Ongoing medical science and research continually open our eyes to so many opportunities for improving our health, maximizing our quality of life, and even adding years to it through proper nutrition. Unfortunately, for many of us, keeping pace with the evolving science about what is best for our health can be extremely overwhelming as we are constantly faced with new information and decisions regarding what is best for our individual bodies. Each person has different nutritional needs based on genetics, body analysis, eating habits and exercise patterns (or lack thereof). Some of us suffer from vitamin or mineral deficiencies as well, which can negatively affect their health.
I remember back as a kid when my daily vitamin regiment consisted of a chewable multi and maybe a vitamin C pill when inflicted with the flu or cold. Today I see people roaming the long aisle of vitamins, supplements, minerals, and herbs, not only contemplating the abundant options to add to their daily intake but also the dosage and which of the extensive number of brands to choose. But, wait! What about which form of a vitamin to take: pill…or sublingual?
Newer to the vitamin world, sublingual supplements, in either liquid or tablet form, are made to be consumed by placing them under your tongue for absorption through the mucosal membrane that lines your mouth. In my years as a pharmacist, I have learned two important truths—people cant’s stand taking pills and they often do not realize there may be a simple alternative available. With that in mind, here are five reasons why you should be taking a serious look at replacing your pill form vitamins, medications, and supplements with the sublingual form:
- Better absorbency – We now know that there are different factors that affect vitamin and mineral absorbency. Some minerals are best absorbed when accompanied by other vitamins such as calcium aided by vitamins A and D. Some supplements are best absorbed when taken with food. But sublingual vitamins are altogether more effective than those that come in pill form due to a superior absorption rate into the body in terms of both speed and efficacy. The Mayo Clinic reports that an inability to absorb vitamin B12 from the intestinal tract can cause a type of anemia called pernicious anemia.
- Faster results – The effects of sublingual vitamins are felt more quickly and more completely due to the liquid being absorbed immediately into the bloodstream through the mucus in the mouth rather than having to be processed through digestion first. In fact, due to a decreased absorption rate, the critical vitamins contained in pill-form supplements are often flushed out of the body through urine.
- More desirable consumption – Sublingual supplements offer a pleasant alternative to pill-form vitamins in terms of both taste and ease of consumption. The most common question I have been asked as a pharmacist has been related to the size of the pills the patients are taking—not their side effects, instructions for when or how to take them, the length of time they are to take the pills or anything else that might be deemed more medically relevant.
- Save time and money – Many who simply cannot swallow or digest pill-form vitamins properly turn to intramuscular shots, such as B-12 injections, at a clinic. This can be time-consuming and costly. Sublingual vitamins come with a significant time and money savings in comparison. Furthermore, many brands of pill supplements can be extremely expensive with sublingual versions offering a more affordable alternative.
- Pure ingredients – Sublingual vitamin ingredients, such as those contained in NutraGlow’s Super B, which includes Hydroxycobalamin, the most active naturally occurring form of vitamin B-12, and Super Lean, are both purer than those in pill form. Many pills contain harmful preservatives and synthetic ingredients, which our bodies do not recognize as easily as natural ingredients.
With so many supplements available on the market, it can be difficult to choose which to take, how much to take and which form to take it in. A blood workup ordered by your doctor can determine if you are deficient in essential vitamins and minerals. Prevention Magazine listed vitamin B-12 as the most needed vitamin after age 40, and there is a variety of vitamins and minerals millions of us are lacking in that are vital to our health regardless of age. Considering a sublingual vitamin supplement to help offset a deficiency could lead to a significant improvement in your overall health. Speaking with a health care professional can help lead you in the right direction for your body.
Opinion by Sherry Kelishadi, Pharm.D
(Edited by Cherese Jackson)
Sherry Kelishadi, Pharm.D, is vice president at NutraGlow, Inc, a provider of premium sublingual vitamin supplements developed to help people maximize the benefits of vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12. She earned a Doctorate of Pharmacy from the prestigious University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in 2011. Kelishadi worked as a chief pharmacist at Rite Aid for three years before joining the team at a compounding pharmacy in Orange County and, ultimately, co-founding NutraGlow. Her passion lies in nutrition, dermatology, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy and wound care. Her hobbies include traveling, dancing, sports, and spending time with her family.
NutraGlow: Why Sublingual Vitamins?
Prevention: 7 Essential Vitamins You Need After Age 40
Mayo Clinic: Drugs and Supplements – Vitamin B12
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