Scientists have revealed the best way to swallow pills

The researchers discovered that it’s best to take the pills whereas mendacity in your proper aspect, which penetrates the deepest a part of the abdomen and dissolves 2.3 occasions sooner than standing up.

According to a current Johns Hopkins examine, the way you swallow pills impacts how shortly your physique absorbs the medication.

You could not take into account your physique situation whenever you take pills whenever you have a headache. However, a current examine from Johns Hopkins University discovered that your posture can considerably have an effect on how shortly your physique absorbs the drug, which is as a lot as an hour.

The findings are based mostly on what’s believed to be the first mannequin to replicate how a drug dissolves in the human abdomen.

“We had been very stunned that posture had such a big impact on the dissolution price of the pill,” mentioned Rajat Mittal, an engineer and fluid dynamics knowledgeable at Johns Hopkins. “I by no means actually thought of whether or not I used to be doing it proper or unsuitable, however now I undoubtedly give it some thought each time I take a tablet.”

Their outcomes had been lately printed in a journal

Pill Posture

Your posture when taking a pill makes a big difference in how fast your body absorbs the medicine. Credit: Khamar Hopkins/Johns Hopkins University

The majority of pills don’t start working until the stomach passes its contents into the intestine. As a result, the closer a pill falls to the antrum, the quicker it begins to break down and unload its contents into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. If you’re aiming a pill for this part of the stomach, your posture is crucial in order to take use of gravity as well as the inherent asymmetry of the stomach.

Four postures were tested by the team. Taking tablets while resting on the right side was by far the most effective, sending pills into the deepest part of the stomach and achieving a dissolution rate that was 2.3 times quicker than even an upright posture. The worst was lying on the left side. The team was astounded to discover that if a tablet dissolves in 10 minutes on the right side, it may take up to 23 minutes in an upright posture and over 100 minutes while laying on the left side.

“For elderly, sedentary or bedridden people, whether they’re turning to left or to the right can have a huge impact,” Mittal said.

Standing upright was a decent second choice, essentially tied in effectiveness with lying straight back.

The team also considered stomachs that aren’t functioning at full strength due to gastroparesis caused by diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson’s Syndrome meant for pill dissolution. Even a small change in the conditions of the stomach can lead to significant differences in the outcome of an oral drug, said lead author Jae Ho “Mike” Lee, a former postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins.

The impact of stomach disease on drug dissolution was similar to that of posture—which underscores how significant a difference posture makes.

“Posture itself has such a huge impact it, it’s equivalent to somebody’s stomach having a very significant dysfunction as far as pill dissolution is concerned,” Mittal said.

Future work will attempt to predict how the changes in the biomechanics of the stomach affect how the body absorbs drugs, how food is processed in the stomach, and the effect of posture and gastroparesis on food digestion.

Reference: “Computational modeling of drug dissolution in the human stomach: Effects of posture and gastroparesis on drug bioavailability” by J. H. Lee, S. Kuhar, J.-H. Seo, P. J. Pasricha and R. Mittal, 9 August 2022, Physics of Fluids.
DOI: 10.1063/5.0096877

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

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