When it comes to how well your vitamins and supplements are working for you, bioavailability and liposomes are two key terms to understand.
In this article, we’ll dive into:
- What is bioavailability and why does it matter?
- How to increase vitamin and supplement bioavailability
- What are liposomes and what does it mean when a supplement is liposomal?
- Liposomal delivery, absorption, and assimilation
- The benefits of true liposomal supplements.
What Is Bioavailability and Why Does it Matter?
Bioavailability refers to how well a given material is able to be absorbed and used by the body. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients all have varying bioavailability in the human body, depending on its source and delivery method.
This concept has become more and more prevalent in the health and medical communities in recent years because unless your food and supplements are bioavailable, your body is not actually using those nutrients, and unfortunately, you might be wasting your money.
Let’s take the vitamins A, D, E, and K as an easy example to demonstrate bioavailability. These vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they are utilized and absorbed by the body in combination with fats and are commonly found in foods with higher fat content.
If you supplement with these vitamins, they will often be encapsulated in oil for better absorption and bioavailability, and they are even more effective when taken with a fat source, such as coconut oil or your fried eggs for breakfast. Their bioavailability is increased in combination with fat. Their bioavailability is decreased in the absence of fat.
So, if you’ve been taking any of these fat-soluble vitamins on an empty stomach, you might want to reconsider.
How To Increase Vitamin and Supplement Bioavailability
Then the question becomes, how can we ensure that the vitamins and supplements we do take are actually being used by the body?
There are two main ways to increase vitamin and supplement bioavailability: one, increase the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients, and two, increase the bioavailability of the vitamins and nutrients themselves by improving the delivery system.
Route #1 might involve improving stomach acid, bile flow, and digestive enzymes for proper breakdown of nutrients, healing and sealing tight junctions in the gut that allow nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and balancing microbiome biodiversity so that invasive pathogens are not stealing nutrients from the body
Route #2 involves finding and using the most bioavailable forms of nutrients and supplements. With food, this means prioritizing foods that are more bioavailable, often animal foods and as well as easily digestible carbs, like fruits and root vegetables. With supplements, this means pairing synergistic vitamins and supplements together (like the fat-soluble vitamins) and separating opposing ones, consuming them with foods that will enhance absorption in the digestive tract, and using the most bioavailable formulation of that supplement, such as a liposomal form.
What Are Liposomes and What Does It Mean When a Supplement Is Liposomal?
Liposomes are basically microscopic spherical bubbles created from one or more phospholipid bilayers, the same material that makes up our cell membranes. This barrier surrounding a liposome allows either hydrophobic or hydrophilic material to be contained and protected within the liposome.
They serve as a stable and safe delivery system for a given nutrient or medication to be absorbed and used by a cell. This cellular delivery mechanism is extremely important to build the foundation of our health—the health of our cells.
Liposomes have now been studied for several decades as an optimal delivery system for various medications, supplements, and nutrients the body needs to fight disease and regain optimal function. They have also been developed for use in cosmetics, food technologies, and even gene delivery. At this point, liposomes are part of our everyday lives.
Liposomal Delivery, Absorption, and Assimilation
Liposomes allow whatever is contained within them to be more easily absorbed and used by the body on a cellular level. Considering our general nutrient deficiency in modern life—both from our depleted soil and our considerably higher stress levels and daily brain usage—it’s more important than ever to ensure that we are actually absorbing and assimilating the nutrients we need to thrive in modern life.
Any truly liposomal supplement you take can be absorbed by the body in many different ways. If it is encapsulated, it will still be absorbed through the digestive tract, but it will be able to enter the cells without extra processing by the small intestine.
A liquid liposomal supplement can be absorbed directly in the mouth, the throat, and anywhere else the supplement comes into contact with the body, even topically. These liquid liposomal supplements may also be ideal for anyone who has difficulty swallowing or has digestive issues that block proper absorption.
Overall, a liposomal supplement is capable of much more targeted delivery and absorption wherever it is most needed in (or on) the body.
The Benefit of True Liposomal Supplements
If you’re investing in your health by taking supplements, true liposomal supplements give you the best bang for your buck. If a supplement is truly liposomal, you know that it is being absorbed by your body on a cellular level and immediately put to work without having to pass through the digestive walls or undergo any additional breakdown in the body.
In the case of our liposomal phosphatidylcholine (PC), the PC liposome is the supplement itself. Real PC is a phospholipid (many of which create a liposome when combined) and can be immediately taken up and used by your cell membranes wherever it is needed. Better cell membranes = stronger, healthier, more communicative cells = a healthier you overall. That’s the good stuff.
However, most phosphatidylcholine supplements on the market are not liposomal, and therefore are not really PC. Instead, they are made from something called lecithin that usually comes from a soy or sunflower source. Lecithin is essentially a thickener that is often used in food products like nut milks, dairy products and baked goods. The body breaks it down during digestion to yield fatty acids and choline, which can still be beneficial to the body, but it is not true phosphatidylcholine.
Our Bodybio PC is concentrated into a liposomal form that limits degradation during digestion and ultimately allows more bioavailable lipids into your cell membranes, helping your body perform optimally every day.
If you’re looking for the benefits of real phosphatidylcholine, you want one in a liposomal form that will be best absorbed and utilized in the body. Read more about our unique liposomal PC here.