One expert explains how liposomal technology improves vitamin C delivery.
Vitamin C is well known for its power-packed immune-boosting, antioxidant, antiaging, and antiviral properties. It is also being studied for its potential benefits in cancer therapy1. Undoubtedly, it is a crucial nutrient that enhances health. Yet, a human body cannot naturally produce its supply of this super-vitamin, so it must be sourced either from food or via supplementation.
As per the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey2 (NHANES), 35% of adults consume a daily multivitamin supplement containing vitamin C, while 12% specifically take a vitamin C supplement. In the past few years, though, a newer form—liposomal vitamin C—has garnered interest as a nutritional supplement. Healthcare professionals and consumers are paying more attention to these liposomal supplements to understand how different they are from the commonly known, traditional vitamin C supplements.
Here’s an overview to help shed some light on how liposomal technology improves vitamin C delivery.
Liposomal Vitamin C: An Overview
Liposomal delivery is a more contemporary approach to nutrient delivery. It distinguishes itself from the conventional liquid vitamin formulations, promising significantly enhanced bioavailability and superior absorption, particularly when compared to traditional vitamin C supplements.
Liposomes are like tiny artificial bubbles made up of phospholipids like those found around human cells. Their unique structure enables them to encapsulate and transport a variety of active compounds which are either poorly permeable or poorly soluble. Encapsulating active compounds like vitamin C within liposomes helps keep them intact as they reach the target cells.
Liposomes and vitamin C share a powerful synergy and make a great team. The key distinguishing factor between liposomal vitamin C and standard oral capsules or liquid vitamin C lies in the inclusion of liposomes. Liposomal vitamin C is a superior form of this essential nutrient because it boasts enhanced absorption within the body compared to regular vitamin C.
Why is this so?
Our digestive system breaks down and renders vitamin C inactive within our gut or intestines. This challenge is made more complex by the water-soluble nature of vitamin C. Even if vitamin C overcomes the hurdle of passing through the gut and reaching our cells, it encounters a significant roadblock given that it is inherently incompatible with fat-based cell membranes. This prevents it from entering the cells effectively. Moreover, when one consumes vitamin C, this nutrient must combat stomach acid and enzymes before reaching the small intestine. In the end, only a minimal amount of vitamin C is left over for the body to absorb into the cells where it is needed.
Consequently, for vitamin C to better reach the intended destination, it needs to be protected from the digestive system’s juices and delivered in a fat-friendly form that can easy pass through the gastrointestinal cell membranes.
This is where liposomal vitamin C is beneficial. Thanks to its unique encapsulation technology, liposomal vitamin C is more bioavailable than other forms of vitamin C, making it a superior option.
In the case of liposomal vitamin C, the vitamin is encased in a protective bubble of fat-based liposomes, enabling it to pass through the digestive system while remaining unharmed. Upon reaching the body’s cells, liposomal vitamin C effectively travels through the lipid-based cell membrane, gaining access to the inner parts of the cells where it can begin its beneficial effects. Liposomes play a vital role in safeguarding and facilitating the journey of vitamin C through the body, ultimately easing its absorption.
How Liposomal Vitamin C Scores over Regular Vitamin C
In a 2020 study3, liposomal vitamin C was found to be 1.77 times more bioavailable than other vitamin C supplements, making it more cost-effective.
Certain medications, excessive sugar intake, and digestive issues that compromise gut health are often known to hinder the absorption of nutrients such as vitamin C. This is especially true if a person is grappling with gut-related issues.
Moreover, most commercially available vitamin C supplements are in capsules or powders. On the other hand, liposomal vitamin products come as liquid gels in single-serving packets. These are to be mixed with a small quantity of water for easy consumption, but they can also be taken directly out of the pack.
Several specific benefits of liposomal vitamin C make it a desirable immune booster and prove its importance in enhancing overall health.
Eye Health: The American Optometric Association4 states that regular consumption of liposomal vitamin C supplements can decrease the likelihood of developing cataracts while also reducing the advancement of age-related vision issues such as macular degeneration and the loss of visual acuity.
Skin Resilience: Vitamin C plays a crucial role in collagen production, essential for maintaining skin strength and elasticity. With age, collagen levels naturally decline, leading to wrinkles. Increasing liposomal vitamin C intake supports enhanced collagen production, promoting healthier and more resilient skin.
Another area where liposomal vitamin C plays a key role is as an antioxidant in the body, fighting free radicals generated by UV light and reducing oxidative stress. Liposomal vitamin C also reduces hyperpigmentation and dark spots on the skin.
Immune Function: Liposomal vitamin C aids several crucial functions within the immune system, such as supporting antibody production, helping the multiplication and optimal functioning of white blood cells, and combating oxidative stress—a factor that can otherwise compromise immune system effectiveness.
Cardiovascular Health: Owing to its exceptional antioxidant properties, liposomal vitamin C prevents LDL-protein oxidation, which is involved in atherosclerosis. Moreover, it has the potential to enhance arterial flexibility and improve lipid profiles, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease.
Mental Health: Liposomal vitamin C significantly synthesizes essential mood-enhancing neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine. Its capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier has been associated with improved mental well-being and mood stability.
What the Future Holds for Liposomal Vitamin C
Liposomal encapsulation is emerging as a promising novel delivery approach to nutrient delivery. As liposomal supplements gain popularity, it’s essential to consider the plethora of health-enhancing benefits associated with liposomal vitamin C. Experts agree5 that liposomal vitamin C could open the doors for therapeutic options and biological applications, including anticancer and antioxidant properties. While ongoing research is shedding light on the distinctions between conventional supplementation and liposomal alternatives, more study is needed to delve deeper to unlock the potential benefits of liposomal nutrition.
About the author
Arun Kedia is the managing director of VAV Lipids, (Mumbai, India), an innovation-driven company specializing in cGMP-grade manufacturing of lecithin and phospholipids for nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, and cosmeceutical applications. For more information, please visit http://www.vav.in or e-mail email@example.com.