What is a liposome?
Liposomes are vesicles comprised of phospholipid molecules – the same molecules that comprise cell membranes.
The phospholipid molecule consists of a hydrophilic phosphate head and two hydrophobic fatty acid tails. These features enable liposomes to be the carriers of hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds.
Due to low absorption and bioavailability rates of traditional oral dietary capsules, the encapsulation of hydrophilic and hydrophobic nutrients within liposomes allows the active ingredient to bypass the destructive elements of the gastric system.
To release the protected molecules to a site of action, the lipid bilayer fuses with other bilayers such as the cell membrane, delivering the liposome contents directly into the cells and tissues intact.
What is phosphatidylcholine?
One of the most important and prominent phospholipids in cell membranes is called phosphatidylcholine (PC) [pronounced FOSS-fah-tide-al-KOH-lean]. At birth up to 90% of cellular membranes are made up of PC. As you age, the percentage of PC in your cellular membranes can decrease to about 10%. This fact leads many to recommend consistent supplementation with this essential phospholipid.
What does phosphatidylcholine do?
Phosphatidylcholine is required for many vital functions in the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. PC and its components are needed for the synthesis of important messenger molecules called prostaglandins which, among other functions, regulate the contraction and relaxation of muscles. Choline is required for the synthesis of intracellular messenger molecules including the neurotransmitters that allow nerve cells to communicate with muscles and each other, and are essential for proper heart and brain function.
Liposomes release drug molecules by membrane fusion. They delay the clearance and increase the intravascular circulation time of encapsulated drugs, decreasing digestion of liposomes by macrophages in the reticulo-endothelial system (RES), and enhancing the retention of drugs. The drug encapsulated in the liposome is protected from metabolism and the drug molecule becomes active only after release from liposome (r).
These encapsulating phospholipids bond with cell membranes to facilitate intracellular delivery. They are successful in this because they are able to bypass the digestive processes that normally degrade foreign substances.
Cross the Blood Brain Barrier
Have you ever heard of the blood-brain barrier? This is a filtering mechanism in our circulation system that allows blood to be carried to the brain but blocks numerous other substances from passing through. Nanoliposomes have demonstrated the ability to cross this barrier, giving the liposomes the ability to deposit the supplement directly into the cells and enhance circulation of nutrients by your lymphatic system.