Why Oral Supplements aren't as Effective as you Might Think

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never liked pills. My medicine cabinets were devoid of aspirin, cold pills, allergy tablets, and vitamins. And it’s not that I’m scared of choking, it just never made a lot of sense to me.

When I decided that supplementing my health was a good routine to get into, oral supplementation became unavoidable and if I’m being honest, kind of a pain in the ass. So I dove into alternative ways to give myself more energy, help me sleep, and get the vitamins and minerals I needed when I wasn’t able to eat the way I would be eating.

Now, there are loopholes in the form of juicing, powders, oils, and gummies, but the most abundant and budget-friendly way to take vitamins is in pill form - until I discovered the first pass effect in pharmacology.

What’s the First Pass Effect and Why You Should Care.

When I learned about the first pass effect in pharmacology, I went into a 20-minute Google frenzy to get the (somewhat informed) gist of it. In layman's terms, the first pass effect, also called first pass metabolism, is a phenomenon wherein the concentration of drugs that are taken orally is greatly reduced. When the drug enters the liver, there is biotransformation that takes place before it goes to work in your system.

When your liver, lungs, or gastrointestinal tract metabolizes pills, they lose the majority of their potency.

Here’s what happens when you ingest vitamins orally:

When you take oral medication, it first travels to your stomach where it’s broken down by stomach acids before passing through the liver on its way into your bloodstream.

The process can have a heavy effect on the bioavailability of the drug or vitamin, depending on their composition. Pharmaceutical companies formulate their products to release their active ingredients at the right time to control the effectiveness of the drug when it hits the bloodstream.

But, the first pass effect can still greatly reduce the potency of the oral supplement, so keep that in mind when selecting wellness products and look for ways to incorporate wellness products that bypass your digestive system.

Need some help? Here are some ways you can introduce vitamins into your body, without going through your stomach.

Wellness Products that Bypass your Digestive System

Transdermal Patches

Whether you’re looking for an anxiety patch, a sleep patch, or even a patch for energy, transdermal patches are gaining a lot of traction these days. Not only are they easy to use and cost-effective, but they also avoid the first pass effect by slowlydelivering vitamins through your skin over a few hours.Vitamin patches can be a great way to supplement your routine and achieve great results without having to wash down more pills.

The great selling point of vitamin patches is how easily they can be incorporated into your routine, which is why they’re favored by athletes, entrepreneurs, busy moms, and wellness lovers who just want a simpler way to feel their best.

Oral Sprays

Another method that’s gaining popularity these days is oral sprays. These wellness products are administered sublingually (which means you spray them under your tongue) so they also avoid the first pass effect before entering your bloodstream. Since it’s something you spray into your mouth, many companies have developed a lot of great-tasting ways to get your vitamin fix every day.

Vitamin-enriched Creams and topicals

Creams have been around for a very long time and have helped people smoothen their skin with vitamins like A, D, and E. With the wellness movement finding creative and all-natural solutions, the list of nutrients has grown substantially. Topicals have grown way beyond beautification to include relaxation, sleep, and anxiety care. What's great about topicals and creams is they can nourish your skin and have wonderful scents to help you relax. Of course, any all-natural product and good quality will set you back quite a bit of money.

Vitamin Inhalers

I’ve included vapes and inhalers to this list, but with a caveat. Although it’s possible to administer substances through your lungs, the research just isn’t there to support vitamin absorption through vape pens or inhalers. There are a lot of sellers right now since the vaping fad still offers an attractive alternative to cigarettes to a whole new demographic. And, with stylish designs and an array of flavors, vitamin vape pens have a youthful following that enjoys getting their vitamins in unconventional ways.

Joining the Anti Pill Movement

The PatchV3 team is composed of anti-pill advocates, and there are a lot of good reasons behind that decision. We think there’s a simpler way to feel better, and that starts with living better. But it’s also about creating awareness and educating people about the potential pitfalls of living pill to pill.

The dosing and control of prescription and non-prescription pills have been a concern for a long time, and companies like ours strive to give consumers more options, more information, and more benefits by creating brands that have clear missions developed around wellness, mindfulness, and care.

There are also many documented cases of stomach problems being linked to pill regimens, which are controlled by prescribing even more pills. It’s why one of our core missions is to teach people to give their stomachs a break. Products like our vitamin patches are a great alternative for people who want to exercise self-care without relying on oral medication.

Some final thoughts

Transdermal vitamin patches haven’t just changed my wellness routine for the better, they’ve also forced me to see what was right in front of me for a long time. People take oral supplementation as a given simply because it’s what we know, and I’ve always been more of a fan of what’s possible.

If the first pass effect in pharmacology can tell us anything, it’s that the positives of taking pills are getting filtered out, but the negatives remain. We owe it to our well-being to discover new ways to feel our best.  

Why Oral Supplements aren't as Effective as you Might Think

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never liked pills. My medicine cabinets were devoid of aspirin, cold pills, allergy tablets, and vitamins. And it’s not that I’m scared of choking, it just never made a lot of sense to me.

When I decided that supplementing my health was a good routine to get into, oral supplementation became unavoidable and if I’m being honest, kind of a pain in the ass. So I dove into alternative ways to give myself more energy, help me sleep, and get the vitamins and minerals I needed when I wasn’t able to eat the way I would be eating.

Now, there are loopholes in the form of juicing, powders, oils, and gummies, but the most abundant and budget-friendly way to take vitamins is in pill form - until I discovered the first pass effect in pharmacology.

What’s the First Pass Effect and Why You Should Care.

When I learned about the first pass effect in pharmacology, I went into a 20-minute Google frenzy to get the (somewhat informed) gist of it. In layman's terms, the first pass effect, also called first pass metabolism, is a phenomenon wherein the concentration of drugs that are taken orally is greatly reduced. When the drug enters the liver, there is biotransformation that takes place before it goes to work in your system.

When your liver, lungs, or gastrointestinal tract metabolizes pills, they lose the majority of their potency.

Here’s what happens when you ingest vitamins orally:

When you take oral medication, it first travels to your stomach where it’s broken down by stomach acids before passing through the liver on its way into your bloodstream.

The process can have a heavy effect on the bioavailability of the drug or vitamin, depending on their composition. Pharmaceutical companies formulate their products to release their active ingredients at the right time to control the effectiveness of the drug when it hits the bloodstream.

But, the first pass effect can still greatly reduce the potency of the oral supplement, so keep that in mind when selecting wellness products and look for ways to incorporate wellness products that bypass your digestive system.

Need some help? Here are some ways you can introduce vitamins into your body, without going through your stomach.

Wellness Products that Bypass your Digestive System

Transdermal Patches

Whether you’re looking for an anxiety patch, a sleep patch, or even a patch for energy, transdermal patches are gaining a lot of traction these days. Not only are they easy to use and cost-effective, but they also avoid the first pass effect by slowlydelivering vitamins through your skin over a few hours.Vitamin patches can be a great way to supplement your routine and achieve great results without having to wash down more pills.

The great selling point of vitamin patches is how easily they can be incorporated into your routine, which is why they’re favored by athletes, entrepreneurs, busy moms, and wellness lovers who just want a simpler way to feel their best.

Oral Sprays

Another method that’s gaining popularity these days is oral sprays. These wellness products are administered sublingually (which means you spray them under your tongue) so they also avoid the first pass effect before entering your bloodstream. Since it’s something you spray into your mouth, many companies have developed a lot of great-tasting ways to get your vitamin fix every day.

Vitamin-enriched Creams and topicals

Creams have been around for a very long time and have helped people smoothen their skin with vitamins like A, D, and E. With the wellness movement finding creative and all-natural solutions, the list of nutrients has grown substantially. Topicals have grown way beyond beautification to include relaxation, sleep, and anxiety care. What's great about topicals and creams is they can nourish your skin and have wonderful scents to help you relax. Of course, any all-natural product and good quality will set you back quite a bit of money.

Vitamin Inhalers

I’ve included vapes and inhalers to this list, but with a caveat. Although it’s possible to administer substances through your lungs, the research just isn’t there to support vitamin absorption through vape pens or inhalers. There are a lot of sellers right now since the vaping fad still offers an attractive alternative to cigarettes to a whole new demographic. And, with stylish designs and an array of flavors, vitamin vape pens have a youthful following that enjoys getting their vitamins in unconventional ways.

Joining the Anti Pill Movement

The PatchV3 team is composed of anti-pill advocates, and there are a lot of good reasons behind that decision. We think there’s a simpler way to feel better, and that starts with living better. But it’s also about creating awareness and educating people about the potential pitfalls of living pill to pill.

The dosing and control of prescription and non-prescription pills have been a concern for a long time, and companies like ours strive to give consumers more options, more information, and more benefits by creating brands that have clear missions developed around wellness, mindfulness, and care.

There are also many documented cases of stomach problems being linked to pill regimens, which are controlled by prescribing even more pills. It’s why one of our core missions is to teach people to give their stomachs a break. Products like our vitamin patches are a great alternative for people who want to exercise self-care without relying on oral medication.

Some Final Thoughts

Transdermal vitamin patches haven’t just changed my wellness routine for the better, they’ve also forced me to see what was right in front of me for a long time. People take oral supplementation as a given simply because it’s what we know, and I’ve always been more of a fan of what’s possible.

If the first pass effect in pharmacology can tell us anything, it’s that the positives of taking pills are getting filtered out, but the negatives remain. We owe it to our well-being to discover new ways to feel our best.  

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