Liposomal supplements

The fascinating world of liposomal supplements

Mighty Kids

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At Mighty Kids there’s a lot of talk about liposomes. This blog post will get into some of the science behind liposome metabolism.

The absorption of liposomal supplements by the human body

The absorption of lipids and phospholipids by the small intestine is a well-known process. Recent studies have shown that liposomes and the ingredients that they encapsulate are digested and absorbed through the small intestine rather than the stomach (1,2). This means that liposomes protect the encapsulated ingredients from the potential loss of activity associated with gastric digestion. The gastric tract is also protected from the potential inflammatory effects of the encapsulated ingredient.

How liposomal supplements reach the bloodstream

Active ingredients that pass through the liver are metabolized, leading to a potential loss of ingredients. Diverting the ingredients towards the intestinal lymphatic system, avoids the portal vein. This means that rather than passing through the liver, the ingredient directly reaches the bloodstream. This diversion is possible when the ingredients are accompanied by lipid molecules. Reaching the bloodstream without passing the liver, increases their bioavailability . This is a reason why liposomal supplements are more bioavailable than conventional supplements.


Liposomes: Increasing the bioavailability of encapsulated ingredients

Bioavailability refers to the amount of ingredient that is available in the bloodstream after its consumption. For example, if you eat 100 mg of vitamin C, the detectable amount in your blood will indicate its bioavailability. The closer the bioavailability of a certain ingredient is to 100%, the more profound is its effect. This is because more of the ingredient will be able to reach its site of action.  A typical site of action for active ingredients could be your muscles.

Increasing bioavailability through liposomal encapsulation

Several studies have demonstrated increased bioavailability with liposomal delivery systems (3,4,5). This includes encapsulation of water-soluble ingredients like Vitamin C. We can attribute the increased bioavailability to liposomes’ increased protection and absorption

Added protection due to liposomes

The protection provided by liposomes leads to a lower required dose of an active ingredient. The higher bioavailability of the ingredients means higher absorption. This decreases the possible side effects of ingredient overdosing.

Can liposomal supplements cause weight gain?

We are often asked if liposomal supplements cause weight gain. This question is asked due to the fact that liposomes are made of fatty acids. However, studies so far, have shown no such effect of phospholipids. On the contrary, phospholipids have been shown to reduce the absorption of cholesterol. Cholesterol is the molecule that makes you put on weight (6). While we can not claim that liposomes are a weight-loss remedy, we can assure you that we have not come across any studies linking an increase in body fat to liposome consumption.

Are liposomal supplements safe?

There are no known safety concerns associated with liposomal supplements. Liposomes have been a drug delivery vehicle for more than two decades now. In this time, there have been no known side effects from the liposomes themselves.

Further, the use of naturally-derived phospholipids such as sunflower in the manufacture of liposomes, makes them biocompatible and non-toxic (7). Liposomes also do not elicit an immune response when administered orally, intramuscularly or intravenously.

Finally, upon digestion, various tissues can absorb the phospholipids and active ingredients from the liposomes for their metabolic potential, and no unused phospholipids or nutrients circulate around the body.

Liposomal supplements are thus safe to consume.

The history of liposomal supplements

Doxil® was first approved in 1995 as liposomal doxorubicin for anti-cancer therapy (7). Since then, liposomes have shown promise as gene delivery systems for clinical gene therapy. They have also been especially beneficial for the delivery of poorly water-soluble substances.

Key takeaways about liposomal supplements:

Active ingredients protection

Liposomes are good vehicles for the transport of ingredients because they protect the encapsulated ingredients from gastric digestion, increase intestinal absorption and thus increase the ingredients’ bioavailability.

Safe

Liposomes are biocompatible and non-toxic and are thus safe to consume.

References

  1. Porter CJH, Trevaskis NL & Charman WN. Lipids and lipid-based formulations: optimizing the oral delivery of lipophilic drugs. Nature Reviews: Drug discovery (2007); 6: 231- 248.
  2. Liu W, Li D, Dong Z et al. Insight into the in vivo translocation of oral liposomes by fluorescence resonance energy transfer effect. Int. J. Pharmaceutics (2020); 587: 119682.
  3. Davis JL, Paris HL, Beals JW et al. Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights (2016);9: 25–30.
  4. Prasad S, Tyagi AK & Aggarwal BB. Recent Developments in Delivery, Bioavailability, Absorption and Metabolism of Curcumin: The Golden Pigment from Golden Spice. Cancer Research and Treatment (2014); 46(1).
  5. Goktas Z, zu Y, Abbasi M et al. Recent advances in nano-encapsulation of phytochemicals to combat obesity and its comorbidities. J. Agric. Food Chem. (2020); 68 (31): 8119–8131.
  6. Cohn JS, Kamili A, Wat E et al. Dietary Phospholipids and Intestinal Cholesterol Absorption. Nutrients (2010); 2(2): 116–127.
  7. Zylberberg C & Matosevic S. Pharmaceutical liposomal drug delivery: a review of new delivery systems and a look at the regulatory landscape, Drug Delivery (2016); 23:9, 3319–3329.

2 thoughts on “The fascinating world of liposomal supplements”

  1. Hi I am very interested in your supplements but what about other vitamins and minerals line Vit A and Zink and Omega?

  2. Hi Natasha,

    Please have a look at our new multivitamin, suitable for ages 2+ which contains Vitamin A and Zinc. 🙂 We hope you love it!

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