Bioavailability” is the ease with which any nutrient can make its way from the food you eat into your body. The bioavailability “journey” that every nutrient takes is the same. In the first part of the journey, the food must be digested (broken apart) so that the nutrient can be freed from the food that contained it. Once the nutrient has been freed from the food that contained it, the second part of the journey involves absorption of the nutrient from the digestive tract into rest of the body.
When a nutrient is highly “bioavailable,” it can be digested and absorbed a high percentage of the time and in a dependable way. When a nutrient is poorly bioavailable, its digestion, its absorption, or both can be much more difficult and much less predictable.Typically, we don’t have to worry about the bioavailability of nutrients from our food if we eat in a healthy way and have healthy body function.
The reality is that the majority of us don´t have optimal diets and even when eating healthy, due to modern agricultural practices it has become increasingly difficult to get enough micro-nutrients from our food. That’s where supplementation can come to the rescue.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing supplements is to always opt for whole food supplements instead of isolated or synthetic nutrients. Phytoplankton is such a whole food supplement.
Why are whole foods better? No one knows for sure, but it’s probably because the components of food are only one part of the complex balance of nutrients, chemicals and the interactions between them in the human body. Overwhelming part of that system with large doses of one component likely leads to actions and adjustments that are unintended and/or counterproductive within these systems.
Micro Algae are better absorbed than fish oil
Marine phytoplankton is not only a sustanainable alternative for fish oil, it is also superior to fish oil. Why? The key nutrient EPA only achieves an optimum level of bioavailability for the human body when they are present in the phospholipid portion of fats. Phospholipids are needed to transport the important nutrients into your system, and then directly into your brain.
The EPA in phytoplankton is better absorbed than from fish oils because they can more easily cross what is called the blood/brain barrier to your brain. This barrier protects the brain from most foreign substances that come near it, not allowing them inside. In other words, the transfer mechanism to your brain (where you need these essential fats the most), is more efficient with micro-algae.
When we consume phytoplankton, we use the phospholipids in order to help transport the EPA to the cells of our body. It is not surprising therefore that the EPA that is stored in human cells is mainly in the phospholipid form, and only a small amount is in the triglyceride form.
Fish oils contain mostly triglycerides and only a small amount of phospholipids, that is why consuming phytoplankton is a better and more efficient way of getting omega-3 into the body than fish oil.