What Are Liposomes and What Does Liposomal Mean?

Revolutionary Liposomes

Liposomes have turned the market of traditional dietary supplementation on its head. But, what are liposomes, and why are they changing the way our bodies absorb plant substances, vitamins, and minerals?

Enhancement of Natural Ingredients

For some time now, there has been a re-thinking in the health world. The great potential of natural active ingredients such as vitamins, minerals and plant extracts have become visible through intensive clinical research. However, their use is often limited by poor absorption and bioavailability. Liposomes allow the body to quickly and efficiently absorb these natural ingredients to use them to their full potential.

Might be of interest – Why Do We Need Food Supplements

We now know why they’re beneficial, but let us explore what liposomes are a bit further.

What Are Liposomes?

The term liposome is from the Greek words “lipos” for fat and “soma” for body. Liposomes are thus, small bodies of fat that are capable of transporting natural active ingredients. They are formed by combining a type of lipid molecule, known as a phospholipid, with water.

What Are Phospholipids?

Phospholipids are a type of fat molecule that make up the cell membranes of our body. They are also found naturally in eggs, soy and sunflowers.

Phospholipids have a water-loving head and two water-fearing tails. When mixed with water, a double layer (lipid bilayer) is formed. In the bilayer, the tails meet on the inside and the heads move towards the outside.

When provided with additional optimal conditions, small lipid bilayer spheres are formed. These spheres are known as liposomes.

A liposome is capable of encapsulating active ingredients within its cavities. This makes the absorption effective and increases the bioavailability of the active ingredients.

Our Process – PlantaCorp’s Liposomal Process

Limited Absorption of Dietary Supplements

A series of events limits the absorption of typical dietary supplements. Upon oral consumption, the active ingredient makes it to the stomach. There, it is often degraded by the acidic environment thus losing some of its activity.

From the stomach, the remainder of the ingredients moves to the small intestine. Here, absorption into the intestinal cell known as an enterocyte, takes place. However, there is a need for special transporters at the enterocytes so that these ingredients can cross the intestinal barrier. This need can significantly limit the amount of active ingredient that it lets past. This is especially true when consuming high amounts of supplements or plant extracts.

Finally, what has made it into the small intestine, is then digested in the liver. This often leads to the further loss of the active ingredients. In fact, over 75% of traditional dietary supplements are not fully absorbed and thus have poor bioavailability.

Transport of Liposome-encapsulated Active Ingredients

Luckily, liposomes can overcome each of the limitations listed above. First, the ingredients are protected from the acidic stomach environment. It does this by encapsulating them within their lipid bilayer.

The fact that liposomes share the same phospholipid bilayer membrane structure as our cells is very important to its function. Phospholipids are digested in the small intestine thus by-passing the picky transporters on the outside of the intestinal cells. Once the liposome is absorbed by the enterocytes, instead of travelling to the liver, it leaves through the lymphatic system.

The lymphatic system is a part of the circulatory system and immune response in our body. Lipids are directed into the lymphatic system rather than into the liver. This allows the active ingredient to bypass the liver entirely and avoid further degradation. The active ingredient is, therefore, able to reach the bloodstream from where it can be carried to its target tissues.

Liposome Studies – Clinical Applications and Potential for Image-Guided Drug Delivery

Enhancing Bioavailability

The enhanced absorption offered by liposomal encapsulation, gives the nutrients a higher bioavailability. By ensuring that the ingredients reach the bloodstream, liposomes provide a higher bioavailability than is naturally found for most nutrients and plant substances.

What Is Bioavailability? Read more here

Rounding it up: Revolutionary Liposomal food supplements

Liposomes have turned the world of food supplements on its head. These small bodies of fat can encapsulate plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals. We call these liposomal formulations. In this form, the nutrient’s bioavailability is drastically increased. This increases their effectiveness in the body. 

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