A new Johns Hopkins University study finds your posture can make a big difference in how fast your body absorbs the medicine, and the wrong posture can delay how fast the medicine is broken down and absorbed—by as much as an hour.
The researchers were very surprised to find out that posture has had such an effect on the dissolution rate of a pill in the stomach.
Most pills do not start working until the stomach ejects its contents into the intestine. So the closer a pill lands to the lower part of the stomach, the antrum, the faster it starts to dissolve and empty its contents.
The team tested four postures. Taking pills while lying on the right side was by far the best, sending pills into the deepest part of the stomach to achieve a dissolution rate 2.3 times faster than even an upright posture.
Lying on the left side was the worst. The team was very surprised to find that if a pill takes 10 minutes to dissolve on the right side, it could take 23 minutes to dissolve in an upright posture and over 100 minutes when laying on the left side.
Standing upright was a decent second choice, essentially tied in effectiveness with lying straight back.