Not sure why this is important. Absorption rates are inconsequential for most persons (that is, most medications and "nutraceuticals" are absorbed readily prior to excretion in the small intestine). If you have a chronic bowel disorder which speeds up transit time (like a chronic diarrhea) then this might be important and switching to a liquid preparation might be better.
I think what you might be asking is which product is better or more completely absorbed? Again, this varies a bit by individual, but both products are absorbed into the blood stream very well. Also, the body needs very little of these substances to function normally, and both are water soluble, thus readily excreted via the kidneys (that is, they do not hang aorund). Folks like Linus Pauling were big fans of large amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), but those views have been debunked and too much of these compounds can lead to problems.
Bottom line, eat a healthy diet full of multi-colored foods, fruits and vegetables and you do not need supplementation. To know this for sure...smell your urine. If it smells "mediciney" then you are urinating out all those excess chemicals you just paid so much to put into your body. The body only retains what it can use, and eliminates the rest - no matter waht the popular mythology states.
Thanks Daniel A. ! So if vitamin Cs does not "hang-around" a time-released formulation is better as it makes vitamin Cs available over a period of time (incontrast to 500mg immediate release taken once daily)?
No. Time-release or extended release formulations simply "leach out" a set amount of product per unit time or a defined portion per unit time. It doesn't change the amount of product your body requires for healthly function (usually nanogram quantities). We are giving milligrams to grams worth of product, so no matter what delivery device/system is used, we are overwhelming the system.
If you are going to take water soluble vitamin products (that's everything except vitamins A, D, E, and K) by the least expensive, regular or prompt release formulation, from a reputable company. Be quite skeptible about claims by manufacturers and "experts" about waht these products can do once in your body.
If you really want answers to all this on function of cells and the role of vitamins and minerals you should get a biochemistry text and work through it. It will open your eyes.
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