The next pill-taking strategy? Lean to the right, Johns Hopkins study says

The direction a person leans when swallowing a pill can change the absorption by tenfold, a Johns Hopkins study found, according to a Sept. 21 The Washington Post report. 

In a computational model, it took 10 minutes for a pill to dissolve while leaning to the right, and it took more than an hour for a pill to dissolve while leaning to the left. Lying down and turning to your right side is the best way to speed up the process, the study's senior author and Johns Hopkins mechanical engineering professor, Rajat Mittal, PhD, told the Post

For most, the stomach connects to the intestine on the right, so gravity naturally pushed the simulated drug faster through the stomach when leaning to the right. Some drugs come with instructions to sit upright, though, and Dr. Mittal told the Post the computational model has limitations because food and gasses in the stomach can affect a drug's travel time. 

Other limitations include stomach shapes, which vary by age. The model also tested only one type of pill. 

"Ultimately, it is very difficult to really explore all of the different combinations of foods that people might have eaten when they've taken a pill," Dr. Mittal told the Post

Read the full report here

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