label.
Most of the manufacturers of K2 products don’t even bother to check how much cis and trans is present in their product. It has simply not dawned on the industry’s collective conscience. (But it may…if you ask them to test and share the results.)
Our Vegan ADK contains MenaQ7 (MK-7) in the ONLY PURE and BIOACTIVE ‘TRANS’ form. We chose this carefully because CIS MK-7 is not nature-identical (a form not found in nature) and is therefore limited in activity and benefit. MenaQ7® (MK-7) in the ONLY PURE and BIOACTIVE ‘TRANS’ form. In addition, our MK-4 is very high quality and is also all trans makeup.
Our Vegan ADK was ranked as one of the best vitamin A supplements on Health Cares.
Our Vegan D3+K2 will also include micellized vitamin D in its upcoming production run and will be available in May.
If you currently are experiencing absorption issues and having difficulty increasing your vitamin D levels in spite of supplementation, the micellized form may help with absorption issues.
Remember that vitamins and minerals work synergistically, so be sure you also include magnesium and boron in your supplement regimen, as both of these minerals are essential to vitamin D’s absorption.
Magnesium helps activate the absorption and utility of vitamin D. This pairing also initiates the regulation of calcium and phosphate, other nutrients instrumental in supporting healthy bones. When you’re deficient in either vitamin D or magnesium, you have the potential of running into trouble—skeletal issues, autoimmune disease, metabolic issues, cardiovascular disease and more.
Even if you’re not magnesium deficient now, you increase your chances of becoming magnesium deficient if you’re supplementing with vitamin D without also supplementing with magnesium. Vitamin D requires magnesium for its own absorption, and it will tap into body stores of magnesium to use for its own absorption. Most people today have low magnesium levels simply because our soil and food lack the nutrient content it once had. Add vitamin D supplementation to the mix and this deficiency may develop into physical symptoms.
It is estimated that over 70% of the American population is magnesium deficient. Groups innately at risk of magnesium deficiency include those who consume alcohol regularly, diabetics, people with gastrointestinal issues, such as Leaky Gut Syndrome and IBS, the elderly, and those with autoimmune issues.
If you are currently magnesium deficient, you may need more than the above recommendations.
Keep in mind that all magnesium forms are not created equally. Many forms exist on the market and their effects on the body vary. Some are more bioavailable than others. Magnesium Glycinate is thought to be the most bioavailable form, helping to increase magnesium levels better than other forms. Unlike magnesium citrate and oxide, it isn’t harsh on the stomach—it won’t cause the common side effects, such as loose stools and digestive upset.
Magnesium Malate is another bioavailable form with interesting characteristics. It helps chelate aluminum and other heavy metals from the body, reducing your toxic load. Other roles it plays include helping manage pain associated with fibromyalgia and lowering c-reactive protein levels, a biomarker of systemic inflammation.
Our Optimum Magnesium contains both of these forms. Two capsules equals 250 mg of elemental magnesium. Optimum Magnesium is a perfect pairing to our Vegan D3+K2 or Vegan ADK.
It is recommended that vitamin D and magnesium be taken at different times of day. Being fat soluble, vitamin D is best absorbed with a meal that contains healthy fat and should be taken earlier in the day, since it does boost energy levels. Magnesium, on the other hand, relaxes the body and promotes better sleep. It is best to supplement with magnesium closer to bedtime (and can be taken with or without food).
Boron extends the half life of vitamin D, which can play a huge role on bone health as well as cardiovascular health and more.
It’s not certain how boron does this, but what scientists do know is that vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium which helps keep bones strong. By assisting vitamin D’s utility and extending its power in your bloodstream, boron works with vitamin D to build and maintain healthy bones.
Boron also helps increase vitamin D levels, according to research. Supplementing with boron in addition to vitamin D increased vitamin D production by 39% within 2 months.
Interestingly, there is a link between low levels of vitamin D and low levels of boron in that one doesn’t seem to exist without the other. If you’re low is vitamin D, chances are, you’re also low in boron, so it’s a safe bet that you need to add some boron in your life. The same goes for low boron levels--you’ll likely find that your vitamin D is low, as well.
Our Bio Boron will launch soon and be available in three strengths: 5 mg, 10 mg and 30 mg. When beginning boron supplementation, it is important to begin “low and slow” and increase the amount you are taking over time, as your body allows. Initially, people may experience detox symptoms from beginning boron supplementation, but this is temporary. Simply reduce the amount you are taking and slowly increase as your body allows.
Most people will find benefits of boron supplementation at the 5 mg strength. Our therapeutic dose is reserved for those who have reached this level “low and slow” and are requiring additional amounts of boron due to specific chronic health issues and nutrient deficiencies.