Gastroenterologists Royal Oak MI

Scatological jokes aside, it turns out that a lot can go wrong after you swallow your supplements or eat a meal. Digestion and absorption might seem like straightforward processes, but for many people, the 30-foot-long digestive tract can hold a series of ambushes on your nutrients.

Donald Clarence Barkel, MD
1121 Crooks Rd
Royal Oak, MI
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Mi State Univ Coll Of Human Med, East Lansing Mi 48824
Graduation Year: 1980

Data Provided by:
Omar Kadro, MD
(248) 541-8554
1121 Crooks Rd
Royal Oak, MI
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Damascus, Fac Of Med, Damascus, Syria
Graduation Year: 1972

Data Provided by:
Rajiv Nair
(248) 582-1480
1695 12 Mile Rd
Berkley, MI
Specialty
Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease

Data Provided by:
Robert Max Truding, MD
3535 W 13 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, MI
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: A Einstein Coll Of Med Of Yeshiva Univ, Bronx Ny 10461
Graduation Year: 1976

Data Provided by:
Alexander Stojanovic, MD
3601 W 13 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, MI
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Hans-Juergen G Stein, MD
(248) 541-8554
1121 Crooks Rd
Royal Oak, MI
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Wayne State Univ Sch Of Med, Detroit Mi 48201
Graduation Year: 1968

Data Provided by:
Amita Kakarla-Maganti, MD
(517) 799-2270
Medical Arts I Suite 202 4246 Autumn Ridge
Royal Oak, MI
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

Data Provided by:
Srinivas K Janardan, MD
(616) 752-6525
310 Lafayette SE Suite 400
Royal Oak, MI
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Northwestern Univ Med Sch, Chicago Il 60611
Graduation Year: 1988

Data Provided by:
Varsha Ganesh Deshmukh
(248) 423-2454
3601 W 13 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, MI
Specialty
Pediatric Gastroenterology

Data Provided by:
Ganesh R Deshmukh, MD
(248) 538-0276
1695 12 Mile Rd
Berkley, MI
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Seth G S Med Coll, Univ Of Bombay, Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Graduation Year: 1982

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Gut Check

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By Jack Challem

Why you don’t absorb the nutrients you should—and what you can do about it

A few years ago, while I was chatting with a nutritionally oriented physician, the conversation drifted to absorption. I asked him how a person really knows if he’s absorbing the supplements he’s taking. The doctor chuckled. “If your supplements go ping in the toilet,” he said, “it’s a sure sign that you’re not absorbing them.”

Scatological jokes aside, it turns out that a lot can go wrong after you swallow your supplements or eat a meal. Digestion and absorption might seem like straightforward processes, but for many people, the 30-foot-long digestive tract can hold a series of ambushes on your nutrients. And worse, some of the problems may arise from the very supplements you take.

The bottom line? You aren’t what you eat. You are what you absorb. The good news is that most bioavailability (the degree to which a nutrient is absorbed into your system and thus physiologically available) problems are relatively easy to solve. We’ve investigated seven of the most common, and we offer clear recommendations to help you get the most out of your supplements and foods.

the tighter the pill

problem: Not all supplements are created equal. Occasionally, tablets get pressed too tightly during manufacturing, so they take much longer to break down and instead wind up passing through your system either partially or wholly unused.

Vitamin companies follow US Pharmacopoeia manufacturing guidelines, which stipulate that a tablet must break apart in your gut in 30 to 60 minutes. That doesn’t always happen, making tablet absorption difficult. Over the past 20 years, many vitamin companies have shifted from tablets to soft- and hard-gel capsules because digestive juices break down the thin gel wall more rapidly to release the capsule’s ingredients.

Excipients pose another potential problem, especially in tablets. These compounds aid consistency in supplement manufacturing; the name is really an umbrella term for fillers, binders, lubricants, and disintegrants. Excipients are technically safe and approved by the FDA, but just because they’re safe doesn’t mean you want these artificial colors and sugars in your vitamins.

Capsules contain fewer excipients than tablets because capsule ingredients don’t have to be pressed together to form a tablet. Tableting machines stamp out tablets in fixed sizes, so companies often have to make a tablet bigger than is strictly necessary to deliver a certain dose. They do that by adding more excipients to the mix. Capsules use excipients to ensure that the powdered mixture is consistent and to fill up a hard-gel capsule so it doesn’t look half empty. Generally speaking health-food store brands of capsules and tablets contain fewer and less-noxious excipients than drugstore or discount brands. In health-food brands, the most common excipient is plant cellulose; drugstore brands usually choose lactose. Cellulose is innocuous, ...

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