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  • Writer's pictureDr Aimee Knauff

How do your supplements measure up?

A lot of new patients who come to see us at Appalachia Chiropractic & Wellness are already taking vitamin supplements. Often they are taking the right supplements, yet there are a few issues that make it not optimal for the body to use:

  1. The supplement does not dissolve and ends up being flushed down the toilet instead of in the bloodstream.

  2. The supplement is not completely available, ie: bioavailable, for its intended use.

  3. They are not taking a strong enough dose for a therapeutic effect.

You’ve probably heard stories about whole tablets being seen in the intestines on an x-ray or being found routinely in septic systems and sewers. The vinegar test is an easy way to know how well your supplement dissolves. The acid in your stomach is a pH of 1.0 to 3.5, while the acid content of white vinegar is a pH of about 2.4. This means you can use white vinegar to see if your supplement tablets dissolve or not.

Pour ¼ cup white vinegar in a clear glass, add the vitamin tablet, and set your timer for thirty minutes. If at the end of thirty minutes:

  • The tablet has not dissolved, it will probably not dissolve in your stomach either and will pass through your body unchanged. This means you’re wasting your money on something that will just end up in the sewer.

  • The tablet has only partially dissolved, poke at it with your finger and see if it will break down more. This is similar to the peristaltic movement of your stomach and intestines as they churn your food, which can also help break the tablet down. This means that only some of the supplement will be available to be used by your body, while the rest will be passed out unchanged.

  • The tablet has dissolved completely, it should dissolve completely in your stomach too. This is a supplement worth investing in!

The vinegar test is best used on supplements in tablet form. If it is still rock hard in the center or didn’t dissolve at all, you would do better to invest in a better form: capsules, powder or liquid. You can do the vinegar test on your capsules, but I’ll save you some time… capsules always dissolve! Compared to tablets, which are cheap to produce, other forms are easier for your body to break down and absorb. This means more of the active ingredient ends up in your bloodstream and not money literally flushed down the toilet!

In fact, all of the supplements we carry in our dispensary are capsules, liquids, powders, or tablets that dissolve completely. This allows us to be certain you are taking a bioavailable form that will always dissolve.

As a board-certified Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Aimee Knauff can help you get to the root cause of your health issues. If supplements are recommended, she will make sure they are easily absorbable, the most bioavailable form for your body to use, and an appropriate dose to have the effect you’re looking for.

Make an appointment with Dr. Knauff today by calling Appalachia Chiropractic & Wellness at (724) 553-5312 or by emailing

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