What Makes Supplements Effective?

Think back to when you were a child at the seashore. No matter how long ago, most of us can remember those special times. Do you remember filling a bucket with seawater and then rushing up the beach with it, only to discover the bucket had a leak or a hole? In frustration, you realised you had scurried up the beach for nothing. The bucket was empty!

Our bodies get fewer nutrients as we age

As we age, nutrition and proper supplementation become as vital to us as the bucket of seawater was fun. But the way our bodies absorb nutrients is not the same as when we were young. Our ‘bucket’ starts to spring a few leaks. For example, our digestive system changes with age — food moves more slowly and our bodies produce less of the enzymes necessary to extract nutrients from food. We also tend to eat less due to many factors, and this means less intake of nutrients overall: our metabolism slows, we experience a reduced sense of taste and smell, and we may take medications that interfere with our appetite. At the same time, our older bodies actually need more of certain nutrients and greater antioxidant support than ever.

Regular blood work and check-ups with your doctor make complete sense so you can keep tabs on those nutrients that are starting to slip. But once you’ve made a supplement plan to put your nutrients in balance, how do you know that the absorption of the supplements you are taking is effective? How do you know your supplement bucket will really hold water?

A simple explanation of how bioavailability works

If you haven’t heard this word yet, you should hear about it here: bioavailability. There is possibly no more important concept for you to understand if you want to get your money’s worth out of your supplements and be sure your body gets the nutrients it needs. Bioavailability simply refers to the amount of a nutrient that is absorbed in the digestive tract and becomes available to the body. Even if you’re eating well and taking the right supplements, bioavailability is largely out of your hands. It has to do with the chemical composition of a nutrient; specifically, whether or not it is ‘water-loving’ or ‘fat-loving.’

Hydrophilic, or water-loving, substances bond easily with hydrogen and are soluble in water. These substances can be absorbed well in the aqueous fluids of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The nine water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and the eight B-complex vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and biotin.

Lipophilic, or fat-loving, substances are insoluble in water and therefore can’t be absorbed in the GI tract without help from other compounds to help their absorption. These substances can also be referred to as hydrophobic. The four fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Ensure maximum CoQ10 absorption to boost energy

CoQ10 is one the most important ingredients in health maintenance. It is a naturally occurring antioxidant that is found in all cells, and is critical for generating energy. In fact, it is responsible for generating 95% of our body’s energy. Not surprisingly, CoQ10 is found in high quantities in parts of the body that have high-energy demands — the heart, brain, and kidneys. In addition, CoQ10 is a powerful free radical blocker that helps protect our DNA, lipids, and proteins from oxidative damage.

As we age, our body’s production of CoQ10 decreases and supplements become increasingly important. But unfortunately, CoQ10 is hydrophobic, meaning it is not water soluble and the body can’t naturally absorb it in supplement form. The molecules that form it are also too large for the body’s cells to absorb. Often, mass-market brands of CoQ10 try to reassure consumers of quality by increasing the amount of CoQ10 in each dose. But the issue of its hydrophobic properties, and thus its lack of water solubility and bioavailability, are usually not addressed. Even worse, increasing amounts of CoQ10 in each dose has precisely the opposite of the intended effect. Large amounts of CoQ10 in each dose bond the already large cells together, which assures that any meaningful amount of absorption is unlikely.

Understanding the chemical challenges of CoQ10 absorption, the team at Antiaging Nutrition bring you the most effectively absorbed CoQ10 supplement available, developed by chemists and physicians.

The result is our innovative supplement, CoQ10SR™. CoQ10sr uses a patented MicroActive® process to sheath the fat-loving CoQ10 molecule in a natural cyclodextrin, derived from starch, which delivers uniform CoQ10 absorption and a sustained release of the ingredient. The cylcodextrins provide a unique delivery system, attaching themselves to CoQ10 molecules and keeping them separate. They also render the CoQ10 molecules water soluble, making them easily transported into the cells of the body and ensuring the greatest possible bioavailability of any CoQ10 supplement on the market.

Another factor that casts doubt on the effectiveness of mass-market CoQ10 supplements is the basis of their own bioavailability claims. For example, many CoQ10 supplement products may claim bioavailability, but clinical studies often show a wide variance between the absorption experience of people in the study. In other words, some people in the study may experience much better absorption than others, while the study concludes that the product overall is bioavailable. Within some subject groups, certain people manage to be ‘super absorbers’ while others don’t absorb at all. So it leaves the consumer to wonder: “Am I a super absorber, or not?”

In light of these doubts, Antiaging Nutrition strived for a product that would not only be the most bioavailable on the market, but would also be absorbed by anyone who would take it: otherwise known as universal absorption. The results of four clinical studies which compared MicroActive® CoQ10sr to other CoQ10 products proved that we achieved our goal. In one study, all subjects who were given MicroActive® CoQ10SR™ showed a minimum doubling of their plasma CoQ10 levels after 21 days, while only 44% of the subjects given a comparison CoQ10 product showed an increase in plasma CoQ10. Researchers concluded after these studies that MicroActive® CoQ10 SR™ provides significantly more universal absorption than comparison brands.[1]

Curcumin: a vital spice of life, but also difficult to absorb

Similar to CoQ10, the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent Curcumin is also highly hydrophobic. Curcumin has been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory — in the form of turmeric extracts. Turmeric itself is a popular flavoring for curries and spiced dishes, especially in places like India, and it’s been silently fighting infection and disease for centuries among the Asian population. What piqued an initial interest into studying the effect of turmeric were national uses of turmeric and the correlation to the low rates of colon and prostate cancer that are reported. Thanks to thousands of positive studies — articles and papers detailing beneficial findings — the range of available Curcumin supplements has grown.

Only about 2–6% of the turmeric spice contains the active compound of Curcumin, so we would have to consume the spice in our food in very large quantities for it to have any benefits. This combined with its water insolubility means that a supplement with a concentrated delivery system is the only way to truly benefit from this versatile and potent ingredient. As with CoQ10, the MicroActive® Curcumin supplement from Antiaging Nutrition uses a cyclodextrin compound to ensure swift absorption. Cyclodextrin and the patented MicroActive® delivery system cannot be found in comparable Curcumin supplements or turmeric powders.

The absorption effectiveness of MicroActive® Curcumin was compared to other Curcumin supplements and turmeric powders in several dissolution studies. In these studies, samples were dissolved into a simulated gastric fluid, and quantities of the curcumin dose were measured across a 12-hour period. After this period, 88% of the curcumin dose had been dispensed into the gastric fluid from MicroActive® Curcumin, while the other brands yielded a lower dose, between 13-50% after 12 hours.[2]

The team at Antiaging Nutrition strives to always bring you the most reliable and innovative supplements you can find on the market. Our patented MicroActive® CoQ10 SR™ and MicroActive® Curcumin SR™ are two products in our family of supplements that have taken all the latest and best research into bioavailability to result in a unique delivery system that ensures your body gets the maximum benefit of each dose.

If these supplements were a bucket full of seawater, you can be sure they would be filled to the brim each time you came up the beach.

[1] Madhavi, D. and Kagan, D. A Study on the Bioavailability of a Sustained-release Coenzyme Q10-B-Cyclodextrin Complex, Integrative Medicine, Feb/Mar 2010.

[2] MayPro Industries, LLC report.