How to Swallow Vitamins

Issue 2 - Sept 16, 2010

Swallowing vitamins as well as medications in pill form can be hard for some individuals. Children in particular often baulk at taking anything but liquid or chewable forms of vitamins, and even those may be rejected if the taste is not to their liking. The problem may be psychological – a pill sticks once, and after that throat muscles clamp tight at the sight of the pill bottle. Or, it may be anatomical – some individuals just have a smaller oesophagus, making it more likely that pills will stick. This in turn can lead to an overactive gag reflex, and psychological problems swallowing pills.

Researchers led by Dr. Bonnie Kaplan at the University of Calgary in Alberta were concerned about swallowing problems because of potential dropout rates in clinical trials. So they developed and published a method to train children in how to swallow pills1. They have also produced a video showing their methods. It should be useful to adults too. Check out the video at


1. Successful treatment of pill-swallowing difficulties with head posture practice

BJ Kaplan, RA Steiger, J Pope, A Marsh, M Sharp, SG Crawford Paedriatr Child Health 2010;15 (5):el-e5

Note: Articles or commentary in this newsletter are not intended as medical advice. Please check with your doctor if you have a concern about your health.
©2011 Aileen Buford-Mason. All rights reserved.


Study of the Month

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the incidence of acute viral respiratory tract infections in healthy adults. MORE >

In Brief

Do daily multivitamins and minerals combat stress and fatigue? MORE >
How to Swallow Vitamins MORE >
Take D with dinner ? MORE >

Food Watch

Who knew? Champagne is good for you! MORE >