Bioavailability – how can we make our food's nutrients more bioavailable?

Bioavailability is key to our range of Ateronon supplements being effective in promoting your health. But what exactly does 'bioavailability' mean and (more importantly) what does this mean for your health?

What does bioavailability mean?

Put simply, the term bioavailability refers to how easily an ingredient is absorbed into our bodies. Our ‘Tomato Pill’ and all its lycopene goodness, for instance, is extremely bioavailable – thanks to its unique, patented LactoLycopene (whey protein plus lycopene) formulation. It also means that whilst it’s a good idea to consume lots of vitamin and mineral-packed foods and supplements (take a look at our tips for eating your way towards your 5-a-day) these substances are only of benefit to our health where they’re able to pass through the gut wall to be absorbed into our bloodstream.

How can we make foods more bioavailable?

When it comes to vitamin and mineral rich foods (and supplements) some types are more bioavailable than others. Often this has something to do with the way in which they are prepared. Let’s take a look at how you can boost the bioavailability of your favourite foods. LactoLycopene long

1. Cooking foods

It’s long been though (until quite recently) that raw foods contain more nutrients than their cooked counterparts. However, though this may be the case, the nutrients found in these foods are much more difficult for our bodies to absorb (less bioavailable) in their raw state than when they’ve been cooked. Examples of this include sweet red peppers, and asparagus whose lycopene availability increases significantly when cooked. Also, lutein (an antioxidant found in green leafy vegetables and corn) becomes much more bioavailable and more easily absorbed by our bodies following the cooking process.

2. Processing foods

Another way of unleashing the absorbable power of certain vitamins (lycopene from tomatoes in particular) is to process them. This process colud involve crushing them (as in the canning process to make tinned tomatoes) or turning them into ketchup or tomato paste. The chemical and heating processes that tomatoes have to go through before turning into their paste or ketchup form means that their lycopene becomes more bioavailable – and therefore more easily absorbed by our bodies. Tomatoes

3. Combining foods

Another interesting way of boosting certain foods’ bioavailability is to combine them with other food. This is the case with curcumin (found in turmeric) which has notoriously low levels of bioavailability – with most of the curcumin that we consume being metabolized before it can actually be absorbed by our bodies. This is where our secret ingredient piperine (found in black pepper) comes in to play. By eating curcumin and black pepper together, you help boost the absorbability of curcumin – as found in this study carried out by researchers at India’s St John’s Medical College.

Ateronon's range of bioavailable supplements

At Ateronon we understand that having bioavailable products is the key to making them effective so that they’re able to be of benefit to your health. That’s where our unique, bioavailable LactoLycopene and curcumin formulas come into their own. For our Ateronon and Ateronon XY products, we’ve combined whey protein with lycopene (along with some heart healthy added nutrients - thiamine and selenium) to make it easier for our bodies to absorb as much of the ‘Tomato Pill’s’ lycopene goodness as possible. In fact, did you know that each of our one-a-day ‘Tomato Pills’ contains the lycopene equivalent of 1kg (2.2 lbs) cooked tomatoes? Want to learn more about our ‘Tomato Pill’? Read our About Ateronon page for more info. And, what about Ateronon Active? Each Active capsule contains 500 mg of our bioavailable formulation of curcumin and soy lecithin. This makes it 30 times more absorbable than dietary curcumin. Take a look here to find out more about Ateronon Active and its bioavailable benefits.

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