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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
Evolve Nutrients says lipid nanoparticles are more bioavailable-potentially up to six times more bioavailable than traditional pill or capsule supplements.
A new dietary supplement line uses nano-sized lipid spheres to boost the bioavailability of nutraceutical ingredients. Colorado-based marketer Evolve Nutrients says that its NanoSphere Gel supplements are the first to use the nano-sized lipid spheres, which can encapsulate vitamins, minerals, and other nutraceutical ingredients.
The NanoSphere Gel products are liquid supplements sold in small pump bottles. “Pump nano gel directly on the floor of the mouth, press with your tongue, wait, and swallow. Take 2-3 pumps every 4 to 5 hours,” the directions instruct.
To create the products’ patent-pending, lipid-nanoparticle “NanoSpheres,” as the company has trademarked them, nutraceutical ingredients are “solubilized, nano-sized, and encapsulated by pharmaceutical-grade phospholipids,” explains Richard Kaufman, PhD, Evolve Nutrients’ chief science officer. Specifically, the company uses phosphatidylcholine-also known as lecithin-which itself provides bodily benefits, including maintaining healthy cells.
While Evolve’s nanoparticle lipid spheres are a new delivery system for the dietary supplements industry, they are widely used by the pharmaceutical industry, Kaufman says, where this technology has “taken the lead over other delivery technologies due to a higher degree of biocompatibility, safety, and versatility.”
In fact, nanotechnology in general is still not widely used in dietary supplements, although the technology may help make more bioavailable typically harder-to-absorb nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins, fatty acids, minerals, peptides, phytochemicals, and botanical extracts. “While nanotechnology is impacting the personal care and the food industries, the application of nanotechnology in the dietary supplement industry is lagging far behind,” Kaufman says. “Only a handful of companies are using nanotechnology to improve the delivery of a limited number of isolated and single supplement factors like coenzyme Q10 and curcumin.”
Kaufman says lipid nanoparticles are more bioavailable-potentially up to six times more bioavailable than traditional pill or capsule supplements-due to their minute size, which can better cross cell membranes and “prevent premature clearance of nutraceuticals from the body before reaching the target cell site.” Their protective lipid membrane can also physically protect bioactive compounds from degradation, helping to maintain stability and potency. Plus, they require no fillers, binders, or other additives.
Lipid nanoparticles are a step ahead of even liposomes, “a historically older delivery technology,” Kaufman says. “NanoSpheres have a smaller size, higher encapsulation efficiency, and greater stability than liposomes. Liposomes are known to leak out their ingredients.”
And Evolve’s nano-gel formulas are superior to other liquid sprays, he says. “Simple spray vitamins do not utilize a delivery system based on the pharmaceutical industry’s best practices…Furthermore, spray vitamins don’t contain a full range of both water- and fat-soluble nutrients and are rarely nano-sized. These sprays typically consist of a handful of water-soluble vitamins.”
Evolve is now embarking on human trials to test the bioavailability of NanoSpheres against regular supplement pills or capsules. “Scores of bioavailability studies in humans and animals have confirmed substantial increases in bioavailability of supplements as nanoparticles and lipid nano-particulates similar in structure to the NanoSpheres used in Evolve Nutrients formulas,” Kaufman says. The company is also working with the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University to study the morphology of NanoSpheres.
In addition to Evolve’s own NanoSphere line, Kaufman says the company plans to offer the technology under license to others. He says there are promising applications not only for nutraceuticals but also cosmeceuticals and pharmaceuticals. “The advantages of enabling a higher degree of biocompatibility and versatility make NanoSpheres commercially viable in the formulation of a broad range of agents for oral, topical, ocular, and pulmonary delivery.”
For now, Evolve’s NanoSphere Gel line includes product formulas for men’s health, women’s health, and energy support. The company calls NanoSphere Gels “one of the most important developments in advancing the non-invasive delivery of dietary supplements and nutraceuticals in over 25 years.”
Read more about nanotechnology in the supplements industry.
“Nanotechnology Nudges into Nutrition” (2006)
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