We commissioned an independent, simple yet comprehensive report on the bioavailability of 1g of liposomal Vitamin C (Lipolife® Gold) compared to 1g of non-liposomal oral Vitamin C.
Vitamin C plays a vital role in human health.
It plays an important role in wound healing, is involved in neurotransmitter and carnitine synthesis and functions as an important antioxidant (Carr and Frei, 1999; Li and Schellhorn, 2007).
Unlike the majority of land animals, humans have not evolved to bio-synthesise Vitamin C and therefore it is an essential nutrient which can only be obtained from dietary intake (Drouin et al 2001).
The bioavailability of Vitamin C has been a controversial topic. It once was assumed by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that oral Vitamin C intakes >200mg induced an absorption threshold of 220µM/until recently disproved by Hickey et al (2008) with a pilot-study that showed concentrations of >230µM/L could be achieved with 5g of liposomal encapsulated Vitamin C.
This was a significant finding for Vitamin C as a therapeutic agent since ascorbate concentrations at 300µM/L have resulted in 30% necrosis and apoptosis in cancer cells and concentrations at 400µM/L increase cell death to approximately 50% (Chen et al 2005).
Only one other published study has validated the bioavailability of liposomal Vitamin C which showed a 4g dose achieved a peak concentration of approximately 187µM/L compared to 130µM/L with a non-liposomal oral Vitamin C (Davis et al., 2016).
The focus of this paper herein is to test and report on the bioavailability of 1g of liposomal Vitamin C (Lipolife® Gold) compared to 1g of non-liposomal oral Vitamin C.
Twenty-four healthy subjects (n=24) took part in a randomised, single-blinded, cross-over study to determine the bioavailability of a single oral dose of 1g of liposomal Vitamin C compared to 1g of non-liposomal oral Vitamin C.
The study consisted of two treatment periods and subjects were randomly divided into two treatment groups.
In the first treatment period, Group 1 (n=12) received 5ml of liposomal Vitamin C containing 1g and Group 2 (n=12) received 5ml of non-liposomal oral Vitamin C containing 1g.
In the second treatment period, Group 1 received the non-liposomal oral Vitamin C whilst Group 2 received liposomal Vitamin C.
At the end of the study, the two treatment groups had been exposed to both treatments. A seven-day washout period separated both treatment periods.
A baseline blood sample was drawn at 0 hours, the first treated sample was drawn 15 minutes later, followed by; 15 minute intervals until 1 hour; 30 minute intervals until 3 hours; hourly until 12 hours; 2 hourly until 16 hours; and the final sample was taken at 24 hours from baseline.
Plasma levels of Vitamin C are measured as ascorbate (µM/L).
The Liposomal Vitamin C was provided by Lipolife® (Lipolife®, Drakes Lane, Boreham) and non-liposomal oral Vitamin C was provided by Curesupport (Curesupport B.V. Zutphenseweg 55, Deventer).
Results from figures 1 and 2 show the oral bioavailability of 1g of liposomal Vitamin C compared to 1g of non-liposomal oral Vitamin C across a 24 and 7 hour period.
At two hours post-treatment, liposomal Vitamin C reached plasma concentrations that were two-fold the concentration of non-liposomal oral Vitamin C at 205.1µM/L and 102.6µM/L, respectively. Cmax was achieved in both groups at four hours post-treatment with liposomal Vitamin C showing a 2.4-fold greater plasma response than non-liposomal oral Vitamin C with concentrations of 282.3 µM/L and 119 µM/L, respectively.
After twenty four hours, plasma concentrations of liposomal Vitamin C remained above baseline, however plasma concentrations of non-liposomal oral Vitamin C, had fallen below baseline measurements.
A single oral dose of liposomal Vitamin C showed greater absorption and peak plasma levels of ascorbate compared to non-liposomal oral Vitamin C. Furthermore, liposomal Vitamin C resulted in quicker increases in ascorbate concentration and also sustained blood levels of ascorbate over a greater period of time than non-liposomal oral Vitamin C.
Oral liposomal Vitamin C is superior to non-liposomal oral Vitamin C and is able to achieve plasma levels in greater magnitude lending itself for great promise as a therapeutic agent in the targeting of chronic disease.
Carr AC, Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1999;69:1086-107.
Chen Q. Espey M.G. Krishna M.C. Mitchell J.B. Corpe C.P. Buettner G.R. Shacter E. Levine M. (2005). Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 102(38), 13604-13609
Davis, J., Paris, H., Beals, J., Binns, S., Giordano, G., Scalzo, R., Schweder, M., Blair, E. and Bell, C. (2016). Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect against Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury. Nutrition and Metabolic Insights, 9, p.NMI.S39764.
Drouin G, Godin JR, Pagé B. (2001). The genetics of Vitamin C loss in vertebrates. Current Genomics. ;12:371-378. DOI: 10.2174/138920211796429736
Li Y, Schellhorn HE. (2007). New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. J Nutr ;137:2171-84.