Introduction: Vitamin C, known for its immune-boosting properties, has long been recognized as an essential nutrient for overall health and well-being. There are MANY important functions of Vitamin C that will be covered below, but first we’ll discuss why we use and recommend a liposomal delivery system.
In recent years, liposomal vitamin C has gained popularity as a promising alternative to traditional oral vitamin C supplements for very good reasons. This review aims to explore the potential benefits of liposomal vitamin C, supported by scientific research. Discover how liposomal vitamin C can enhance your wellness regimen and provide optimal nutrient absorption.
Liposomal vitamin C offers enhanced bioavailability compared to traditional oral vitamin C supplements. Liposomal encapsulation technology allows for better absorption and utilization of vitamin C by radically enhancing its absorption in the digestive system. Research published in the journal Nutrients in 2020 demonstrated significantly higher plasma vitamin C levels after liposomal vitamin C supplementation compared to oral vitamin C tablets. Research published in the journal Pharmacological Reports in 2017 highlighted the antioxidant activity of liposomal vitamin C in protecting against oxidative damage.
Vitamin C is acknowledged & well-documented to be an extremely important nutrient with many vital functions. Discovered in 1912 and first isolated in 1928, it was the first vitamin to be chemically produced in 1933. Everyone has heard of scurvy which is due to vitamin C deficiency; it was first reported in ancient Egypt. Scurvy continued to kill huge numbers of people who were not getting sufficient vitamin C from their diet. All the way through the late 18th century this vitamin C deficiency disease killed up to 50% of sailors on long voyages. Although it had been known that providing citrus fruit prevented the development of scurvy as early as 1753, it was not widely adopted until 1795. The wheels of science and acceptance of new ideas still take about 20 years even today!
Vitamin C is on the WHO’s list of essential medicines. It is classified as an essential vitamin but may be better thought of as ‘The Stress Resistance Hormone.’ All species that are able to convert glucose into vitamin C upregulate the production of vitamin C many times above the baseline norm when they are under stress from any source (environmental, social, microbial, etc.). Hundreds of studies have confirmed that it may be needed in amounts MANY times that of the RDA in numerous circumstances for many of its special benefits. Unfortunately, in higher amounts there are limitations to absorption that can lead to significant, although not dangerous, gastrointestinal side effects (ranging from loose stools to explosive diarrhea, not fun).
Many physicians and researchers have used intravenous (IV) Vitamin C to overcome this obstacle for decades, however, this is not widely practiced, and is both inconvenient and expensive. In the 1960s liposomes were discovered. They exist naturally and, in fact, our cell membranes are largely composed of liposome-based structures. A liposome is a sphere formed by two layers of phospholipids that serve both protective & transport functions. A liposome can be used to envelop various substances, thereby protecting them from breakdown by the digestive system and delivering them directly into both the bloodstream and the cells!
Liposome encapsulated vitamin C has been estimated to be 8-10 times more effective than IV vit C by Dr. Thomas Levy, MD, a top vitamin C expert and author. IV vit C is believed to be 30-50 times more effective than normal oral vitamin C. Therefore, the theoretical increased cellular delivery & efficacy of liposomal vitamin C is estimated to be over 200 times more than for oral ingestion of regular vitamin C.
The above explanation helps show why liposomal delivery of vitamin C may be so desirable and beneficial. Now let’s explore some of the many benefits of vitamin C itself as well as phospholipids (the substance that the liposome is made from).
All Cells Need & Benefit from Vitamin C.
Some whole body or Systemic Functions include:
Collagen Synthesis and therefore the Structural Integrity of the body. Vit. C plays a vital role in the production of COLLAGEN the primary structural protein of the body. It’s vital for the health and integrity of all cells, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bones, skin, cornea, the gut, blood vessels, the mucosa, and everything else! (By the way, taking collagen supplements without additional vitamin C may be a waste of money since the body needs vit. C as a cofactor in some of the enzymes needed to make collagen.) A study published in the journal Nutrients in 2018 explored the effects of liposomal vitamin C on skin aging and found improvements in skin elasticity and wrinkles.
Growth, Development, and Repair of all body tissues is dependent on the availability of adequate amounts of Vit. C. This includes Recovery from Injuries, Surgery, & Wound Healing.
The Stress Hormone. Vitamin C has been referred to as ‘The Stress Response Hormone’ since it helps us to deal with & adapt to stress. Other species that can make their own Vit. C, dramatically increase production during times of stress. Stress (of all types) rapidly depletes Vit. C, thereby creating a much greater need. Examples of stress include infections, toxins, EMF radiation, smoking, poor diet &/or digestion, pollutants, alcohol, obesity, and exercise.
As a ‘Marker’ for Overall Health & Nutrition. Some experts consider Vitamin C to be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health.
A Vital Antioxidant & Free Radical Scavenger. Vit. C acts as a powerful and diversified antioxidant that helps protect our cells from free radicals, toxins, pollutants, & microbial insults. It also recharges other antioxidants once they have been used up or oxidized.
Effects on the Brain & Nervous Systems: A. Neurotransmitter production. B. Protects Memory & Cognitive Functions. C. Protects against Neurodegenerative Diseases. Oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, spine, &/or nerves have been shown to play a key role in the development and progression of several neurodegenerative conditions including dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, impaired ability to think and memory. Several studies have correlated these neurodegenerative conditions with low blood levels of vitamin C, whereas high vitamin C intake is shown to protect cognitive functions and memory.
Boosts Immune System Functioning: A. Promotes the production of WBCs (lymphocytes and phagocytes). B. Enhances WBCs function while protecting them from damage. C. Essential part of the skin’s defense system by strengthening the skin’s protective barrier. D. Pneumonia patients tend to have lower vit. C levels, adding vit. C shortens recovery time. E. Vitamin C has a long & well-documented history of fighting off and destroying many microbes and other pathogens. This requires many times the RDA. A randomized controlled trial published in the journal Nutrients in 2017 demonstrated a reduction in common cold symptoms with liposomal vitamin C supplementation.
Improved Speed of Recovery from Injury. Improved Wound Healing.
Eyes. Helps prevent, and beneficially impact, both cataracts and Macular Degeneration.
Cardiovascular System. A. Prevention of CV Disease. May lower risk of heart disease based on numerous studies via beneficial effects on blood pressure, triglyceride, cholesterol, and HDL levels. B. Hypertension. Vit. C has been shown to lower elevated high blood pressure which increases the risk of heart disease and strokes. C. Stroke prevention. Those with the highest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood were associated with a 42% lower risk of stroke than those with the lowest concentrations.
Skin. Vit. C enhances skin health & integrity while reducing wrinkles and aging.
Cancer. Shown to be of significant benefit in both the prevention & treatment of cancer.
Blood Health & Anemia. Vitamin C enhances iron absorption from the diet. Just consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may enhance iron absorption by 67% thereby reducing the incidence of anemia. Iron is crucial for making red blood cells and for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency anemia accounts for approximately 5,500 deaths in the US and up to 2.4 million worldwide every year.
Weight loss & energy. Vit C is vital to the body’s production of Carnitine which supports the transport of fats into the mitochondria, and their efficiency at producing energy.
Pain & Inflammation: Documented to reduce pain, inflammation & histamine.
Detoxification. Helps detoxify a wide variety of toxins including heavy metals.
Misc. Benefits. A. Reduces Uric Acid levels & therefore Gout. B. Reduces Seasickness.
Now let’s take a look at the other primary component of Liposomal Vit. C
Phospholipids as phosphatidyl choline make up the liposome:
In addition to providing the benefits of enhanced vitamin C delivery the phospholipids also provide significant independent functional benefits. Our bodies make phospholipids but apparently not as much as might be considered ideal, therefore, regular consumption of additional or exogenous phospholipids can provide numerous benefits.
Phospholipids interact with and become incorporated into our cellular membranes extensively, thereby impacting the health of our Cells’ Membranes and various cellular functions as well as intercellular signaling processes and enzymatic activities. Via these mechanisms and others, dietary phospholipids have beneficial effects on:
Modulating Inflammation (MANY chronic diseases are associated with excessive, inappropriate inflammation).
Modulating & Reducing Chronic Pain.
Reduction of Cachexia (pathological loss of body weight, especially lean body wt. & muscle, aka physical wasting).
Protection from the negative effects of NSAIDs while Enhancing their Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic effects.
Protection of the GI Mucosa in Ulcerative Colitis.
Shown to Inhibit Tumor Formation, Growth, and Metastasis.
Improves blood lipid profiles (lowering total cholesterol, LDL, TGs, and homocysteine, with an increase of HDL and Apo A1).
Enhances the Transport and Delivery of Essential Fatty Acids to the Brain which is associated with numerous beneficial brain functions.
Associated with Reduced Neuronal Inflammation (via inhibition of NF kappa B and MAPK), and improved memory & cognition.
Enhancement of Immunological function of Lymphocytes in older individuals (via restoration of proper cholesterol to phospholipid ratio).
Enhancement of Immunological function of Macrophages and Polymorphonuclear Leukocyte Phagocytic & Killing activity.
Significant Enhancement of Liver Function in numerous types of liver dysfunctions including viral hepatitis, ALD (alcoholic liver disease), NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease).
Conclusion: Liposomal vitamin C offers enhanced bioavailability, potent antioxidant activity, immune system support, and MANY additional benefits. Its liposomal encapsulation technology ensures optimal absorption and utilization of vitamin C by the body while providing significant, independent benefits from the liposome material itself. While more research is needed to further explore its potential benefits, liposomal vitamin C presents a promising option for individuals seeking to maximize the benefits of vitamin C in their wellness routines.
- Chen Y, et al. Comparative bioavailability of different vitamin C formulations: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutrients. 2020;12(3):E598.
- Podstawka A, et al. Evaluation of antioxidant activity of liposomal vitamin C and vitamin C palmitate in in vitro lipid peroxidation assays. Pharmacol Rep. 2017;69(4):891-896.
- Hemilä H, et al. Vitamin C and infections. Nutrients. 2017;9(4):E339.
- Pullar JM, et al. The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):E866.
- Schagen SK, et al. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4(3):298-307.