Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C play an important role in various functions of our body, such as:
- Maintaining the normal function of the immune system
- Helping with collagen formation for the normal function of blood vessels, bones, cartilage, gums, skin and teeth
- Ensuring normal functioning of the nervous system
- Helping to increase the absorption of iron
- Reducing tiredness and fatigue and
- Helping to protect the cells from oxidative stress
Limitations of Vitamin C
There are many reasons for taking Vitamin C. Unfortunately, there are also two well-known problems with consuming high-dose ascorbic acid supplements.
- The more you take, the less is absorbed – making high dosages inefficient.
- The more you take, the more likely you will get unpleasant GI side effects.
Luckily, encapsulation of the vitamin into phospholipid spheres (liposomes) could help with both of these problems.
Liposomes are the Solution
Normal absorption in the intestine is done through a number of transporters which have limited capacity, leading to limited absorption. Packing vitamin C into liposomes could instead help them fuse passively with the intestinal cells and avoid these intestinal transporter barriers.
Additionally, the GI distress caused by too much vitamin C is due to osmotic forces. This basically means vitamin C attracts water – too much water in fact. This leads to imbalances that can cause diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, and other gastrointestinal disturbances.
High-dosage liposomal vitamin C is distributed into smaller amounts by hiding it in lipid spheres. Since the uptake is easier and theoretically faster, the nutrient doesn’t lie around as long. All of this should decrease its osmotic effect and side effects.
Why Did We Want to Study Our Product?
Our mission is to show that liposomal encapsulated supplements can really make a difference in absorption. Of course, there have been other trials investigating liposomal vitamin C which mostly show a positive bioavailability change. But with this human study, we wanted to prove that our product specifically can overcome the vitamin C absorption limit with ease.
What Did We Look at?
- We tested 20 healthy adults. This is enough to draw a statistically significant result and is an adequate group size for pilot tests like this.
- 10 people were given 1000mg of liposomal vitamin C (liposomal group) and 10 other people received 1000mg of vitamin C in tablet form (standard group).
- Next, we drew blood before giving the participants the supplements (a baseline measurement) and then one hour, two hours, and six hours after. That way, we can see how much and how fast the supplement was absorbed. We did this for the liposomal and standard group in order to compare their effectiveness later on.
- Using all time points we calculated the maximum blood concentration (Cmax) of vitamin C and the time at which it occurred (Tmax).
- The AUC was calculated as well. This is the pharmacological version of what many people refer to as bioavailability. It tells us how much of an ingested nutrient reaches and stays in the bloodstream, for how long it stays there, and thus how much of it can actively be used by the body.
What We Found
1. Maximum Blood Concentration
Cmax was 2.20mg/dL in the liposomal group and 0.83 mg/dL in the standard group. This means the amount of vitamin C that gets into the bloodstream is 2.7 times higher in the liposomal group; suggesting that liposomes help vitamin C to overcome the intestinal barrier.
2. Time until Maximum Blood Concentration
The liposomal group had a Tmax of 360 minutes while the Tmax in the standard group was 60 minutes. Since the uptake mechanisms of the two groups are different, the time they take are also specifically different.
3. How did the Groups Compare?
We looked further at the data to see if there were differences between the two groups. This is pictured in the image below.
- First we looked at the baseline measurements, before the supplement was taken. These values were not statistically different, which is good! This means that each group started at a level playing field.
- Next we looked at the one-hour mark. The amount of vitamin C in the blood increased for both, but were not statistically different from one another. This just means that absorption at this point was slow for both.
- The next time point (two hours) starts to tell a story. Here we see that the liposomal group is significantly higher than the standard group. More interesting, is that the standard group has actually began to decrease at this point. So after one hour, where the liposomal group was just beginning to increase, the standard group had already reached its peak. This continued after 6 hours and shows that the amount of vitamin C in the blood continues to rise for the liposomal group and is already leaving the blood in the standard group
Plasma Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
What Does this Mean?
Our study suggests that the amount absorbed from a single dose of our liposomal vitamin C product is higher and thus the liposomal formulation is more bioavailable than a standard supplement at the same dose.
This could basically mean that vitamin C and likely also other supplements that were limited by their poor absorption in the past can become powerful yet easy tools for combating deficiencies and promoting health in the future. Thanks to liposomal technology.
The bioavailability of liposomes should also be studied in larger and more diverse groups. Also, our results suggest that vitamin C levels could increase even more after six hours. Studies should measure vitamin C for longer periods of time and in more frequent intervals to see more of the story. Finally, increasing the dose of vitamin C could show just how much vitamin C liposomes can deliver to our bodies.
Vitamin C’s bioavailability is limited by transporters in the intestine. Those factors lessen the active amount reaching our cells, even more so when you plan to take several thousand milligrams.,,
Therefore, liposomes are a very interesting solution to provide high-dose vitamin C supplements for those who wish to benefit from possible health effects following administration.
In recent years, liposomes were studied in relation to exact delivery of medication to specific tissues., It was found that they are highly effective in protecting and delivering their cargo to a desired destination.
Just like that, with the use of our liposomal technology, vitamin C can be administered more efficiently at any desired, safe dose.