Vitamin Absorption With and Without Accompanying Meal

This pharmaceutical-company handout (thanks, Jen!) about their Vitamin K2 includes a description of an experiment where subjects took the tablets on an empty stomach or with a meal. The variation in stomach contents made a huge difference: absorption, measured by blood concentration, was 7 times higher when the K2 was taken with a meal.

This is going to change how I take supplements, such as selenium, for the rest of my life. I’ve often taken them on empty stomach. I never realized the effect of doing so could be so large.

5 Responses to “Vitamin Absorption With and Without Accompanying Meal”

  1. Alex Chernavsky Says:

    Yes, but perhaps the effect is reversed for other nutrients besides K2.

  2. Jen Says:

    Fat-soluble micronutrients such as vitamin K are absorbed to a much greater extent when they are consumed with fat. Most meals contain some fat. This may explain the result.

    Nature conveniently packages its K2 MK-4 along with plenty of fat. Foods rich in MK-4 include grass-fed butter, egg yolks, liver, other organ meats, etc.

  3. Christina Says:

    Do you routinely take Vitamin K2, or any vitamin supplements?

    I agree with Jen – vitamins naturally come packaged with necessary things to absorb them (ie fat). Seems to me the focus should be on eating whole foods that contain the vitamins we need, rather than isolating vitamins individually (an unnatural state) and trying to find ways for the body to absorb them.

  4. tom Says:

    So would it work as well to take fat-soluble vitamins with fish oil etc..?

  5. The Listless Lawyer » Closing Tabs: Weight Loss Edition Says:

    [...] Vitamins should always be taken with a meal. [...]