There’s a new lipo in town. Liposomal is a term you have probably been hearing in the nutrition space. Also called microencapsulation, the term refers to a nutrient delivery system that can enhance the absorption of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and more.  

Move Over Fat Suction

Liposomes and their little sisters, called micelles, are tiny spheres that envelope nutrients for boosted bioavailability. Initially developed in the pharmaceutical industry to improve the uptake of hard-to-absorb medicines, the usefulness of liposome and micelle technology quickly became apparent, expanding far beyond the realm of chemotherapy.  

Despite the hi-tech vibe, lipo-somes and micelles are naturally occurring. If you have ever taken the time to slowly whisk oil into vinegar to create a silky vinaigrette, you have created liposomes and micelles in your own kitchen. This is thanks to the natural tendency of many fat- and water-soluble substances to form teensy droplets when smashed together. It’s not only pharmaceuticals that utilize this technology nowadays, but supplements also benefit from the enhanced absorption capabilities.

Doing this in the presence of vitamin C or glutathione creates microscopic packages that protect the precious contents from being broken down before absorption. Research suggests that microencapsulated nutrients are delivered more efficiently to cells. Some nutrients are best absorbed in double-layer liposomes while others have better bioavailability in single-layered micelles.

Liposomes For Everyone

Recent advancements in nutritional liposomes and micelles are behind the brand-new buzz around them. When first introduced to the market, early liposomal supplements came only in unpalatable liquid shots. Keep looking, and you’ll find that liposomal vitamin C, micellar glutathione and quercetin, and other nutrients are now available in softgel capsules to avoid the slippery slurp.  

A word to the wise, sometimes the term nanotechnology is used in conjunction with liposomes and micelles, which causes concern about small particles that could get into places in the body that they shouldn’t. Rest assured that true nanotechnology is relevant only to pharma applications. Liposomes and micelles used for nutrition and supplements don’t meet the technical definition and infinitesimal size to be potentially problematic. 

Liposomes and micelles should be on your radar whether you have impaired nutrient absorption or simply want to take advantage of superior, advanced nutrition technology.