Gastroenterologists Sacramento CA

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.

Ralph Eddye Koldinger, MD
(916) 454-6624
PO Box 160815
Sacramento, CA
Specialties
Gastroenterology, Hepatology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: George Washington Univ Sch Of Med & Hlth Sci, Washington Dc 20037
Graduation Year: 1963
Hospital
Hospital: Sutter Gen Hosp, Sacramento, Ca; Mercy Gen Hosp, Sacramento, Ca
Group Practice: Sacramento Gastroenterology

Data Provided by:
Abdul M Khaleq
(916) 733-8730
2801 K Street
Sacramento, CA
Specialty
Gastroenterology

Data Provided by:
Walter Leo Trudeau, MD
(916) 734-3751
2825 J St
Sacramento, CA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Oxford Univ Med Sch, Oxford (917-09 Eff 1/1971)
Graduation Year: 1962

Data Provided by:
Abdul M Khaleq, MD
(916) 733-8729
2801 K St Ste 502
Sacramento, CA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pr Sch Of Med, San Juan Pr 00936
Graduation Year: 1992

Data Provided by:
Tommy Jack Poirier, MD
(916) 454-0655
3941 J St Ste 450
Sacramento, CA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Vanderbilt Univ Sch Of Med, Nashville Tn 37232
Graduation Year: 1967

Data Provided by:
J Peter Zegarra, MD
(916) 733-8733
1020 29th St Ste 350
Sacramento, CA
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Southern Ca Sch Of Med, Los Angeles Ca 90033
Graduation Year: 1983

Data Provided by:
Earl V Gear
(916) 733-3333
3160 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA
Specialty
Gastroenterology

Data Provided by:
Abdul M Khaleq, MD
(916) 733-8730
2801 K St Ste 305
Sacramento, CA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Univ Of Pr Sch Of Med, San Juan Pr 00936
Graduation Year: 1992

Data Provided by:
Frank S Reynolds
(916) 733-3333
3160 Folsom Blvd
Sacramento, CA
Specialty
Gastroenterology

Data Provided by:
Terry Jue, MD
(916) 734-3751
4150 V St Ste 3500
Sacramento, CA
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Graduation Year: 2007

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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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