Why Didn't My Dietary Supplement Dissolve in Water Overnight?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 by Vitamins and Supplements FAQs

Question: I placed a tablet in a bowl of water before going to bed, and it was still whole in the morning! If it did not dissolve in water, how is it going to do so in the body?

While the water test for disintegration may have a small degree of merit, it does not adequately replicate our digestive system, which involves hydrochloric acid and enzymes to digest food. The best example that I can think of to illustrate this point involves holiday cooking. In preparation for holiday dinners, my mom would cook for daysdietary supplements before the arrival of family. She prepared the potatoes in advance. Since 15–20 pounds were needed, she peeled and cut up the potatoes a few days in advance, refrigerating them in a large dish of water. A few days later the potatoes remained intact—not dissolved!

Supplements also will not dissipate in vinegar. While vinegar is acidic, unlike water, which is neutral on the pH scale, it is not near the same level of our digestive systems. Our systems can register as low as a one on the scale. This level is strong enough to burn through fabrics, injure your eyes or irritate skin, but of course, it is safe in our tummies! It is very unsafe to try to replicate stomach conditions.

As with placing something in water, vinegar will not allow food to disintegrate either. Again, I return to my childhood memories. My dad loves radishes soaked in vinegar. My mom would thinly slice the radishes and place them in a bowl of vinegar overnight. The next day at lunchtime, the radishes, still in their thinly sliced form, continued to swim in that bowl of vinegar.

The same proves true for testing supplements in water or vinegar. Water is a neutral solution on the pH scale; vinegar is slightly on the acidic side. The hydrochloric acid in our systems registers far on the acidic side. With that, and a healthy level of digestive enzymes, your body will certainly digest a tablet, capsule or softgel.

If you are concerned that the supplements you are taking are not thoroughly breaking down in your body, we suggest adding a good, overall enzyme product such as Swanson Ultra Digestitol. This helps break down supplements and all other food consumed for easier utilization by the body, a much better choice than vinegar!



This question was answered by a trained product specialist at Swanson Health Products. Do you have a question you’d like answered? Send it via email to drea658baic@compend.me.

(Note: as per industry regulations, we cannot and will not answer medical questions, make treatment or diagnosis recommendations or comment on disease inquiries. Such questions must be answered by your doctor or professional health care provider.)


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