Liposomal bioavailability studies explained

You know that we have conducted bioavailability studies for several nutrients including vitamin C and iron. You also know that the result of every study has been a proven increase in bioavailability upon using the liposomal form of supplementation.

This blog post will explain how these bioavailability studies are performed. We will also explain how we interpret the results.

It is our mission to enable the potential of thousands of vital ingredients. We also want to enlarge the awareness about new supplement standards. We do this through our blog posts, LinkedIn articles and bi-monthly newsletter.  

However, we also want to ‘walk the talk’ and actually show that liposomal supplements are efficient. For this, we regularly conduct bioavailability studies. This article will explain how we conduct and interpret our bioavailability studies. You may refer to a previous post, for an explanation of bioavailability. 

Step 1: Deciding on the nutrient to be tested 

We have several base formulations and white label products in our portfolio. From this, we choose one formulation to test based either on 

  1. Client demand I.e., a nutrient which many of our clients ask for a bioavailability study for; or 
  2. Consumer demand– we regularly follow trend and market reports and choose a nutrient that consumers need a proof for 

We have studied the bioavailability of our Vitamin C, iron, glutathione, magnesium, vitamin D3-K2 and curcumin formulation thus far. Ask your Business Development officer for the results of these studies or for what ingredients we plan on studying next.  

Step 2: Sourcing “standard” products on the market 

After deciding upon which liposomal formulation we want to test, the next step is to choose an equivalent supplement(s) existing on the market. The supplement(s)  

  1. must have the same concentration of the active ingredient as the PlantaCorp formulation 
  2. should be orally administered. 

The supplement MUST BE a widely consumed form such as a liquid, capsule or tablet. This is generically referred to as the “standard” or “control”. As of the date of publishing this article, this is usually a traditional, non-liposomal supplement. 

Where possible, we also compare our liposomal formulation to another liposomal liquid or liposomal powder formulation. 

PlantaCorp’s liquid liposomal formulation are compared with liposomal or non-liposomal formulations in liquid, powder or tablet form.

Step 3: Conducting the study 

In association with our study partner, Surya Research Clinic (India), we then conduct our bioavailability studies. All our studies are randomised controlled trials (RCT).  

A randomised controlled trial is a study/experiment performed to compare a “new” clinical intervention against an existing form. As mentioned above, in our studies, our liposomal formulations are considered a “new” form of supplementation. The traditional supplement form is considered the “control” form of supplementation.    

The RCT is the most rigorous and robust research method of determining whether a cause–effect relation exists between an intervention and an outcome (1). 

In our studies, metabolically healthy volunteers of both sexes are enrolled in the trial. Participants are excluded from the study when: 

  1. Age is less than 20 years or more than 50 years 
  2. Any diagnosis of chronic condition(s) such as hypertension, diabetes etc. 
  3. BMI (body mass index) is outside of the normal category range (18.5-24.9kg/m2
  4. Presence of acute illness 
  5. Use of drugs or dietary supplements on a frequent and/or mandatory basis  
      

Every study group is randomly assigned an equal number of participants. Each group must have a minimum of 10 participants. The participants are not made aware of whether they belong to the liposomal or non-liposomal group.  

Study participants are randomly assigned into groups of equal participants

Since many nutrients are available through one’s regular diet, we expect some amount of the test nutrient to already exist in the blood of the participants. This is known as the baseline plasma level of the ingredient being tested. Blood is, therefore, withdrawn from each participant before supplement administration to determine the baseline.  

Through this, we can determine if the study groups start in a level playing field. The average baseline plasma levels of all study groups should be the same in order for us to be able to detect any changes due to supplementation. 

Soon after baseline blood withdrawal, the study participants are administered their respective supplement form orally. Blood is subsequently withdrawn at regular, pre-determined intervals. This blood is processed and the concentration of the particular nutrient(s) at every time point is determined by sophisticated biochemical or biophysical methods. All analyses are performed in the laboratories of Surya Research Clinic.  

Sophisticated biochemical and biophysical methods are used to analyse the blood withdrawn from the study participants

Step 4: Evaluation of the study results 

The study centre provides our R&D team with the results of the blood analyses for every participant, at every time point tested. We then plot these concentrations in a graph and perform various calculations as follows:  

Cmax: This is the maximum ingredient concentration detected in the blood sample.  

Tmax: This is the time at which the Cmax is reached. 

AUC: This is the area under the plot of the plasma concentration of the nutrient versus the time after supplementation. It is an indication of the amount if the nutrient that reached the bloodstream. 

Comparative bioavailability: A ratio of the AUCs between any two groups provides the comparative bioavailability between the two interventions. If the ratio is positive, it means that group A is more bioavailable than group B. The opposite is true if the ratio is negative. You can find out more about bioavailability here

The statistical significance of the above calculations is also plotted by our team. When a value is considered statistically significant, it means that the effect is “real” and not by chance.  

Highly bioavailable supplements by PlantaCorp 

From all the studies we have performed so far, PlantaCorp’s liposomal formulations have always had the highest, statistically significant bioavailabilities.  

You can read about the results of our liposomal vitamin C bioavailability study here

PlantaCorp’s liquid liposomal supplements are, therefore, a highly effective way of delivering nutrients into the bloodstream. This means that the nutritional, body-supportive and biohacking potential of active ingredients can be unleashed with our liposomal formulations. 

Do contact our Business Development Team for more information on these bioavailability studies.  

Key takeaways 

  • PlantaCorp has conducted bioavailability studies for several of its liposomal formulations.  
  • Nutrient(s) to be studied are based on client and/or consumer demand. Vitamin C, iron, glutathione, magnesium, vitamin D3-K2 and curcumin have been studied so far. 
  • PlantaCorp liposomal formulations are compared to other liposomal and non-liposomal products of the same dosage. The average Cmax, Tmax, AUC and comparative oral bioavailabilities of all study groups are determined by PlantaCorp’s scientific team.   
  • The randomised controlled trial is the most rigorous and robust research method of determining whether a cause–effect relation exists between food supplementation and its outcome.  
  • PlantaCorp’s liquid liposomal formulations have been determined as more bioavailable than all other comparative products. 

References 

  1. Bhide A, Shah PS, Acharya G. A simplified guide to randomized controlled trials. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2018; 97: 380– 387