Why Bioavailability Is Becoming the Next Buzzword in Food and Agriculture
Often, when discussing how to improve the food system, we discuss how to improve the quantity and access to healthy and sustainable nutrition, usually through a lens of yield improvement, and cost / waste reduction. However, we don’t often think about how efficiently our bodies capture essential nutrients from our food, which can be equally as important. This is a concept known as bioavailability.
Bioavailability defines how efficiently we capture essential and non-essential nutrients from the food we eat. Sometimes, our food is too bioavailable, sugar being a main example. At other times, vitamins and minerals are inhibited by presence or lack of presence of other substances. Different food-based nutrients require different variables to be present in order for us to get the most out of our food.
Like most topics in nutrition, bioavailability of food is complex and multivariate, yet incredibly important to understand. Understanding bioavailability has already strongly impacted the pharmaceutical industry, with the potential to considerably impact our supplements, food and even animal feed.