Fermented vs. Unfermented Supplements: What You Should Know

Fermented vs. Unfermented Supplements: What You Should Know

Human beings have experimented with the fermentation process for millennia. The results of these efforts still exist today with everyday foods like cheese and yogurt. Cultures around the world played with fermentation to create their own unique delicacies, including famous favorites like kimchi from Korea and sauerkraut from Germany.

As science advances every aspect of contemporary living, current-day researchers continue to experiment with fermentation in the hopes they’ll unlock the many possibilities afforded by including fermented foods and beverages in our diets. While many of us already enjoy kombucha and snacks packed with probiotics, fermented supplements show incredible promise for those mindful about their health and wellness.

Beyond kombucha: what is a fermented supplement?

People have taken supplements for decades to ensure they have the essential nutrients required to maintain and improve overall health. While these supplements still deliver important vitamins, minerals and botanicals to the body, researchers, doctors and wellness practitioners are looking to the future with fermented supplements. 

Quite simply, a fermented supplement is made by combining fermented ingredients with other nutrients. Studies reveal that the fermentation process intensifies the potency of the plants and herbs found in supplements. By maximizing the efficacy of these natural and organic components, fermented supplements give your body the healthy boost it needs to function properly and fully.

Maximizing the benefits of plant-based nutrients

As science forges ahead to discover new methods to keep us healthy, active and energized, you might wonder why supplements need improvement. Every day, new scientific data demonstrates how far we’ve come and where we could go as a species. Something as simple as fermented ingredients changes how we approach developing and taking supplements.  

To increase the efficacy of these products, scientists examined how including fermented elements in these blends affected their potency. The results demonstrated that the fermentation process actually generates bioactive phytochemicals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in plant-based nutrients. When left unfermented, these nutrients still contained antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties; however, they were not nearly as effective or potent as the fermented samples.

Increased bioavailability with fermented supplements

Unless you’ve studied pharmacology, biology or chemistry, you probably are not familiar with the phrase “bioavailability.” This word applies to the rate at which the active components of a medication or supplement enter the body’s circulatory system.

When you are regularly taking a prescribed pharmaceutical or an over-the-counter supplement product, bioavailability plays a crucial role in distributing these nutrients or drugs throughout your body.

With your trusted medical professional, reassess the medications or supplements that you currently take with low bioavailability. During this discussion, bring up fermented antibiotics. Fermentation increases the bioavailability in amino acid, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and a long list of other necessary nutrients.

Fermented supplements boost gut health, immunity and more

One of the many reasons for the increase in research about fermentation is that we continue to learn more about why we consume meals, beverages and even supplements containing fermented ingredients. The more we know, the better we care for our bodies, bestowing upon ourselves the greatest gifts of all: great health and longevity.

Good bacteria is a natural byproduct of fermentation. The availability of products containing both prebiotics and probiotics—two types of good bacteria—is widespread and mainstream. Increasing our intake of these fermented items increases the amount of microflora in our guts, improving digestion and the health of this entire tract.

If you have concerns about maintaining your overall health, certain fermented foods and health supplements contain microbes that aid in immune system function. Early studies found that these microbes improve cell activity to better defend against infection and the development of cancer.

How fermented supplements affect your body depends on the types of supplements you take and their ingredients. For example, a fermented fiber called isomalto-ogliosaccharide (IMO)—found in items such as honey, miso and soy sauce—may help to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Additionally, IMO aids in necessary body functions like mineral absorption while offering relief to those suffering from constipation and regulating the movement of the bowels.

As our knowledge about health and wellbeing grows, we continue to identify the benefits of fermented natural products. From boosting the good bacteria in your intestines to improving bone health, fermented supplements provide stronger, more effective methods for living your best life.

We still have so much to learn about the benefits of fermented supplements but for the time being, you should explore your options. Speak with a wellness counselor or doctor about how these supplements might improve your body’s functionality and endurance. For those currently taking supplements for the anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties, consider switching to fermented varieties.

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