Liposomes are essentially double-layer bubbles that are filled with liquids. About five decades ago, researchers found that liposomes, which are made from phospholipids, could be used to deliver nutrients into the body and even into certain cells of the body. Here is some information about the many different types of liposomes.
Basics of Liposomes
In order to understand why liposomes are so effective when it comes to delivering nutrients into the body, it is important to have a good understanding of the structure of liposomes. As stated above, liposomes are made from phospholipid layers. A phospholipid molecule consists of a phosphate group and two fatty acid chains. A glycerol molecule joins these two components together. The fatty acid chains, which are referred to as tails, are hydrophobic. The phosphate ends, which are referred to as heads, are hydrophilic. This makes phospholipids selectively impermeable, which means only certain substances are permitted to enter and exit the cell at certain times. This is why liposomes are so effective when it comes to delivering nutrients in the body.
Dietary and Nutritional Supplements
When it comes to nutritional and dietary supplements, liposomes were primarily used for targeted drug delivery. However, recently, researchers have discovered new uses for liposomes. Currently, researchers are focusing on the implementation of liposomes for specific oral delivery of nutritional and dietary supplements.
The focus on implementing liposomes is mainly in response to the low bioavailability and absorption rates of traditional nutritional tablets and capsules. Many research studies have demonstrated the low absorption and bioavailability of many nutrients. However, the natural encapsulation of hydrophilic and lypophilic nutrients in liposomes has been shown to be an effective method of helping with the delivery of tissues and cells. Liposomes help protect nutrients from the harsh environment of the gastric system.
There are certain factors that have a major impact on the percentage of liposome that is produced when manufacturing dietary supplement products. These factors can also impact the quality of the liposomes as well as the amount of liposomes that successfully entrap the nutrients. Accordingly, these elements also have a major impact on the stability of liposomes. Some of these factors include the following:
- The preparation and manufacturing method of the liposomes
- The quality, type, and constitution of the phospholipid used to produce the liposomes
What Are the Types of Liposomes?
The main types of liposomes are the large unilamellar vesicle, the multilamellar vesicle, the cochleate vesicle, and the small unilamellar liposome vesicle. Another type is the multivesicular liposome. However, this type of liposome is not viewed as desirable when it comes to nutrients and pharmaceutical drugs.
For more information about the basics of liposomes and the different types of liposomes, don’t hesitate to contact us.