A bioavailable substance is easily absorbed and used by the body. Bioavailability means the substance is easily ingested and makes it to the intended target (or circulation) intact and in a high concentration.
Bioavailability is a term that can apply to supplements, drugs, and even nutrients in food. The more bioavailable something is, the better the body can use it. Therefore, it’s favorable for a substance to be considered bioavailable.
How Can Bioavailability Be Increased?
Some substances are potent but not bioavailable. These substances are ingested, then quickly lose potency and are difficult for the body to absorb.
For example, turmeric (and its components, known as curcumins) are considered powerful natural substances. Turmeric has been widely studied and prized for its ability to calm inflammation and improve health in many ways. However, it has a reputation for being rather low in bioavailability.
In this instance, supplement manufacturers may add other ingredients to their formulas to increase the bioavailability of turmeric. Some popular methods include adding oils and black pepper to the supplement.
If a substance is administered intravenously (injected directly into the bloodstream), it’s fully bioavailable.