We all want to be our healthiest selves and a great way to maintain your body is through proper nutrition. The foods we eat should supply a majority of the nutrients that we need to stay healthy, but often nutritional deficiencies can lead to adverse effects on health.
Nutritional supplements and vitamins are often used to combat deficiencies and to boost the intake of nutrients that offer preventative benefits for some at-risk populations.
While supplements are a great way to restore healthy levels of vital nutrients to the body, there are some caveats to how they should be taken in order to achieve optimal results.
Researchers have discovered that the most effective way to take many supplements(1) orally is through liposomal encapsulation. This delivery method holds promising potential for a variety of treatment plans that range from cancer treatment to an array of uses in dermatology, in addition to their uses in supplement delivery.
What Is A Liposome?
A liposome is a small round sac made of phospholipid molecules that is used as a delivery method for some drugs or supplements. These phospholipids that liposomes are made of are the bulk of what the cells in our bodies are made of too.
With liposomes comprised of the same substance as our body’s own cells, the liposomes are more easily absorbed because they are recognized as cells, not as an outside substance to be eliminated from the body. This mimicking of cells aids in the absorption of the liposome and the nutrients that are encapsulated inside of it.
Researchers have been studying liposomes since the 1960s and have discovered that when used as the vehicle for delivering medicine, liposomes have many advantages over traditional oral delivery methods.
Liposomes essentially encapsulate the nutrient or medicine that is being administered. This encapsulation forms a barrier around the nutrient that acts as a protective shield while the nutrient travels through the GI tract. The acids in the stomach that help to break down food for digestion also will destroy a portion of medicine while it travels to the small intestine for absorption into the bloodstream.
Studies have shown that between 30 and 50 percent of some supplements like Vitamin C are not absorbed(2)(depending on dosage amounts) by the body and are excreted. This means that roughly half of the nutrients that are in each pill are not being fully absorbed and are turned into waste.
This can certainly be a frustrating realization for many who are health-focused and are trying to get the full benefits from a supplement regime.
Why Are Liposomes Such A Good Delivery Method For Drugs And Vitamins?
Liposomes are considered to be a highly effective method for delivering drugs and supplements and are being utilized in cancer treatments. Researchers have been using liposomes to target specific organs or tumorous growths during treatment. Liposomes are beneficial when administering cancer-inhibiting drugs that are highly concentrated and could cause damage to other areas of the body.
Touted for the biocompatibility (their ability to work harmoniously with their host/body), liposomes are showing promising results(3) in a number of studies. They have also become a preferred method of delivery for many medicines that are considered to be unstable (easily broken down by stomach acids).
The barrier that liposomes form around the drug that is being administered helps to protect the drug from destructive stomach acids and aids in selective targeting for treatment areas. This protective barrier ensures that the drug remains intact on the journey through the GI tract.
The ability of the liposomal barrier that encapsulates the drug or vitamin to mimic the body’s own cells also supports the superior absorption levels that liposomes provide.
Another benefit to liposomal encapsulation is the versatility to be utilized for both fat-soluble and water-soluble nutrients. Water-soluble vitamins are easily dissolved in water while fat-soluble supplements are more like oil and won’t dissolve in water.
Enhanced biocompatibility, superior absorption levels, targeted dosage opportunities, and the ability to act as a protective sheath while drugs or supplements are traveling through the GI tract make liposomes an effective delivery method for a variety of nutrients and medicines.
With the continued and promising research that is being conducted for hyper-targeted treatments for cancer patients, liposomes are on their way to becoming touted as one of the best ways to administer a variety of nutrients and medicines.
Incorporating liposomes into a supplement regime has been shown to increase the efficacy of nutrient uptake and retention. If you’re looking for new ways to get the most out of your vitamin and supplement program, consider liposomes as a fast track to increase the percentage of nutrients that you get out of each dose.