These cleaner, more efficient vitamins offer many nutritional benefits.
Vitamins are designed to keep our bodies healthy, but sometimes they don’t do their job as well as they should. When we take them orally in tablet or capsule form, the digestive system has to work hard to digest them. Oftentimes, the stomach breaks vitamins down before they can make it to the liver for filtration and then enter the bloodstream. But with sublingual vitamins, the nutrient gets absorbed under the tongue and enters the bloodstream directly without having to go through the gastrointestinal tract.
Sublingual vitamins have many other benefits. Since they are absorbed through the tongue, they get quickly released into the body and their nutrients aren’t broken down by stomach acid. As a result, sublingual vitamins can be taken in smaller dosages, and they’re easier and more convenient to take than oral vitamins.
When you take an oral vitamin, less than 10 percent of the nutrient is usually absorbed into the bloodstream because the stomach breaks it down so quickly. To solve this problem, vitamin makers add stronger casings and shellacs to protect the pills from stomach acids. The shiny, waxy coating makes it harder for the body to dissolve. Tablets with added sweeteners to make them more palatable also block the vitamins from being absorbed into the bloodstream, making it difficult for the body to absorb the nutrients it needs.
Some oral vitamins are designed to break down more slowly for maximum absorption. When phthalates are added to vitamins, the label may contain claims like “enteric coated,” “time release,” “film coated” or “safety coated.”
The manufacturing process for oral vitamins is also an issue. Magnesium stearate, a chalk-like substance, is often added to vitamins to prevent them from sticking together. This allows the machinery to run smoother and faster, which leads to cost savings for vitamin manufacturers.
Since sublingual vitamins directly enter the bloodstream, it’s especially important for them to be free of dangerous additives.
Nicole Avena Ph.D.