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WHAT IS A LIPOSOME?

The name liposome is derived from two Greek words: 'Lipos' meaning fat and 'Soma' meaning body.

DEFINITION

An artificial microscopic vesicle consisting of an aqueous core enclosed in one or more phospholipid layers.

In other words a liposome is a tiny 'micro' sized bubble or sphere (vesicle) made from a phospholipid (in our case, phosphatidylcholine). This is the same material of which our cell membranes consist. These bubbles can be filled with substances such as Vitamin C, Glutathione or even drugs.

Liposomes have the ability to carry either water or fat-soluble payloads, which makes them an ideal delivery system.

FORMATION

Phospholipids are amphiphilic, they consist of a hydrophilic (water loving) head and hydrophobic (water hating) tail.

When phospholipids are placed in an aqueous solution, the hydrophobic tails face each other avoiding the water and forming a phospholipid bilayer while the hydrophilic heads form hydrogen bonds with the water molecules.

The lipid bilayer will form a closed sphere (liposome) to completely exclude water from the hydrophobic tail.

WHY LET (LIPOSOMAL ENCAPSULATION TECHNOLOGY)?

The liposomal delivery system has many advantages over regular oral ingestion.

BIOAVAILABILITY

When a regular capsule or pill is ingested it must first pass from the mouth through the digestive system to finally be absorbed in the small intestine.

During this process, digestives enzymes in the mouth and stomach, digestive acids, bile salts and various gut flora degrade the nutrients before they are finally metabolised by the liver and made available to the body.

This entire process slows and reduces the nutrients' bioavailability.

Phospholipids are impervious to the various digestive juices. This makes liposomes the perfect delivery system for acid and enzyme-reactive substances.

DELIVERY

Once the liposome has reached the small intestine it is absorbed by the enterocytes of the villi. Inside the enterocytes, the liposomes are incorporated into chylomicrons.

Together, they travel through the lymph system, bypassing the liver (portal circulation) into the subclavian vein.

INTRACELLULAR

Another major advantage of the liposomal delivery system is the way it delivers the nutrients on an intra-cellular level.
A liposome can do this in a number of ways:

ENDOCYTOSIS

Endocytosis is a process in which the liposome gains entry into a cell without actually passing through the cell membrane. The cell engulfs the liposome forming a membrane-bounded vesicle called an endosome.

ADSORPTION

The liposome wall adheres to that of the cell and releases its payload into the cell.

FUSION

The melding of the liposome membrane with the membrane of the cell, carrying the contents of the liposome into the cell.

LIPID EXCHANGE

The contents of the liposome and cell exchange their lipid contents.

CROSS SECTION OF A LIPOSOME

Since liposomes are made in water, during formation they are able to encapsulate a percentage of their environment.

If there are water soluble bioactives in the environment, such as Vitamin C for example, then the developing liposomes are able encapsulate the Vitamin C in the water-based core.

If the compound is fat soluble, such as Vitamin D, it will instead integrate itself inside the liposomal membrane, within the tails of the phospholipid bilayer.

HOMEMADE 'LIPOSOMALS' VERSUS LIPOLIFE LIPOSOMALS

There are many articles and websites that give recipes for making home made 'liposomal' products using ultrasonic jewellery cleaners and lecithin, it is unfortunately not that simple...

  • To make liposomes one requires very high quality phosphatidylcholine (PC) (a molecule from lecithin).
    Home brews are made with pure lecithin that contain very low amounts of phosphatidylcholine.
    Lipolife® liposomals have a minimum of 200mg PC per 5ml.
  • In order to produce liposomes, a machine is required that is powerful enough to obtain small enough nano-sized particles to be effective. Homemade liposomals will not produce liposomes that are small enough to be effective with very little of the nutrient actually being encapsulated.
    Lipolife® liposomals have a particle (liposome) size distribution of between ~150nm and ~200nm
  • Liposomes are unstable, this is one of the biggest challenges in the process of formulating an effective, truly liposomal supplement.
    We use stabilised liposomes.
  • Liposomes, Vitamin C, Glutathione and other, crucial raw ingredients in liposomal formulas are extremely unstable in the presence of oxygen.
    We go to great lengths to produce our products in the absence of oxygen.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MICELLE AND A LIPOSOME?

Micelles and liposomes are vesicles in which nutrients can be trapped and administered more efficiently.

However, these vesicles are not similar to each other.

Liposomes are composed of a lipid bilayer separating an aqueous internal compartment from the bulk aqueous phase.

Micelles are closed lipid monolayers with a fatty acid core and polar surface, or polar core with fatty acids on the surface (inverted micelle).  Micelles should perhaps be considered as enhancing a nutrient's solubility as they release the nutrients when in contact with bodily fluid.

Liposomes are nutrient carriers and can be considered to be superior for delivery as they directly target bodily cells.  Additionally, liposomes are capable of carrying much higher doses of the intended nutrients than a micelle due to their composition.

 

WHILST MICELLES WILL ENHANCE THE UPTAKE OF THE NUTRIENT,
THEY DO NOT HAVE THE SAME TARGETED POWER OF A LIPOSOME.

LIPOLIFE

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