Lie on your right side to absorb medicine better, new research suggests
- The researchers used the state-of-the-art “StomachSim” based on the human stomach
- Scientists say that swallowing tablets is the most complex way for humans to absorb them
- A new study found that the impact of gravity was huge when taking pills
- Leaning to the left reduced the rate of drug release, but leaning to the right doubled its concentration
Taking medicine on the right side speeds up its effects, a new study has found, as researchers say posture affects how the stomach absorbs drugs.
Scientists have used a state-of-the-art “StomachSim” that is based on the anatomy of the human stomach to analyze and understand the effectiveness of ingested medications.
The research, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, adds to the evidence that humans should be told what position to adopt when taking tablets by mouth, adding to advice already given about whether to eat before or after medication.
Scientists say that swallowing pills is the most complex way for the human body to absorb an active pharmaceutical ingredient because the bioavailability of the drug in the gastrointestinal tract depends on the ingredients of the drug and the dynamic physiological environment of the stomach.
When humans are lying on their left side, stomach output is at its maximum.
The American scientists used an in-silico biomimetic simulator based on the realistic anatomy and morphology of the human stomach – called “StomachSim” – for their study.
A new study has found that posture affects how the stomach absorbs drugs, and lying on your right side speeds up the effects of a drug.
Study co-author Professor Rajat Mittal (pictured), from Johns Hopkins University, said stomach contents and gastric fluid dynamics are among the factors that play a role in bioavailability of a drug
He found that the impact of gravity was huge, while leaning to the left reduced the rate at which a drug leaves the stomach to almost zero.
Scientists say the modeling is believed to be the first of its kind to combine gastric biomechanics with pill movement.
Standing up caused more of the drug to leave the stomach, while leaning back increased the mix by 50 percent, The Times reports.
But leaning to the right had the most pronounced impact, resulting in a doubling of the drug’s concentration.
Study co-author Professor Rajat Mittal of Johns Hopkins University said: “Oral administration is surprisingly complex despite being the most common choice for drug delivery.”
“When the pill reaches the stomach, the movement of the stomach walls and the flow of contents inside determine the rate at which it dissolves. The properties of the pill and the contents of the stomach also they play an important role.
“However, current experimental or clinical procedures for assessing oral drug dissolution have limited ability to study this, making it challenging to understand how dissolution is affected in different stomach disorders, such as gastroparesis , which slows down the emptying of the stomach.’
The research adds to evidence that humans should be told what position to adopt when taking pills by mouth, scientists say.
Stomach contents and gastric fluid dynamics are among the factors that play a role in a drug’s bioavailability, he said, and stomach contractions can induce pressure and generate complex pill trajectories.
Professor Mittal added: “This results in variable rates of pill dissolution and non-uniform emptying of the drug in the duodenum and sometimes gastric emptying in the case of the modified-release dose.
“Together, these issues pose several challenges for drug delivery design.”
He continued: “In this work, we demonstrate a new computer simulation platform that offers the potential to overcome these limitations.
“Our models can generate biorelevant data on drug dissolution that can provide useful and unique insights into the complex physiological processes behind oral pill delivery.”
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