What is Liposomal Vitamin C ?
‘Vitamin C encapsulated in a Liposomal molecule’.
But then, what does a liposome mean?
- A ‘Lipid vesicle=pocket of Fat’
It is a spherical vesicle resembling a cell with a highly protective concentric bilayer membrane made of phospholipids similar to those found in the cell membranes. Because they are made of similar material as that of cell membranes these liposomes are,
- biologically inert- evoke less immunogenic reaction, and
- most notably are absorbed better as they can quickly bond and fuse with the cell membranes.
Owing to this, liposomes are quickly becoming commonplace for targeted drug deliveries.
Liposomes are composed of phospholipids, characterized by a hydrophilic head and hydrophobic (lipophilic) tail on the same molecule. The hydrophilic heads orient themselves towards the aqueous medium, and hydrophobic constitutes the inner region of the membrane, forming a bilayer. This helps to encapsulate water-soluble components (e.g. Vitamin C) in hydrophilic compartment and lipid soluble in the hydrophobic one. This property is used to alter the pharmacokinetic profile of drugs, vitamins, herbs and enzymes.
In simpler terms, it is just ‘Vitamin C trapped in the pocket of fat called liposomes’
This is a newer advanced formulation in which vitamin C is concentrated within and settles at the core of the liposomal spherical structure, which themselves act as carriers to increase the bioavailability of the Vitamin.
Best known advantage– significantly increased BIOAVAILABILITY
Here’s How Liposomal Vitamin C Works:
Once the drug enters the system, the liposomal covering helps vitamin C to overcome four barriers
- Gastric acidity,
- Intestinal mucosal lining,
- Unwanted protein binding and
- Enzymatic attacks.
- The encapsulating lipid bilayer insulation protects Vitamin C from the severe gastric acidic degradation.
- The small spherical size and lipid solubility of the liposomal complex facilitates easy absorption of the Vitamin C complex across the intestinal cell barrier into the bloodstream by diffusion. Thus, overcoming the Bowel Tolerance issue. As this diffusion bypasses the need of transport proteins, a massive amount of Vitamin can be easily absorbed.
- The liposomal capsule prevents the unwanted binding of the drug to the proteins and also shields it from the enzymatic attacks circulating in the blood, making most of it available to be released at the targeted site of action.
- Targeted drug delivery-Liposomal bilayer membrane, being made with similar biological components as cell membranes, can easily fuse with membranes of desired cells and deliver the drug directly within the cell.
- The liposome acts as a depot and ensures controlled slow release of the drug to maintain therapeutic levels for a longer duration without wastage or toxicity.
Thus, the liposomal carrier of Liposomal Vitamin C protects, transport and efficiently releases the drug at the right place and time. As a result, a reduced dose achieves better efficacy (INCREASED BIOAVAILABILITY) and avoids side effects with a non-invasive application.
How is Liposomal Vitamin C better than other conventionally used forms of Vitamin C ?
- Conventionally delivered/ Natural
- Liposomal Vitamin C Complex
- Water Soluble Lipid soluble
- Fragile Strong, protected by lipid bilayer
- Sensitive to light, temperature, Ph Well insulated, reduced sensitivity
Bigger, free lipid insoluble molecules – can’t cross intestinal barrier Small, concentrated, lipid soluble – Can diffuse across intestinal barrier
These modifications lead to
1. Increased Bioavailability-
Liposomal Vitamin C shows markedly higher bioavailability (90%) over their plain Vitamin C equivalents (10-20%) due to
- Better absorption
- Better transport
- Better distribution and delivery
- In liposomal Vitamin C, the liposomal component insulates the friable vitamin C from the destructive effects of gastric juices and enzyme attacks. Thus, a significantly higher quantity of Vitamin C is available for absorption as compared to the directly delivered vitamin C wherein a noteworthy amount is lost to these attacks.
- Also, the liposome facilitated absorption and targeted drug delivery is significantly better in Liposomal Vitamin C. Plain Vitamin C being water soluble cannot penetrate the cell membrane efficiently.
- Since molecules are concentrated within each liposome (compared to free molecules that are diluted in the blood), this encapsulation enables to deliver a higher dose of molecules directly within the cells.
- Thus, this formulation ensures maximum effect in lower doses.
2. Longer duration of action–
- As the liposomal insulation guards the Vitamin against continuous degradation by the circulating enzymes, plasma circulation time of the drug increases.
- Moreover, the controlled drug release action of liposome confirms minimum effective levels for a longer period of time.
3. Elimination of Side Effects-
- The Vitamin C here is surrounded by lipid bilayer which prevents the gastric discomfort like diarrhoea often associated with regular long-term intake of traditional Vitamin C.
- Similarly, during incorporation in liposomes, vitamins are usually buffered with minerals which cushion the natural acidity of the Vitamin responsible for stomach issues.
4. Active targeting–
- Direct and target specific action similar to that of liposomal Vitamin C complex is rarely seen with conventional formulations.
5. Reduced toxicity-
- Conventional oral Vitamin C supplements, often in the form of Vitamin C capsules, lozenges, or gummies usually contain highly processed ingredients, artificial fillers, and “natural” flavourings added sugars which may produce adverse effects.
- In conventional supplements, Vitamin C is mostly derived from corn which itself is a GMO product, lowering the quality of Vitamin C.
- On the other hand, Liposomal Vitamin C contains pure L-ascorbic acid, and no artificial colouring, flavouring or sweetening agents.
6. Cost-effectiveness –
- Increased bioavailability ensures optimum effect with lesser doses. So, single pill can do the job of 4-5 conventional pills. Thus, reducing the cost.
Overall we understand that,
Liposomal Vitamin C Complexes reap more of the benefits, more quickly, for longer duration, at a cheaper cost and almost nil toxicity as compared to the conventional Vitamin C supplements.
‘an IDEAL SOURCE of Vitamin C.’
But, the Puzzle is,
How to select the best Liposomal complex from the market?
Here’s the solution, We have posted a detailed content on the factors to consider for choosing the best supplement.
Frequently Asked Questions for Vitamin C
Yes, Tolerable Upper Intake is 2,000 mg
Above that leads to
Minor digestive symptoms-diarrhoea, nausea, and cramping — primarily due to unabsorbed vitamin C sitting in the gastrointestinal tract.
Major issues on chronic high doses- hereditary hemochromatosis– due to excessive iron deposition causing tissue damage.
Higher doses may also precipitate kidney stones formation in men.
The primary consequence of vitamin C deficiency is scurvily characterized by
1. Swollen or bleeding gums
2. Slow wound healing
3. Dry and split hair
4. Rough and dry skin
6. Weak immunity
7.Swollen and painful joints
8. Possible weight gain
The L variety is synonymous with vitamin C itself and carries all its benefits. It is present in natural sources and vitamin supplements both. Whereas D form carries identical antioxidant properties but not the vitamin C content of L and is not used in any form of vitamin supplements.
2. Pregnancy and breast-feeding
3. Infants fed evaporated or boiled milk
4. Iron Deficiency Anaemia
5. Smokers and passive smokers
6. Weaker immune system
7. Poor diet
8. Malabsorption and certain chronic diseases
10. Increased Oestrogen levels.
1. Patients with diabetes, kidney stones or kidney dysfunction.
2. Women on estrogen therapy as Vitamin C stimulate estradiol production in cells.
3. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficient individuals.
4. Patients on Immunosuppressive drugs.
Vitamin C can interfere with certain medications, like cholesterol-lowering statins, warfarin,
immunosuppressant drugs. But you should consult a doctor if you are on a medication.
The alternating long-duration stretch of heavy dose of a supplement followed by a brief break, and then starting again. This allows time for the body to reverse the side-effects of high doses before the next cycle of supplement commences.