Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

How to Test Vitamins for Absorption Rate

author image Leigh Wittman
Leigh Wittman has been writing professionally since 2007. She writes primarily on health, career advice, outdoor pursuits and travel for various websites. Wittman is a licensed nurse and studied nursing at Arizona State University.
How to Test Vitamins for Absorption Rate
Not all vitamins are fully absorbed in the body.

If you are wondering just how much of your vitamin or mineral supplement is actually broken down and absorbed by your body, you can conduct a simple experiment at home. Only your vitamin supplements and a few items from the kitchen are required. This is an excellent way to determine which vitamin supplement has the best chance of absorption in the body. The experiment is quick to set up, and only one day is required to fully conduct the experiment.

Video of the Day

Step 1

Weigh each vitamin in grams on the food scale individually. Write the name of the vitamin supplement and its weight in grams on a piece of masking tape.

Step 2

Place each vitamin supplement in a cup. Affix the masking tape matching the vitamin supplement to the exterior of the cup.

Step 3

Fill each cup with enough water to fully submerge the vitamin supplement.

Step 4

Wait 24 hours for the vitamin supplements to dissolve in the water. Some of the supplements might fully dissolve, some might look like glue and some might not have changed much in appearance.

Step 5

Pour the contents of one of the cups through the cheesecloth. Whatever portion of the vitamin that did not fully dissolve in the water will be caught in the cheesecloth. Place the remains of the vitamin on a plate to dry. Transfer the masking tape from the cup the vitamin was in to the plate where the vitamin is drying. Repeat this step for all of the vitamins.

Step 6

Weigh the remains of the vitamins individually on the food scale in grams. Record their new weights on the masking tape associated with each vitamin.

Step 7

Calculate what percentage of the vitamin remained undissolved to determine the approximate absorption rate of the vitamins. For example, if you had a 1,000 mg vitamin C tablet that initially weighed 5 g but weighed only 2 g after dissolving in the water for 24 hours, it is likely that your body is only able to absorb approximately 60 percent, or 600 mg, of vitamin C from that tablet.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



  • “Contemporary Nutrition”; Gordon Wardlaw et al; 2007
  • "Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies"; Frances Sizer; 2008
  • "Food and Nutrition for Every Kid: Easy Activities That Make Learning Science Fun"; Janice Van Cleave; 1999
Demand Media