Suzy Glaskie, Functional Medicine Health Coach and Head of Wellness at Known Nutrition
Most of us can reel off which supplements we’re taking…but how often do we stop to consider how much of those supplements are actually being absorbed? It stands to reason that the most effective results come from how much of the supplement your body can absorb.
When it comes to Vitamin C, in particular, absorption makes all the difference. Here’s why.
Why take Vitamin C?
We’re all familiar with the huge benefits of Vitamin C and how it helps to support our immune system. Vitamin C is nothing short of vital for our health: virtually all of our cells depend on Vitamin C to one degree or another to function properly.
Vitamin C is also a skincare hero. It’s key to encouraging the formation of collagen – your body requires Vitamin C to synthesise this crucial protein. That’s why Vitamin C is often paired with collagen in beauty supplements as a skin-boosting super-duo.
But, our reserves of Vitamin C plummet more rapidly when we’re ill or stressed (and who isn’t stressed these days?!) so daily supplementation is key.
The fact is that not all Vitamin C supplements are created equal, and not all Vitamin C reaches its intended target. It’s natural to assume that when you take Vitamin C, your body automatically absorbs the full dosage. Unfortunately, that’s a misconception. And whatever Vitamin C your body doesn’t absorb is secreted out through your urine in “expensive wee”.
What is Liposomal Vitamin C?
You may well have seen the word ‘Liposomal’ teamed up with Vitamin C and wondered what it means. Put simply, liposomal Vitamin C is actually Vitamin C that has been encapsulated in a ‘Liposome’, and this is proven to improve absorption significantly.
A ‘Liposome’ is the technical term for a tiny, nano-sized bubble that mimics our cell membranes. These bubbles encapsulate Vitamin C, protecting it through the digestive system and helping it to be absorbed effectively in the small intestine.
Is Liposomal Vitamin C Better than other Vitamin C?
Unencapsulated Vitamin C fares badly because our digestive system breaks it down and destroys it in our gut membrane. And, even if it does manage to get past our gut lining, there’s a further challenge: Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means our cells struggle to take it in because it’s not compatible with the fat-based membrane surrounding them. (Instead, it comes out the other end!)
Why does Liposomal Vitamin C give better results?
Two things need to happen for Vitamin C to reach our body’s cells.
Firstly, it must be protected from the juices in our digestive system and from being absorbed into the water in our body. And, secondly, it must be encapsulated in a fat-friendly form that can pass through our cell membranes.
Hence why the very best delivery system is wrapping the Vitamin C in a protective bubble of fat-based liposomes.
Safely encased in the liposome bubble, the Vitamin C can pass through the digestive system without damage. And then, when the liposomes arrive at the cells, they can pass through the fat-based cell membrane…and get to work! Bingo.
How effective is Liposomal Vitamin C?
Liposomal Vitamin C is thought to be 5-10 times more bioavailable (ie. taken up by the body’s cells) than traditional Vitamin C supplements. This means that you can achieve optimal results with a smaller dose.
Clinical studies from Colorado State University* show that wrapping Vitamin C in liposomes achieves a whopping 85% absorption. That’s more than 50% greater than for unencapsulated Vitamin C!
The graph below shows just how much more effective Liposomal Vitamin C is than its traditional counterpart.
When you consider that conventional Vitamin C supplements may only deliver around 15-20% absorption, it’s galling to think how much of what you’ve been paying for ends up lost in transit and down the toilet!
Liposomes are at the cutting edge of optimal supplementation. That’s why the team at Known Nutrition choose them for their best-in-class formulations.
Got a question on liposomes? Drop us a note!
* Liposomal-encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence on Vitamin C Bioavailability and Capacity to Protect Against Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury, 2016 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915787/