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The Rock Hard Vitamin

by Tony Bowling on October 10, 2011

A vitamin or mineral pill may contain a lot of good stuff that could benefit the body but can your body easily absorb it? Just because you put it in your mouth and swallowed it does not necessarily mean it will be absorbed.

The path of an indigestible item such as a rock hard vitamin.

If you swallowed a small stone (not recommended) that stone would travel through the piping system that starts at your mouth and ends up at your anus. (I really don’t like having the words anus and mouth in the same sentence!) The swallowed stone does not actually enter the body proper because it is not absorbable — it just travels through this piping system which is apparently about 30 feet long on an adult but I have never measured it myself!

Now food and vitamins, when traveling through that piping system get absorbed, or not, as they journey down toward daylight again emerging at …guess where? Isn’t this fun stuff!

So a vitamin compacted too hard may contain a lot of great things and look great on the vitamin bottle label but will your body absorb them? It may be just like swallowing a stone.

A Short Story

My father, a proud hard working family man from northern England, rarely asked anyone for help. I don’t think I ever saw a serviceman of any kind ever visit our home. My father did it all — the plumbing, the roof, electrical, painting, chimney sweep, etc. So it was a surprise to me when he first asked me for advice many years ago. He knew that I knew a little about, and cared about, nutrition even back then and he said ” There you go son” while handing me a bottle of vitamins he had obviously started taking “What do you think of those?”. I was proud of this because he was asking me for advice! Moreover, he was now taking some vitamins as a result of what I had said.

I looked at this vitamin which was half the size of a small pea and then I looked at the ingredients. It had everything in it including a 12 course meal and the kitchen sink.

This pill was so hard that I concluded that there was little chance of it being fully absorbed. I did not really have any scientific proof other than the label did not promise or guarantee anything about it being absorbed and the fact that I had trouble smashing it with a hammer. I felt like my honest, caring hard working father was being conned, or at least mislead, and so recommended a different product.


So beware the one pill wonder that promises the world. There are probably some excellent multi-vits out there that really deliver the nutrients to the body. Simply ask the manufacturer for information about it and don’t let up until you get a real answer.  Answers like “We stand by our product” is not a real answer. What you want is something like “We have tested it and guarantee that it completely dissolves in the stomach within …”.


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