Many vitamins and other important nutrients come in multiple forms - but it turns out that some of those versions may be more “user-friendly” than others. The more quickly and completely your body can absorb and use a specific nutrient, the more bioavailable it’s said to be.
Some of the nutritional compounds found in today’s health supplements must be converted by your body to a useable form, before they can play an active role in supporting your health. Here are three vital nutrients that may offer greater bioavailability when they’re taken in this form, not that.
1. Vitamin B12
Did you know that cyanocobalamin – the version of B12 found in most supplements - doesn’t exist in nature? It’s a synthesized compound that you won’t find in any of B12’s natural dietary sources. And that’s a noteworthy point when it comes to the health of everything from your red blood cells, to your nervous system.
Before cyanocobalamin can take part in your body’s cellular activities, it must be changed to its active form, methylcobalamin. So, as one of the B12 compounds that plays a direct role in your metabolic system, choosing methylcobalamin could be a more efficient way to supplement your diet.
Folate is a crucial nutrient for both the production of DNA and the reproduction of our cells. But while most folate supplements take the form of folic acid, about 40-60% of us have trouble converting supplemental folic acid to its active form, L-methylfolate also known as 5-MTHF (5-methyltetrahydrofolate).
As the version of folate that’s active in our bodies, L-methylfolate could just be the supplement of choice for ensuring that adequate amounts of this important nutrient are available to your body, when needed.
3. Coenzyme Q10
Even if you’re not currently taking CoQ10 for its antioxidant, cardiovascular and immunity-boosting benefits, you probably know someone who is. What you might not know however, is that this nutrient comes in two main forms – ubiquinone, and ubiquinol.
Much like the “pre-active” versions of B12 and folate, CoQ10 ubiquinone must be converted to ubiquinol before your body can utilize all of its benefits. Ubiquinol’s unique structure has demonstrated in multiple clinical studies to be of higher bioavailability than ubiquinone. Greater bioavailability reflects in higher bioactivity, and that’s good news because CoQ10 production tends to drop off, the older we get.