The Australian Bureau of Statistics completed a national survey on Health & Nutrition and found approximately 90% of adults were listed as “Inadequate fruit and/or vegetable intake”. ₁
As a result, due to the decrease of fruit and vegetables in our diets, a common trend has been to supplement the foods with Complementary Medicine to try and replenish the intake of lost nutrients.
Complementary medicines (also known as ‘traditional’ or ‘alternative’ medicines) include vitamin, mineral, herbal, aromatherapy and homoeopathic products; and is a $4.9 billion dollar industry. ₂ People take these supplements to make sure they get enough essential nutrients and to maintain or improve their health. But not everyone needs to take supplements.
Choosing the right supplements can be overwhelming, as not all supplements were created equal. So let’s look at two of the most common forms of supplements on the market, “Isotonic” and “Tablet”.
Firstly it’s important to understand that everything you eat and drink, including nutritional supplements, are made isotonic by your body so it can be absorbed. “Isotonic” means having the same fluid pressure as your other bodily fluids like blood and tears. In order for a substance to be absorbed and used in the body’s metabolism, it must be transported in an isotonic state. ₃
With Isotonic products, little nutritive value is lost, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results. An isotonic fluid is nature’s own nutrient delivery system. Isotonic products are also completely free of binders and fillers common in traditional tablet and capsule products so you know that you are getting only the quality ingredients you expect. ₄
One of the disadvantages of a tablet delivery is that the tablet may not dissolve completely before moving from the stomach to the intestinal tract. If the tablet is not releasing the active ingredients, the person is receiving little benefit from them. Whereas an Isotonic delivery system will not have this problem because the actives are in liquid form.
For those that may need further convincing, we see here an x-ray of tablets taken that did not dissolve. They did not get absorbed into the bloodstream and get to release their actives.
In the time that it takes for most tablets and capsules to disintegrate, and their contents to dissolve and transform to the proper isotonic state, there is a potential for degradation by digestive juices. During digestion, the important micronutrients in tablets and capsules can get trapped by fats, fibres, and tannins or inactivated by the highly acidic pH level of your stomach.
Whereas when properly mixed with water and taken on an empty stomach, the isotonic solution flows into your small intestine almost immediately.
This illustration shows how an isotonic delivery system stacks up against a tablet/capsule/softgel. As you can see when using an Isotonic Supplement;
- Allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine
- Rapid absorption into the bloodstream
- Little nutritive value is lost
When compared to a tablet with a binder and or filler;
- Tablets may not dissolve completely before reaching the intestinal tract
- Tablets may meet USP specifications for dissolution time, but not all manufactures check
- Online X-rays of tablets in intestinal tract
- Tablets not absorbed do not release active ingredients
However this is not the defining factor, it does confirm a better delivery system but most importantly you must also confirm the ingredients. Always read the label, every product should have a clearly stated label outlining the key ingredients and amounts.