Category Archives: Supplements

Liposomal Alpha Lipoic Acid Benefits and Facts

Here is a quick list of Alpha Lipoic Acid benefits and facts. LivOn Labs has successfully encapsulated Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA) and we are excited to tell you all about it!

  • Also known as: Thioctic acid, Lipoic Acid, LA, ALA
  • ALA was discovered in 1948 and officially named Alpha Lipoic Acid in 1951 by Irwin C. Gunsalus and Lester Reed
  • ALA is naturally synthesized in small amounts by plants and animals, including humans.
  • ALA contains an asymmetric carbon, meaning there are two possible isomers: R-LA and S-LA. Only the R- isomer is endogenously synthesized and bound to protein. R-Alpha Lipoic Acid is considered the most bio-available and biologically active form of ALA in the body
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid is a vital cofactor for several important mitochondrial enzyme complexes.
  • The amounts of R-ALA available in dietary supplements are as much as 1,000 times greater than the amounts that could be obtained in the diet.  Animal tissue that includes R-ALA include liver, heart and kidney. Plants with R-ALA include spinach and broccoli, tomatoes, peas and Brussels sprouts.
  • Plasma concentrations of ALA generally peak in an hour or less and decline rapidly.
  • In cells, ALA is quickly reduced to DHLA.
  • ALA functions as an antioxidant.
  • ALA is considered the most important mitochondrial antioxidant given its vital role in mitochondrial electron transport reactions that convert glucose into ATP to produce energy.
  • Recycles other antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin E.
  • Shown to increase natural glutathione synthesis in aged animals.
  • There is no documented “nutrient deficiency” disease associated with ALA.
  • Intravenous ALA is approved for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy in Germany. R-ALA is available by prescription in Germany.  Dosage used in a trial with 1,258 diabetic patients found that a treatment of 600mg/day if IV R-ALA for 3 weeks significantly reduced the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy to a clinically meaningful degree.[1]
  • R-ALA should always be taken on an empty stomach.
  • Most frequently reported side effects of oral ALA supplementation include rashes, hives, itching, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These generally occur when supplementing at doses of 1,200 – 1,800 mg/day.
  • ALA should be taken under the guidance of a physician by anyone taking glucose lowering medication or receiving treatment for under-active or over-active thyroid.
  • ALA should not be taken by children under the age of 18, unless under the care of a physician.
  • “Without ALA, you could not obtain energy from the food you eat, and you could not stay alive.” Burt Berkson, MD, MS, PhD

[1] Ziegler D, Nowak H, Kempler P, Vargha P, Low PA. Treatment of symptomatic diabetic polyneuropathy with the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid: a meta-analysis. Diabet Med. 2004;21(2):114-121.  (PubMed)

Identifying High-Quality Liposomal Supplements

We have spent years researching the best formulation techniques and manufacturing processes for liposome encapsulated supplements. As part of this research, we analyze every liposomal supplement we come across.  This is what we’ve learned so far…

Liposomal Supplements Must Use Phospholipids Suitable for Making Liposomes.

In order to make strong, stable liposomes that can encapsulate nutrients and not “break apart” too easily, it is important to use Phospholipids from highly refined sources that have a natural mix of phospholipids, including a high percentage of Phosphatidylcholine (PC) and Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE).

Some products are made with low-quality soy lecithin, which does not have the proper percentage of PC or PE to make liposomes.  This type of lecithin is typically used as a food additive, and should not be used in liposomal supplements.

We have always found that Phospholipids extracted from non-GMO soy lecithin work the best for high-quality, affordable liposomal supplements.  While a very high intake of unrefined soy ingested as food may contain tiny amounts of undesirable substances, the intake of highly refined and purified phospholipids derived from soy lecithin does not pose such a risk. In fact, we have not found any evidence of anyone being harmed by the regular intake of phospholipids extracted from non-GMO soy lecithin.

 Liposomal Supplements Must Have at Least an Equal Ratio of Phospholipids to Key Nutrients.

We have analyzed many commercial and homemade products, and found that most of them are of poor quality. Some are merely emulsions.  This means the nutrients are simply mixed with a small amount of low quality phospholipids or lecithin, and there are very few liposomes, if any at all.

One indicator of an emulsion is the amount of phospholipids or lecithin in the product.  For proper liposome encapsulation, you must have at least an equal amount of phospholipids and nutrients.  If the phospholipids or lecithin are listed as “Other Ingredients”, it is very likely there is not enough material to create any liposomes, even if the production process is otherwise appropriate.

Some companies choose to make emulsions and call them “Liposomal Supplements” because they are easy and inexpensive to produce.   Whether they believe they have products that are legitimately encapsulated in liposomes is unknown.

If you take an emulsion that contains lecithin and a nutrient like vitamin C, you may see overall good results since both components are excellent supplements individually.  You will not, however, be able to experience the potentially exceptional results offered by products using real Liposome Encapsulation Technology.

Liposomal Supplements Must Be Protected from Oxygen.

Liposomes are a natural fit for water-soluble nutrients that are not otherwise bioavailable.  But the process of making stable, quality liposomes is tricky.  Liposomes are sensitive to things like heat and oxygen.  The inherent stability (and in some cases instability), of the phospholipids and each nutrient also play an important role in the overall stability of liposomal products.  Getting all of these things exactly right, then assuring the liposomes and nutrients remain stable throughout the product’s shelf life is key.

One way to enhance the stability of a liposomal product is through uni-dose packaging.  Many of the liposomal products we have analyzed are stored in jars, plastic bottles, or even capsules within bottles.  Opening the bottle to remove the product exposes the remaining product to heat, light and oxygen.  This can be detrimental to the liposomes, and can cause rapid degradation of the nutrients.

Uni-dose packaging protects the product from oxygen until moments before it’s consumed, keeping it safe and effective throughout the shelf-life of the product.

 Three More Signs of a Low-Quality Liposomal Supplement:

  1. Consistency. If the product is very watery, it is most likely due to an insufficient amount of phospholipids or the use of low quality phospholipids.
  2. Uniformity. If the product separates into layers, it is a strong indicator the liposomal mixture is deteriorating. On the other hand, if there are noticeable lumps or the product feels gritty, it is a sign that the nutrients are coming out of the liposomes and forming crystals.
  3. Size. If the volume of the dosage is too small, there are not enough phospholipids and water to make proper liposomes.  For example, 1,000mg of vitamin C and 1,000mg of phospholipids, along with the necessary amount of water for proper liposome formation, will fill a teaspoon (5mL).  It is not likely this amount of material could fit into one or even two large-sized capsules.

The Bottom Line

There are a plethora of liposomal supplements to choose from.  Some are great, many are not.  The key is finding the liposomal supplements that work best for you – from a company you can trust. LivOn Labs offers a 100% Lifetime Satisfaction Guarantee so you can try the Lypo-Spheric™ products for yourself.  If you are not satisfied, at any time, return the unused portion – or even the empty carton – and we will refund every penny you paid.

Beware of Fake Supplements

beware of fake supplements

In their column, “Health Advice”, Drs. Oz and Roizen, recently discussed “Supplemental Phonies.” The Doctors referenced a study that looked at 44 herbal products, 30 species of herbs and 50 leaf samples. The study concluded that:

  • 59% of the products contained material from plants NOT listed on the label.
  • Just 48% contained what they claimed as the active ingredient.
  • Of the 12 companies researched, only two delivered what they promised on the label without any substitutions.

Study Conclusion

The study used DNA barcoding to conduct a blind test of the authenticity for 44 herbal products representing 12 companies. Their findings were shocking.

“Most of the herbal products tested were of poor quality, including considerable product substitution, contamination and use of fillers. These activities dilute the effectiveness of otherwise useful remedies, lowering the perceived value of all related products because of a lack of consumer confidence in them. We suggest that the herbal industry should embrace DNA barcoding for authenticating herbal products through testing of raw materials used in manufacturing products. The use of an SRM DNA herbal barcode library for testing bulk materials could provide a method for ‘best practices’ in the manufacturing of herbal products. This would provide consumers with safe, high quality herbal products.”

See the abstract of the study

Our Promise to You

As a loyal LivOn Labs’ customer, you can rest assured that all of our high performance dietary supplements meet or exceed industry standards. If an ingredient is printed on our cartons; we guarantee that the unadulterated ingredient is included in the supplement. Furthermore, each and every batch of Lypo-Spheric™ supplements undergoes rigorous laboratory testing before it is ever released to you!

LivOn Labs works hard to ensure our products meet our strict requirements. Our products are all non-GMO, dairy free, vegan, animal cruelty free, sugar free and free of artificial flavoring. We are the supplement of choice for those concerned about their health

Beware of fake supplements!

Pure & Powerful… Lypo-Spheric Supplements

What makes Lypo-Spheric™ products unique? Each Lypo-Spheric™ product is formulated with one goal in mind: to provide you with effective doses of nutrients without the use of binders, fillers, artificial colors or artificial flavors.

The nutrient-filled liposomes in each Lypo-Spheric™ product are small enough – and smart enough – to bypass the body’s restrictive nutrient transport system, and quickly pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. Within minutes of taking a Lypo-Spheric™ product, millions of liposomes will start to move from your bloodstream and into your cells – intact, and ready to work.

Our single-dose packaging protects the product from additional oxygen and moisture, which keeps your product fresh.

LivOn Labs’ products are sugar free, caffeine free, dairy free, meat free and gluten free.

We source ingredients from all over the world so we can use high-potency, non-GMO ingredients from natural sources whenever possible. We now guarantee that our Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C, Lypo-Spheric™ R-ALA and Lypo-Spheric™ GSH are 100% non-GMO.

EXTENDING THE SHELF LIFE….

The shelf life on the majority of our nutritional supplements is 12-18 months. To extend the shelf life we recommend refrigeration for maximum effectiveness. Do not freeze or place the products in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.

Vitamin Supplements, Do We Really Need?

Yes and no… terrible way to start I know but it is true. Vitamin supplements are not a replacement for a well balanced diet, but it acts as an insurance policy.

When you drive your car you may have the mandatory liability insurance (your diet meets the government recommended daily allowance) however you may feel like you need a bit more coverage and protection. This is where full coverage automotive insurance comes in (diet exceeds recommended daily allowance) or you may even have full coverage + Bodily Injury and Property Damage (your diet exceeds recommended daily allowance and you exercise frequently) or…

You can also have full auto coverage + Bodily Injury and Property Damage + Medical Payments (your diet exceeds the recommended daily allowance, you exercise frequently, and you supplement your diet with vitamins).

You as a consumer have the ability to choose your level of coverage and comfort. People buy supplemental insurance for the same reason they buy vitamin supplements, to feel protected. People who buy supplements want to ensure they are receiving the correct nutrients.

In our ever-growing population, our food often doesn’t contain the right level of nutrients that one would expect to find in fresh fruit and vegetables. Many people could benefit from taking a vitamin supplement whether that be a multivitamin or individual vitamins.

Most important vitamin supplements

For example, vitamin C is critical in the production of collagen, which makes up most of our bodies tissues, ligaments, and bone structure. Collagen is important to maintain skin elasticity (youthful skin), as well as help prevent bruising. The research on vitamin C is plentiful, a simple Google search of vitamin c studies brings up over 30,000,000 results (that’s 30 million!).

Easily, the most recognized champion for vitamin C is the late Dr. Linus Pauling. An award winning Chemist and Nobel Peace Prize winner. Dr. Pauling is extensively referenced and quoted by many of today’s experts.

I encourage you to do your own research and learn about the ongoing studies related to supplementing your diet with essential nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and so forth.   I would also recommend you consult your primary healthcare physician before starting any type of exercise program or supplementation regimen.

Ultimately it is down to the individual to decide whether or not they need to take vitamin supplements; however, if you are willing to pay for additional car insurance to protect your vehicle, shouldn’t you spend a bit more to protect your body?

Dietary Supplement Use Infographic

To get the highest quality supplements visit LivOn Labs. LivOn Labs produces Lypo-Spheric supplements including vitamin C and other essential antioxidants.

About the Author

Felipe Gonzales is a blogger, Social Media Strategist, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, and all around jack of all trades. He is part of the marketing team for LivOn Labs and enjoys playing sports and fitness. He can reached directly at felipe@livonlabs.com or by leaving a comment on this site.

 

5 Reasons Athletes Should Take Vitamin C

Not surprisingly, most athletes are unaware how important vitamin C intake is to performance. Some can get away with poor diets and supplementation for awhile (see NBA Super Star Derrick Rose’s weird eating habits). Lucky for Chicago Bulls fans, he has hired a personal trainer, chef, and is taking that next step to remain a superstar into his late 30’s. A simple search online for athletes’ dietary habits brings up a love for Big Macs, Skittles, Swedish Fish, and beer. Many of the top athletes who consume regular supplements, including vitamin C, and maintain healthy eating patterns, perform at a high level far past their primes. Below are a few examples of athletes who train just as hard in the kitchen as they do on the field or court.

  • Steve Nash – NBA SuperStar
  • Kobe Bryant – NBA SuperStar
  • Joe Namath – NFL Hall of Famer
  • Tony Gonzales – NFL Tight End
  • Billie Jean King – Tennis Player
  • Robert Parish – NBA Hall of Famer

How valuable is proper vitamin C supplementation to athletes?

Here are five reasons you should include high dose vitamin C in your regular supplementation schedule.

  1. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, protecting muscle cells from free radical damage, thus enhancing recovery and growth.
  2. Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) is also involved with amino acid metabolism, especially the formation of Collagen. Collagen is the primary constituent of connective tissue, the stuff that holds your bones and muscles together. This may not seem important, but as you lift heavier weights, the stress you put on your structure becomes tremendous and risk of injury dramatically increases.
  3. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of Iron. Iron is necessary to help Oxygen bind to hemoglobin in blood. Without adequate oxygen transportation in blood, muscles are robbed of precious oxygen and performance is greatly reduced.
  4. Ascorbic acid also assists in the formation and release of steroid hormones, including the anabolic hormone testosterone.
  5. Vitamin C is perhaps the most water soluble vitamin there is. In other words, it diffuses very rapidly in water. Since a muscle cell is mostly water, the more muscular an athlete becomes, the more vitamin C disperses and the lower the concentration of this critical substance becomes in body tissues. So vitamin C requirements are greatly increased for athletes.

Natural Vitamin C vs. Synthetic Vitamin C -What’s the Difference?

Most commonly, vitamin C is ingested as ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate; however, the active agent in ALL forms of vitamin C is ascorbate anion. This is important to note since virtually all of the clinical and laboratory outcomes of vitamin C reported over the last century come from ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate.

As new research becomes available more people are beginning to realize the enormous utility of vitamin C and are looking for ways to supplement it on a regular basis. Of course this attracts businesses that have become increasingly negligent of the claims they are making regarding vitamin c products.

Deceptive Marketing

Common deceitful vitamin C labels are “natural vitamin C” and “vitamin C complex.” Labels such as these confuse consumers and lead to misinformation that affects everyone. Let’s clear these misconceptions up now. Many of these companies that produce vitamin C products have even asserted that ascorbic acid is not really vitamin C! This isn’t even the worst part; people actually believe these claims. Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi discovered vitamin C and asserted that what he had in fact discovered was ascorbic acid and nothing more.

Instead, supplement makers are using deceptive practices by claiming that vitamin C is of little use if it is not ingested in a “natural” form. Additionally, they attempt to discredit many pure vitamin C supplements as being synthetic; therefore’ inferior vitamin C products. Renowned vitamin C expert, Dr. Thomas E. Levy said that

“Vitamin C, or ascorbate, can be synthesized or it can be isolated from natural sources. As long as the purification processes are not flawed, the final products are absolutely identical. However, the fears that many people have today (often justifiably) about impure products of all varieties are played upon by these companies in their attempt to sell their “natural, vitamin C complex” product in the place of pure vitamin C supplements. – NaturalHealth365.com

Marketing is extremely powerful; it even has the ability to determine presidential elections. Many of these supplement companies are using sophisticated marketing strategies to take advantage of a growing segment of health conscious consumers. By muddying the waters they are able to grab a piece of the pie.

What about “vitamin C complex”

Vitamin C complex supplements often contain a number of antioxidants, think multivitamin. These products are absolutely fine and do provide a valuable service however they are needlessly expensive when marketed in the “complex” form. Traditional vitamin C is relatively cheap therefore the premium you are paying, is for their marketing budget rather than their research and development.

A Better Alternative

Although vitamin C complex and traditional vitamin C have their place in the ascorbic acid market, a better alternative to paying a premium for vitamin C complex would be to purchase liposomal supplements. Vitamin C expert Dr. Thomas E. Levy describes Liposomal vitamin C as:

“Tiny particles of vitamin C coated with phospholipids create molecules of vitamin C coated with a substance similar to the cell membranes. Thus those coated vitamin C molecules can slip into the cells easily. The encapsulation also avoids diarrhea thresholds of normal oral C.”

Liposomal supplements are a more efficient delivery mechanism. Mainly because liposomes are smart enough and strong enough to bypass the bodies normal digestive system to enter directly into the bloodstream ensuring a higher quality product. You can purchase Liposomal Vitamin C directly from LivOn Labs or you can purchase it through one of their many online retailers.

Resource: “The Marketing Myth of “Vitamin C Complex” by Dr. Thomas E. Levy written for www.naturalhealth365.com (August 22, 2013)