- Protection of active ingredients: The harsh environment of the stomach can damage some active ingredients. Encapsulation in liposomes enables them to survive the harsh digestive environment so they can enter your cells directly.
- Masking: Phospholipids mask the active ingredients contained in the core so that larger amounts can be absorbed and escape the selective power of the small intestine. Osmotic side effects e.g. diarrhea, of some high doses of vitamins and minerals can be reduced.
- Absorption: Through normal fat absorption, the active substances enter the intestinal cells directly through passive fat uptake (the cells use the fat as energy). From there they reach the bloodstream via the lymphatic system. That way, a liver passage can be avoided, which would normally block some substances from making their way into the blood and other organs.
- Better Value for Money: Following on from point 3 above - liposomals are better absorbed which means you don't need as much to reach your desired levels. You are in effect not throwing money down the toilet. Therefore £ for £ - Liposomal supplements can be more cost effective.
I was watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory the other day when Sheldon was chastising Penny for buying supplements at the local drug store. His comment was along the lines of - don't you realise most of that stuff ends up in the toilet? Turns out Sheldon is right when it comes to regular supplements. It does vary by which supplement, what else you are taking at the same time (as some supplements taken in regular form compete with each other for absorption), and your age. Some supplements such as calcium are only 33% absorbed, and CoQ10 can be as low as 5%. Here is a link that goes into great detail regarding absorption rates of various vitamins when taken in regular form. Recently there has been an interest in Liposomal vitamins as the absorption rates can be up to 3x higher than normal supplements. Liposomes are very small (nano-sized) spheres made up of fatty substances called phospholipids (from either sunflower lecithin or soy lecithin). See the picture in this blog for an example of the nano-sized liposomal sphere. Already used for decades in pharmacy, they ensure a more targeted and complete absorption of medicines, vitamins and minerals. The basic premise behind Liposomal supplements is that (like a trojan horse) the supplement is contained within a small liposomal sphere that survives your stomach acids and deliveres the supplement directly into your cells (who strip the phospholipid layer away for energy use revealing the supplement inside that enters the cell directly). You may wonder what exactly makes Liposomes so special compared to your average vitamin pill? There are 4 ways in which liposomal supplements are better: