What are liposomes?


It’s not often that you need a science lesson when making a purchase. However, when it comes to your body and health, it’s a good idea! Because you’re choosing liposomal supplements, you (and your body) deserve to know exactly what this means, how it affects you, and why it’s a fantastic choice.

People purchase and use dietary supplements for a variety of reasons. They may have been advised by a healthcare professional in order to treat a particular health complaint. They might simply find that they need extra defense during the colder months or, for example, to help ease the symptoms of the menstrual cycle. Either way, the need for a dietary supplement often comes back to nutrient deficiencies and the symptoms associated with them.

When our body struggles to source or hold onto sufficient amounts of important nutrients, the results are clear. We can experience a variety of symptoms such as fatigue, low mood and increased risk of disease, depending on which nutrient we are lacking. (See further below for case studies on liposomal Vitamin C and Vitamin B12 to get an idea of the effectiveness of liposomal technology).

This is why it’s very important that the nutrient supplements we choose are effective. Once they enter our system, we need to make sure they are safe and secure until they reach the target cells...which brings us to the question of liposomes!

Liposomal technology is a method used to increase the bioavailability of nutrients in the body. It ensures that the nutrients (vitamins and minerals) are absorbed easily, without losing effectiveness as they travel through the system. Liposomes keep the nutrients safe from destructive enzymes in the gut where they can be degraded and reduced in effectiveness. Liposomal technology can also help to reduce unpleasant side effects which non-liposomal oral supplements can cause.

Quick-fire summary:

  • Dietary supplements help to restore and treat nutrient deficiencies
  • Nutrient deficiencies lead to health problems and disruptive symptoms
  • Liposomal technology increases bioavailability and absorption of nutrients
  • Liposomes protect nutrients from gut enzymes and acids
  • Liposomes can reduce side-effects of oral dietary supplements

Let’s look more closely at the liposome itself...

What is a liposome?

If you were to draw a simple diagram of a liposome, you would draw a sphere with an empty space in the center. This space contains a liquid called an “aqueous solution”. The walls of the sphere would consist of two different layers. If you looked more closely, you would see that the layers of the sphere are made up of two sets of shapes, each with a tail and a head. These shapes are called phospholipids. The term “phospho” means phosphorous, and “lipid” refers to fat.

Phospholipids look a little like a toddler’s drawing of a human: a round head with two thin tails coming out of the head. This is the basic construction of a phospholipid, a head and a tail. The tail is attracted to water, in other words, it is “hydrophilic”. The head does not like water, (in fact, it repels it) in other words, it is “hydrophobic”.

The liposomal sphere is created when the phospholipids gather around an aqueous solution. The hydrophobic heads gather together, while the hydrophilic tails cluster together. The result is two layers of phospholipids, connecting together to create a sphere, with the aqueous solution trapped in the center. Liposomes can carry water-soluble drugs and fat-soluble drugs, which is partly why they are so fantastic for nutrient delivery.

Liposomes are not an alien substance in the body, in fact, they are very familiar. The body contains phospholipids and creates liposomes naturally and randomly. This helps the liposomes to be easily absorbed into the cells, delivering the nutrients safely and intact.

Phospholipids themselves are beneficial to the body. In fact, phospholipids are antioxidants, meaning they combat free radicals which attack and degrade our cells. We need antioxidants to help reduce the risk of disease and premature aging later in life. This is yet another reason why liposomal technology is a great way to deliver dietary supplements to the body, as we can serve the body with extra defenses at the same time.

Quick-fire summary:

  • Liposomes are spherical shapes with an aqueous solution in the center
  • Liposomes consist of a bi-layer of phospholipids
  • Phospholipids have a head and tail
  • Phospholipids are present in the human body
  • The human body creates liposomes naturally
  • Phospholipids are antioxidants
  • Liposomes welcome fat-soluble and water-soluble nutrients

How do liposomal supplements work after we swallow them?

When you take a liposomal supplement, something pretty amazing happens. The liposome can head directly to the place where it is needed the most. Our cells have proteins called “receptors” which respond to medications and nutrients which we ingest. The nutrients reach the cells where they are required, without being destroyed or reduced in potency along the way.

Cancer treatment is an area where the receptor/drug relationship is best explained. Some cancer treatments are now being formulated with liposomal technology because the drugs can be directed straight to the site of the cancer cells and/or tumor. Because of the protectiveness of the liposomal sphere, the drugs are absorbed more easily, with higher bioavailability and without becoming degraded by other factors in the body. What’s more, they can even reduce the side-effects experienced by many cancer drugs.

Quick-fire summary:

  • Liposomal nutrients can travel directly to specific places in the body
  • Liposomes protect nutrients from being degraded or destroyed
  • Liposomal technology is used for certain cancer treatments

Why are nutrients poorly absorbed by the body?

When we consider the modern diet, it’s clear that many of us just aren’t getting enough nutrients through our food. While we may try our best to eat a clean diet full of fresh produce, our busy lifestyles can get in the way. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies.

However, even if we are eating the right foods, our bodies don’t always absorb the nutrients effectively, again, leading to deficiencies. Most of the damage is done in the gut, the site of many harsh enzymes and acids. When nutrients from non-liposomal supplements enter the gut, they can be worn down and degraded, leaving only a small percentage of the nutrients to actually reach the bloodstream.

Poor absorption can also come down to certain health issues. For example, Celiac’s disease, Crohn’s disease and IBS can all affect the body’s ability to properly absorb nutrients in the digestive tract. People with digestive issues will often experience low B12 levels, requiring them to have their B12 stores topped up via injections. However, vitamin B12 in liposomal form has a much better chance at being properly absorbed by the body, as the liposomal sphere keeps it protected until it reaches the blood. This also means that the supplements are far more gentle on the stomach than non-liposomal supplements. People who find that non-liposomal supplements often upset their tummies know that liposomal supplements don’t leave them with those painful cramps and digestive issues.

The foods we eat can also be a factor in the absorption and bioavailability of nutrients. A great example is leafy greens, which contain oxalates. Oxalates hinder the body’s ability to absorb calcium properly. This means that when you eat leafy greens with foods which contain calcium, much of that calcium will be barred from absorbing into your system.

On the flipside, some nutrients are great friends and help each other to be absorbed into the body. Iron and vitamin C are often paired together in dietary supplements. Why? It’s simple. Vitamin C works to improve iron absorption in the GI tract. The process behind this is complex and interesting, but we won’t expand here. The takeaway is that certain nutrients help others to absorb effectively, while others hinder the process.

The kinds of foods you eat (in terms of fats, proteins and carbohydrates) can also affect the bioavailability and absorption of nutrients. Let’s take Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin A is most effectively absorbed into your system when you ingest it alongside a high-fat food. (This is partly why low-fat diets have come under fire in recent years, as it means certain nutrients don’t have a great chance of being absorbed and utilized by the body, leading to nutrient deficiencies).

Liposomes keep the nutrients safely encapsulated, stopping outside factors from harming them as they make their way through the system. The nutrients are kept away from incompatible nutrients as well as gut enzymes so they can reach the cells whole and ready to get to work.

Quick-fire summary:

  • Certain health issues can negatively affect nutrient absorption
  • Non-liposomal supplements have a low absorption rate and low bioavailability
  • Certain foods can help or hinder nutrient absorption when ingested together
  • Certain macronutrients help certain nutrients absorb properly
  • Liposomes protect nutrients from outside factors which threaten absorption

Liposomal Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a household supplement. Almost everyone knows Vitamin C as that all-important, immune-boosting vitamin which we need to dose-up on in order to stave off colds, flus, and to enjoy clearer skin. Beauty-savvy people also know that Vitamin C helps the body to produce collagen, contributing to anti-aging efforts.

By now you will know that liposomal Vitamin C is the most effective way to bolster your stores, but let’s look at some hard facts! Non-liposomal oral Vitamin C absorbs into the system at a rate of less than 19%...and around 10% on average…not impressive. The other extreme is intravenous Vitamin C (through a needle straight into the bloodstream) which absorbs at almost 100%. Liposomal Vitamin C absorbs into the system with an extraordinary rate of 95%. We can one-up this number yet again, as our SANUS-Q and Bonne Sante Liposome Vitamin C with Glutathione absorbs at a rate of 98%...no needles required.

Quick-fire summary:

  • Vitamin C boosts the immune system
  • Vitamin C supports collagen production
  • Oral, non-liposomal Vitamin C has an absorption rate of less than 19%
  • Intravenous Vitamin C has close to a 100% absorption rate
  • Liposomal oral Vitamin C has a 95% absorption rate
  • Bonne Sante Liposome and SANUS-Q Liposomal Vitamin C + Glutathione has a 98% absorption rate

Liposomal B12

Vitamin B12 deficiencies are incredibly common these days, as vegetarianism and veganism rise. What’s more, many people suffer from digestive issues such as IBS which hinders Vitamin B12 absorption. This is not a deficiency to ignore, as the short-term symptoms as well as long-term risks are very unpleasant. Common Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms are:

  • Extreme fatigue and tiredness
  • Tingly hands and feet
  • Fluttering heart
  • Blurry vision
  • Low mood
  • Digestive issues
  • Smooth, glossy-looking tongue

When Vitamin B12 deficiencies are left unaddressed, they can cause problems with the nervous system and neurological functions. Many people get Vitamin B12 injections to boost their levels once the deficiency reaches a certain level.

However, you can avoid needles altogether by making sure your body gets enough Vitamin B12 through liposomal technology. The liposomes protect the Vitamin B12 from a treacherous gut, sending the vitamins to the bloodstream. A study was conducted to figure out just how effective liposomal technology is in the delivery of vitamin B12 to the body. Here’s what the study found:

  • After 1 week, participants saw a 55% increase of Vitamin B12 absorption
  • After 2 months, the absorption rate was 270%

Those numbers speak for themselves, demonstrating the effectiveness of liposomal technology in the delivery of one of the most important vitamins the human body requires. Keep your Vitamin B12 levels healthy with the Bonne Sante Liposome liposomal B12 supplement.

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