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Woman in Pink Holding Fish Oil Supplement, Vitamin Supplement, and Water


The amount of fat in a fish oil supplement is only about 1 gram. While that might help a little, studies which have shown increased absorption of fat-soluble vitamins have involved taking them with a high-fat meal (i.e., about 15 grams or more -- that's at least 3 teaspoons of oil or other fats). Most meals provide at least 5 grams of fat (the amount of fat in a single egg, for instance), while a tuna wrap with mayo can have 40 grams.

In the case of vitamin D, taking it with a meal has increased absorption by 32% to 57% compared to taking it with just water. The bigger (and fattier) the meal, the better — at least for absorption! 

Of course, you can also purchase special formulations of some fat-soluble vitamins and other supplements which enhance their absorption — in some cases, even more than taking them with fats. These are described in our reviews of CoQ10, curcumin and vitamin D. Other supplement ingredients which are fat soluble and are best absorbed with fats are vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin K, as well as astaxanthin and boswellia (and its key component AKBA).

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