Wednesday’s Ask Dr. Walt — Liquid Vitamins or Pills?

Dear Dr. Walt,

Are liquid vitamins better than pills? The folks selling them seem to think so, but the liquids sure are a lot more expensive!

—Which to Choose in Minnesota

Dear Thrifty,

There are pros and cons to liquid vitamins. On the plus side is avoiding the possibility that an improperly made vitamin pill will not properly dissolve and be absorbed. My friends at ConsumerLab.com, who test vitamins, do find some vitamin pills fail to break apart as they should.

Another benefit with liquids is the trouble some people (particularly young children and older adults) have with swallowing tablets or capsules. Liquids may be preferable for people who have trouble with digestion due to gastric surgeryor other reasons. Finally, having a vitamin in liquid form also makes it easier to modify the dose. For example, if vitamin D liquid drops are being shared among family members, it is very easy to give each person their specific dose by changing the number drops or fraction of a teaspoon that is administered.

On the con side of liquid vitamins is the risk that some ingredients are less stable in a liquid environment, resulting a loss of ingredient over time. This is more likely with vitamins such as vitamin C and folic acid. Some liquid supplements may require refrigeration, making it difficult to take with you during the day or when travelling. And, as you mentioned, liquid vitamins can be more expensive.

© Copyright WLL, INC. 2019. This blog provides a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.
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