The Science

Capsules versus tablets

Food supplements come in different forms, which can make a difference to they types of excipients included in the formulation, as well as how the body digests, absorbs and uses the nutrients for biological processes in cells and tissues. Where appropriate, the majority of Fourfive Nutrition products are in capsule form.

CapsuleTablet
DigestibilityFast and complete disintegrationUneven disintegration
Absorption rateFast acting means higher bioavailabilitySlow acting may reduce bioavailability
TasteTastelessOften less palatable and sometimes with aftertaste
FormulationPowder or oil is more easily absorbedCompressed powders have uneven disintegration and reduced bioavailability
ExcipientsContain natural excipients and capsule shellOften contain artificial colours and sweeteners and chemical binder, fillers and tablet coating
UseCapsules can be easily swallowed with liquid or 2 part capsules can be split and contents mixed with foodTablets are difficult to break so need to be swallowed whole – require a chemical coating to help swallow
Bioactive 1
Bioactive 2

Bioavailability

Bioavailability is defined as the proportion of a nutrient (in food or food supplements) that is digested and absorbed in the intestines and available for biological activity in your cells and tissues or stored in the body. It’s no mean feat for nutrients to be digested in the stomach and absorbed in the small intestines; and for optimum bioavailability, nutrient form is key.

Minerals like magnesium, calcium and manganese have to be attached to a ‘carrier’ (or ligand) for efficient absorption. And not all mineral carriers are equally absorbed. Organic minerals carriers like citrates found in the Fourfive Nutrition range are up to 27% better absorbed compared to inorganic mineral carriers like oxides and carbonates.

This means it’s not simply enough to know that your supplement contains essential minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, but in order to ensure you are absorbing these minerals and getting the best out of them then you need to know what form they are present in. Always read the label, as the most expensive supplement you’ve ever taken is the one you didn’t absorb!

Bioavailability enhancers:

  1. Time of day – some supplements may have more benefits when taken at certain times of the day. For example, taking B vitamins in the morning may help energy levels. Vitamin C dose can be split across the day so that their levels remain steady in the body.
  2. Take with food – many supplements are well tolerated on an empty stomach so we suggest taking with a meal or just after. Fat soluble vitamins including Vitamin A, D, E and K should be taken with a meal containing healthy fat, like coconut oil, avocados or olive oil, to help their absorption.
  3. Synergistic nutrients – some nutrients help the absorption of others. A great example is Vitamin C, which enhances the bioavailability of iron.
  4. Supplement storage – store your supplements in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight ensuring the pot/dispenser is tightly sealed to prevent moisture from getting in. This ensures that your supplements stay fresh and the nutrients remain in optimum form.
Bioavailability

Bioactivity

There are often several different forms of nutrients but not every form is bioactive, in other words it needs to be converted by the body before it is ready for biological activity in the cells and tissues. At Fourfive Nutrition we have carefully selected the bioactive forms of relevant vitamins to make sure the food supplements you take have the highest absorption and activity where and when you need it most.

Here are some of the bioactive forms we include in the Fourfive Nutrition range:

Vitamin B6 – we use bioactive coenzyme pyridoxal-6-phosphate (P5P) form, which can be directly used by the body without conversion.
Vitamin B12 – we use methylcobalamin, a naturally occurring form of Vitamin B12 that is better absorbed and stored in the tissues compared to synthetic cyanocobalamin.
Folate – we use the patented Quatrefolic™ (5-MTHF) form. Folic acid and food folate are not biologically active and need to be converted to the bioactive form of folate (5-MTHF) in the body. Some people are not able to carry out this conversion so may be naturally deficient in bioactive folate needed for health benefits like reduction of tiredness and fatigue and maintaining normal immune system function Quatrefolic™ is well absorbed in the gut and highly bioavailable supporting levels of bioactive folate in the body.
Vitamin K2 – we use the MK-7 (menoquinone 7) form of Vitamin K2 in our products as it is better absorbed compared to vitamin K1 and the MK-7 structure means it remains in the blood longer than Vitamin K1, increasing its bioavailability.

Free from (hypoallergenic) products

Food allergies and sensitivities are on the rise, creating a unique need for nutritional supplements that are well tolerated and hypoallergenic. Some food supplements contain additives, so ‘clean’ products without unnecessary ingredients are important for health-conscious, active people. At Fourfive Nutrition we only use high-quality nutrients without allergy-inducing additives, and natural excipients are only present where absolutely necessary.

Excipients

An excipient is defined as an inactive substance that helps manufacture and production of active ingredients into a formulation. They are only used in minor amounts but some excipients used in other brands of food supplements include artificial chemicals, binders and fillers. However, at Fourfive Nutrition we take great care to minimise the use of excipients in our formulations and we only use natural sources where necessary.

For example:

Caps vs Tablets

Organic minerals

At Fourfive Nutrition we use the term “organic” to describe many of the minerals in our products because the citrate carrier we use to produce high levels of mineral bioavailability is naturally present in the body; for example, citrate is commonly used in cell energy cycles. It’s useful to know that many food supplements use inorganic carriers like carbonate and oxides, which not only greatly reduce the bioavailability of the minerals but also may create side effects such as laxative action from neutralising stomach acid – not a desirable effect from a food supplement! Always read the label so you know what you’re taking and be rest assured Fourfive Nutrition has your back when it comes to providing you with only premium bioactive supplements.

Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs)

NRV is an abbreviation of ‘Nutrient Reference Value’ and have replaced the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) on food supplement labelling. NRV’s are set for 13 vitamins and 14 minerals for the purposes of food labelling. They come from the European Food Standard Agency (EFSA) guidance levels and represent the suggested daily amount of vitamin or mineral that the average healthy person needs to prevent deficiency.

The NRV listed on food supplement labels are the TOTAL amount of that nutrient recommended on a daily basis from both food AND supplements.

At Fourfive Nutrition we see the diet as the primary source of nutrients and our premium supplement range takes this important fact into account. This means that not every nutrient in our supplements reaches 100% NRV – instead we have designed our supplements to supply a measured amount of each vitamin and mineral in bioavailable and bioactive forms, taking into account that a balanced diet will provide the majority of our daily nutrient needs.

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