I've heard it's best to take fat-soluble supplements, like CoQ10, curcumin, and vitamin D, with fats or oils to increase absorption. Would taking them with a fish oil capsule be enough?
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 foods or meals containing 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
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)
Also see these related CL Answers:
Which vitamins and minerals should be taken together or separately? >>
Are supplements which claim increased absorption or improved bioavailability telling the truth? Is it worth paying more for these? Are there concerns? >>
When taking a water-soluble version of CoQ10, do I still need to take it with food? >>
As vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, why is it necessary to take it every day? >>
If vitamin K absorption appears to be reduced by other fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin D, why do some "bone health" supplements combine them? Should they be taken separately? >>