Gastroenterologists Scarborough ME

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.

Harold H Sullivan Jr, MD
(207) 879-0094
25 Long Creek Dr
South Portland, ME
Specialties
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1978

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Harold Hayes Sullivan
(207) 897-0094
25 Long Creek Dr
South Portland, ME
Specialty
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine

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Nicholas Charles Golden
(207) 879-0094
25 Long Creek Dr
South Portland, ME
Specialty
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine

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Gordon A Millspaugh III, MD
(207) 773-7964
1200 Congress St Ste 300
Portland, ME
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Columbia Univ Coll Of Physicians And Surgeons, New York Ny 10032
Graduation Year: 1996

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Alan Edward Kilby, MD
(207) 773-7964
1200 Congress St Ste 300
Portland, ME
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Cornell Univ Med Coll, New York Ny 10021
Graduation Year: 1977
Hospital
Hospital: Mercy Hospital, Portland, Me; Maine Med Ctr, Portland, Me
Group Practice: Portland Endoscopy Ctr

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Winthrop S Mac Laughlin, MD
(207) 772-0095
210 Western Ave
South Portland, ME
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: George Washington Univ Sch Of Med & Hlth Sci, Washington Dc 20037
Graduation Year: 1970

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Dr.Stuart Eisenberg
(207) 879-0094
25 Long Creek Dr # 3
South Portland, ME
Gender
M
Speciality
Gastroenterologist
General Information
Accepting New Patients: Yes
RateMD Rating
4.5, out of 5 based on 2, reviews.

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M Parker Roberts, MD
(207) 761-6642
10 Andover Rd
Portland, ME
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tulane Univ Sch Of Med, New Orleans La 70112
Graduation Year: 1986

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Irving J Poliner, MD
(207) 772-2825
95 West St
Portland, ME
Specialties
Gastroenterology
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med, Boston Ma 02111
Graduation Year: 1952

Data Provided by:
Newell Avery Augur Jr, MD
(207) 773-7964
1200 Congress St Ste 300
Portland, ME
Specialties
Gastroenterology, Internal Medicine
Gender
Male
Education
Medical School: Columbia Univ Coll Of Physicians And Surgeons, New York Ny 10032
Graduation Year: 1962

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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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