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Nutrients That Help Absorb Vitamins

author image Jamie Simpson
Jamie Simpson is a researcher and journalist based in Indianapolis with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. She earned her B.S. in animal science from Purdue University and her Master of Public Affairs in public management from Indiana University. Simpson also works as a massage therapist and equine sports massage therapist.
Nutrients That Help Absorb Vitamins
Dairy products contain vitamin D, which is essential to help the body absorb calcium. Photo Credit p_ponomareva/iStock/Getty Images


Eating a healthy diet is pointless if your body is pushing everything through without absorbing the vitamins it needs. Whether you have an official case of malabsorptive intestines or simply want to be sure you are getting the full benefit of your food, it can be useful to tweak your diet to include more of the key nutrients that help your body absorb vitamins.

Vegetable Protein

Vegetable proteins such as those found in soy may help the body absorb a full spectrum of vitamins by improving the digestive functionality of the liver, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Vegetable proteins help reduce inflammation and strain on the liver, allowing it to produce the right levels of bile and enzymes to break down foods correctly so that your body can properly absorb the vitamins you eat in your diet. According to Medline Plus, this also helps with the absorption of both fat and water soluble vitamins.


If you know that your digestive system is compromised, magnesium can be used to help absorb more vitamins. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, magnesium is essential for healthy digestion, and a magnesium deficiency can lead to deficiencies in other key nutrients. As a result, taking supplemental magnesium can offset malabsorptive disorders such as Crohn's Disease by allowing the digestive system more time to process fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E. This nutrient can be especially important for older people, who tend to have an increased risk of magnesium deficiency overall.


According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, one reason vitamins may not be absorbed or are lost from the body is because the digestive system is moving too quickly. To slow down the digestive system, healthy fats are an option. Examples of healthy fats include monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in avocados and fatty fish, which are considered healthy because they do not irritate the liver. This common nutrient takes longer to digest, giving the intestines more time to pass vitamins on to the body. This is a crucial consideration for water soluble vitamins such as B complex vitamins, which otherwise would move too quickly to be absorbed and be passed out of the body as waste. In addition, fat must be present in the diet to help absorb fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, E, D and K.

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