Benefits of liposomes as delivery system
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Liposomes can act as delivery vehicles for a wide spectrum of bioactive compounds [1,2]. Liposomes are small spherical vesicles consisting of one or more membranes surrounding aqueous compartments. Structurally, these membranes consist of bilayers of phospholipids, natural molecules which are also the main component of human cell membranes. Because of the presence of a water as well as a lipid compartment within one liposome particle, both water soluble and poorly water soluble compounds can be incorporated in liposomes. Until recently, the use of liposomes in medicine was mainly restricted to their use as pharmaceuticals. Their application as nutraceuticals is currently rapidly evolving, mainly inspired by the possibility that liposomal incorporation can enhance the often poor uptake of nutraceutical compounds into the bloodstream after oral intake.
Advantages of liposomal nutraceuticals
Liposomal nutraceuticals contain bioactive compounds with health-promoting effects. The encapsulation of bioactive compounds in liposomes is attractive as liposomes have been shown to be able to overcome serious hurdles bioactives would otherwise encounter in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract upon oral intake . Poor water solubility and degradation during their passage through the GI tract are often strongly limiting the entry of these compounds into the bloodstream. Liposome encapsulation can increase the arrival of such compounds in the blood circulation (bioavailability) by providing solubilization and protection. The exact mechanisms by which liposomes are able to increase the bioavailability of such compounds are still further investigated. As liposomes are composed of building blocks that are also naturally occurring as major components of cell membranes in the human body, they are biodegradable and safe for oral use.
Benefits of Phospholipids as building blocks
Phospholipids are the fundamental building blocks of cell membranes and liposomes. They have a polar, hydrophilic head group and two hydrophobic tails, which are usually fatty acids. They are essential for the formation of the liposomal vesicles for the delivery of bioactive compounds. They also have health benefits themselves. For example, they are required for the assembly and secretion of lipoproteins that transport lipids and cholesterol through the bloodstream. Furthermore, maintaining proper levels and ratios of phospholipid types is vital for healthy organ function . Health effects of dietary phospholipids have been reported in many studies, as exemplified by scientific literature pointing to beneficial effects regarding inflammation [6-12], liver health [13-15], fatigue reduction  and brain function [17-20]. Phospholipids like PC and PE naturally occur in several dietary sources such as egg, soybeans and milk . Being composed of phospholipids, our liposomes are fully biologically degradable.
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Liposomal drug product compared with conventional suspension
This graph outlines the results of an example study in which a liposomal drug product is compared with the drug formulated as a conventional suspension. The results show that with specially engineered liposomal formulations improved drug levels and thus better bioavailability can be achieved in specific cases .
Additional liposome studies
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Bioavailability of active compounds
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