First-pass elimination makes oral supplements like pills and powders virtually ineffective. Transdermal patch technology is superior to oral supplements, because the active ingredients are administered directly to the bloodstream though the skin. Skipping the gastrointestinal tract maintains ingredient integrity, reduces liver workload and stress, and enables supplements to be administered at lower – safer, more natural levels, all while maintaining potency.
Orally administered supplements must survive passage through the hostile environment of the gastrointestinal tract, which risks degrading them, either by stomach acid or bile, or by the many enzymes therein, such as monoamine oxidase (MAO. Furthermore, after absorption from the gastro-intestinal tract, supplements must pass to the liver, where they may be extensively altered; this is know as the first pass effect supplement metabolism. Due to the digestive activity of the stomach and intestines and the solubility of the GI tract, the oral route is not suitable for most supplements.