Fatty nutrients are tricky. On the one hand, essential fats such as EFAs, Vitamin D, E, A and K, in addition to plant nutrients, are super-important. They’re particularly significant for long-term kinds of biological process such as building muscle and bone, for fertility, baby building and even stress management. On the other hand, they’re complex and sticky molecules that are difficult for the digestive system to process and require a lot of energy to be extracted from foods.
In order for the bonds that tether fatty nutrients to foods to be loosened, the stomach must be adequately producing acid and enzymes. The intestine, gall bladder, liver, and pancreas must be operating efficiently as well. If there are compromises in any of these organs, their ability to process and leverage critical fatty substances will be impaired. Because of their relationship to growth, repair and anabolism (i.e. the building of muscle, bone and other tissue), anti-aging protocols should be focused on effective fat absorption from foods, through the digestive system and finally into the blood.
Digestive enzymes can be important, specifically “pancreatin” and lipase. Apple Cider Vinegar helps activate these enzymes and can help support fat digestion on its own. Bile salts taken with meals can improve fat absorption too. These fat dissolving substances are typically found in high quality digestive enzyme formulations. Lecithin, a complicated combination of fatty molecules can help. It’s found in many foods, including eggs, organ meats and legumes. It’s also available in health food stores as powder or syrup. The powder goes great in smoothies. The syrup is super viscous, a bit difficult to use and has a stronger taste, although it’s less processed and probably better for you if your palate can handle it. You can also get lecithin capsules made with the syrup. Because it so significantly enhances nutrient absorption and availability, lecithin really amps up the nutritional value of all fats and fatty vitamins. Using digestive bitters, an old time herbal treatment for all digestive issues, can help stimulate salivary enzymes to initiate fat digestion in the mouth. Later on in the digestive pathway bitters amp up the secretion of stomach acid, enzymes and liver bile production. Use digestive bitters, available in health food stores as a tincture, at the beginning all meals, but particularly high fat ones.Fatty Nutrient Absorption