What Is Bioavailability and Why Does It Matter?

Person reviewing supplement label information

What is bioavailability?

Bioavailability is a term used to describe the proportion of a particular food, drug, or substance that successfully reaches systemic circulation within the body. Essentially, it’s a measure of how effectively active compounds, like those in supplements and pharmaceuticals, are absorbed in order to achieve their intended action. 

Why does bioavailability matter?

The idea of increasing bioavailability has been gaining more and more attention as people search for means of maximizing the effectiveness of particular supplements. Some supplements must be taken in conjunction with particular foods in order to make them accessible to your body. 

For example, vitamins A, D, E, and K are considered fat-soluble… meaning they don’t dissolve in water, and therefore should be taken with a source of fat to increase absorption within your body. In contrast, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that can dissolve in water, so it doesn’t need to be taken with dietary fats.

What factors affect bioavailability?

A number of things can influence how well a supplement is utilized by your body. In general, smaller molecules are easier to absorb than larger ones… And many supplements vary in effectiveness based on when they’re taken and whether or not they’re taken with food–like the fat-soluble vitamins mentioned above. 

There are also several individualized factors that affect bioavailability, including metabolism, age, and genetics. For example, people with a certain mutation of the MTHFR gene may have difficulty processing folate compared to those without the mutation.

Even different forms of the same nutrients can vary, like how whey protein isolate is considered to be more bioavailable than whey protein concentrate.

How does Bluebird increase bioavailability in our supplements?

Here at Bluebird, bioavailability is an important factor in the formulation of our supplements. For starters, cannabidiol (CBD) and other cannabinoids are fat-soluble. So in order for our supplements to be effectively absorbed by your body, we formulate them with a carrier oil. Without a carrier oil to dissolve and carry it to fatty tissues, CBD would quickly pass through your body via the bloodstream, rather than being absorbed and utilized throughout your system.

But we don’t just stop at cannabinoids… Many of our products contain powerful botanical ingredients that need a little help to get the job done.

For instance, our Dynamic Immune gels feature a patented ingredient known as Eldermune, which is made by combining a concentrated elderberry juice extract with a soluble fiber known as Sunfiber. Since much of the natural fiber within elderberries is lost during the juicing process, Sunfiber is added to increase digestibility and absorption. 

Because of these types of synergistic combinations, we’re able to formulate products that are highly concentrated (strong) AND highly bioavailable (well-absorbed).