A statement was recently made on the Dr. OZ TV show stating that consumers should cut their multi-vitamins in half and take half in the morning and half at night.

Without knowing the context of Dr. Oz’s comment, it seems axiomatic that the premise was based off of the issue of bioavailability. While there is some truth and a bit of descent advice in splitting up a generic brand multi vitamin tablet to be taken with breakfast and also with dinner, this is only the case with uncontrolled release tablets.

Viva Vitamins Complete Multi is a “sustained released multi” that is best swallowed whole. You’ll get 7-9 hours of good energy and stress reduction from the 11 B vitamins. So it best to take them by lunch time and not at night.

It is known that our gastrointestinal tracts can only absorb so much of a given nutrient at a given time at a specific location within the alimentary canal. Once the nutrient-specific transport system has reached its saturation point of that vitamin or mineral, that’s it. The rest, in most cases, gets passed down along the intestines to be excreted, with very little to be resorbed. This is also assuming the nutrient at least gets to the target site. First, many uncontrolled release multi vitamin tablets unfortunately expose their constituents to the harsh hydrochloric acid environment of the stomach, rendering certain acid-unstable nutrients damaged or altered. Second, nutrients (namely minerals) that are chelated or ionically bound to the wrong organic molecule may drastically reduce their bioavailability. This is why it might be a good idea for a multi vitamin tablet with uncontrolled release constituents to be taken twice daily – to ensure a more even distribution of nutrient absorption.

This would not be the case, however, if there were a way to control the release of the nutrients so as to protect them from the extremely low pH environment of the gastric lumen, and bind them to molecular “chaperones” to ensure their delivery to the appropriate sites of absorption along the GI tract.

Fortunately, Viva Vitamins has utilized this technology in the manufacturing of their multi vitamins by way of the patented Isospan® Delivery System. This advanced delivery system enrobes each individual nutrient in an organic matrix that is pH sensitive. Viva Vitamins has mapped out the absorption site of every vitamin and mineral along the GI tract and it’s corresponding pH at that site and strategically placed the constituents within the tablet such that the casing around each vitamin and mineral will dissolve at that site. This ensures not only the proper site of delivery, but also the fact that the nutrient gets there unharmed. In addition, Viva Vitamins chelates their minerals to organic molecules (amino acids, TCA cycle intermediates, etc.) that have been shown in studies to yield the best solubility and act as efficient mineral chaperones – ensuring that the minerals they are bound to get dropped off to the appropriate site of absorption. Further, Viva Vitamins has also included “sustained” release technology for the vitamins and minerals that have multiple sites of absorption along the GI tract, allowing a continual distribution of the nutrient over time. For this reason, the comment made by Dr. Oz may hold true for most multi vitamins. However, such is not the case for Viva multi vitamin supplements that utilize this technology.


By Chad Brey for Viva Vitamins