Category Archives: Liposomes

What are the benefits of Liposomal Vitamin C?

Sure, Vitamin C helps to support a healthy immune system, but the benefits of Vitamin C are multifaceted. It’s a critical nutrient for healthy bones, skin, gums and even hair. Like many vitamins, Vitamin C is water soluble, which means that you must replenish the stores that are used or lost through your body’s natural processes. Much of the Vitamin C from standard pills and powders available in the drugstore encounter absorption barriers in the body and flush right out of your system. That’s why liposomal Vitamin C has become so popular; it delivers Vitamin C to your body in a protective casing that maximizes absorption.

The Importance of Vitamin C

Without vitamin C, your body would not be able to perform many of its most basic functions. Take collagen, which is essential for the health of your skin. Without Vitamin C, your body could not make it. It’s also important to keep your bones healthy and help you better absorb other vitamins and minerals, like iron.

How Liposomes Work for Vitamin Delivery

Liposomal vitamin C benefits the body by enabling better absorption. Liposomes are extremely small fatty particles that help to carry nutrients into the bloodstream and into your body’s cells. Liposomal vitamin C is created to work like a body cell as it moves through your system. The liposome is able to bypass the absorption barriers in your body, increasing the potential for delivering more vitamin C to your bloodstream and your body’s cells.

Boost the Effects of Liposomal Vitamin C

You can enhance liposomal vitamin C benefits by following a healthy diet that includes Vitamin C-rich foods. At this point, Vitamin C and citrus may as well be synonymous, but you can also find it in a variety of vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers and spinach if you prefer salad over sour.

As with any lifestyle change, you should always consult with your doctor before beginning a liposomal Vitamin C supplement regimen.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Side Effects of Vitamin B12

Your body relies on a specific balance of nutrients to perform vital processes, like cell renewal, that keep your body functioning at its best. While B12 is found in many common foods such as meat, eggs and fortified cereals, some of us may not be able to absorb enough of the nutrient for optimum functioning. When a B vitamin deficiency occurs, supplementation is an option for helping to ensure that you get enough of this nutrient each day.

Just be cognizant of the other elements of your diet and how they could interact with Vitamin B12 supplementation.

salmon with lemon and pepper

You Can Take Too Much Vitamin B12

Since Vitamin B is water-soluble, our bodies usually excrete excess amounts, making overdoses rare. If this occurs, the effects of a Vitamin B12 overdose can be unpleasant. Eye pain, abdominal discomfort and unusual fatigue are a few B12 side effects that indicate you may have taken too much. Severe side effects of a B12 overdose can include hives, increased sweating and an irregular heartbeat. If you have unusual symptoms after taking a vitamin, report the supplement you used to your physician.

Beware of Possible Medication Interactions

Tell your doctor about any supplements when you receive a new prescription, as several medications have adverse effects when taken with B12 supplements. Chemotherapy medications, long-term antibiotics and seizure preventatives can all increase your chances of experiencing B12 side effects. Certain over-the-counter medications, including pain relievers and stimulants, could interact with B12 supplements. Always use caution when starting a new supplementation routine and discuss your experiences with your doctor as needed.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

An Overview of B Complex Vitamins: Sources and Benefits

Eight different vitamins comprise the B complex, each serving important functions in our bodies. All the vitamins in the B complex are essential, meaning that our bodies can’t produce them. Fortunately, B vitamins are available in a plethora of delicious foods and supplements are easy to come by.

eggs and spinach

What Are the Different B Vitamins?

The eight main types of B vitamins include the following:

  • Thiamin (B1)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Niacin (B3)
  • Pantothenic acid (B5)
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
  • Biotin (B7)
  • Folic Acid (B9)
  • Cobalamin (B12)

Typically, you can find at least one or more of the B complex vitamins in most foods, and a varied diet helps you ensure that you get each of the eight different types each day.

How Do They Work in My Body?

Each of the B complex vitamins serves a different role. For example, thiamin helps your body convert food into energy, and this B vitamin has been associated with promoting a more positive mindset. Currently, research is underway to understand the role that B complex vitamins play in the conversion process of turning homocysteine into methionine, which is one of the components your body uses to create protein. Your body also relies upon B complex vitamins to work with other nutrients such as vitamin C to support your eye, digestive and skin health.

What Are the Best Sources of B Complex Vitamins?

The ideal way to get the most B complex benefits is to include sources of these vitamins in your diet. Under most circumstances, eating a diet that includes a variety of meats, vegetables and fruits is enough for you to get the proper amounts of B vitamins each day. However, some factors can make you susceptible to developing a deficiency. If you have digestive disorders or drink alcohol regularly, you are at greater risk for developing a deficiency that requires supplementation. Since these vitamins are water soluble, your body’s stores may also run low if you hydrate excessively due to sports or other reasons. Milk, eggs, citrus fruits and lean meats are all excellent sources of B vitamins.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

B Complex Benefits: Skin, Hair and Overall Health

Beauty comes from within. Turns out that isn’t just a cliche. A balanced diet — rich in many vitamins — can help you achieve better skin, hair, and other beauty benefits. And when it comes to beauty benefits, think Vitamin B complex. It’s more than alliterative; this group of vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12) supports your body inside and out.

milk and cereal

 

Vitamin B Complex Benefits

B complex benefits range from helping to combat the effects of stress to supporting healthy immune and nervous systems. Additional B complex benefits include:

  • Promotes the normal growth and division of cells
  • Helps maintain healthy muscle and skin tone
  • Helps support the body’s metabolic rate
  • Helps boost your mood
  • Vitamin B12 has been found to help regulate pigment production in the skin (this can help prevent hyperpigmentation, which causes certain areas of the skin to darken)
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin) can help support healthy metabolism
  • Vitamin B5 helps you digest fats and protein
  • Vitamin B7 (Biotin) helps maintain strong hair
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) helps the body absorb iron (a mineral that is essential for strong, healthy nails)
  • Helps convert carbohydrates into glucose (this translates into healthy energy levels)
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is an antioxidant

Issues Caused by a Deficiency in B Vitamins

While a diet rich in all forms of Vitamin B can help you look and feel better, a deficiency can have unpleasant consequences. Low Vitamin B levels can lead to stunted hair growth, slow cell division among hair follicles, and even hair loss.

A healthy diet can help ensure you are getting the right amount of B Vitamins, as can adding a Vitamin B Complex supplement. As with any supplement changes, it is always best to check with your physician first.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

How Can Vitamin C Improve Your Skin?

With all these serums on the market and the articles in beauty magazines, the message is clear: Vitamin C can benefit your skin. Here are five ways that Vitamin C — when taken orally — can support the look, feel, and overall health of your skin.

citrus and vitamin c serum

Vitamin C For Skin Care

Natural Sunscreen

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which means it fights the effects of harmful free radicals that form when your skin is exposed to the sun. It also protects against the skin damage that can occur from ultraviolet radiation, including sunburns, pigmentations and redness. If you do get a sunburn, Vitamin C can accelerate the healing process.

Supports Prevention of Skin Discoloration

A study published in the Free Radical Biology and Medicine journal determined that Vitamin C shields your DNA from everyday photochemical reactions that lead to skin discoloration and age spots. If you already have age spots, taking Vitamin C supplements and applying Vitamin C-infused skin creams could help diminish their appearance.

Essential for Collagen Production

Collagen is the main structural protein in the skin and other connective tissues. It helps your skin appear firm, smooth and vibrant. Vitamin C plays an essential role in the production of collagen, regulating its synthesis in your body. If you don’t consume enough Vitamin C, your body’s collagen levels will decrease, making your skin appear looser and more susceptible to wrinkles and other signs of aging.

Maintains Healthy Skin Texture

Collagen is an important structural component of the blood vessels that supply nutrients to your skin. Vitamin C also promotes the rapid renewal of skin cells, a process that helps your skin feel soft and smooth. Without Vitamin C, your skin would lack moisture and nutrients, causing it to become dull, rough and dry.

With the numerous beauty creams and serums lining the skincare aisles, there is a bit of a misconception that Vitamin C must be applied topically for skin support. The reality is that the aforementioned actions occur at a cellular level, meaning you can reap the skincare benefits by taking Vitamin C orally — through diet and supplements. You can get beauty from the inside out. So, before filling your medicine cabinet with expensive beauty products, try stocking your fridge with citrus, leafy green veggies, bell peppers, berries and some top-notch Vitamin C supplements.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Identity Preserved Non-GMO Phospholipids, What are They?

iStock_000014791350Small-soybeans

Phospholipids are a class of lipids that appear in many food products and dietary supplements. Commonly derived from lecithin made from canola or soybeans, phospholipids are also a hot topic when it comes to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The process of Identity Preservation can help manufacturers and consumers avoid genetically modified ingredients in common foods and dietary supplements.

What is a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)?

A GMO is an organism that has had its DNA altered through genetic engineering methods. The Organic Retail and Consumer Alliance explains, “In genetic modification (or engineering) of food plants, scientists remove one or more genes from the DNA of another organism, such as a bacterium, virus, or animal, and ‘recombine’ them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter.”

Unlike traditional plant breeding that uses natural techniques like cross-pollination between plants, genetic modification relies on humans to alter the traits of plants. Genetic modification is often used to create plants that are better able to survive adverse weather conditions, have increased pest resistance, new colors, and even altered nutritional profiles. While these traits may sound beneficial to the plants and consumers, the controversy surrounding GMOs lies in the complexity of how genes are expressed.

Scientists can attempt to insert new genes in places where they want particular traits to manifest, but there is no guarantee the gene will work the way it’s expected to, or that the resulting plant will be a viable life form. According to the Non-GMO Project, “Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.”

What are Identity Preserved Lipids?

The prevalence of GMO crops, and the increased concern surrounding the use of GMOs, has led to a resurgence of farmers using Identity Preservation methods. Identity Preservation, or IP, is a carefully monitored process used to track agricultural products from seed to sale. This includes every part of a product’s life cycle: planting, growing, harvesting, processing, shipping, storage, and packing.

Seed certification is just one example of IP that has been in use for many years. Seeds distributed through groups such as Seed Savers are guaranteed to be authentic varieties that have never been altered or manipulated.

In order to ensure IP seeds do not become adulterated, crops are grown in locations far from other varieties, including GMO crops. At harvest time, equipment must also be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the cross-contamination of different plant varieties.

While preparing IP crops for sale, equipment and storage bins are cleaned and segregated, and in some IP systems, cannot be used for multiple types of crops.

Each stage of an IP system is clearly designed and documented to ensure the origin and purity of the plants are not compromised.

Do Your Supplements Contain IP Phospholipids?

It has been reported that approximately 94% of the soy grown in the US is GMO, making phospholipids derived from these crops at high risk for containing GMOs.

If you are concerned about ingesting GMOs in your supplements, look for labels with non-GMO claims.  For products that use soy, or soy-derivatives like phospholipids, take it a step further and ask the manufacturer if they use IP soy.

For more on this see our Complete Guide to Identifying High Quality Liposomal Supplements

Researchers Claim RDA For Vitamin C is Flawed

The controversy over vitamin C and orthomolecular medicine began with the publication of Linus Pauling’s book, “Vitamin C and the Common Cold”. A quarter of a century later the controversy around vitamin C continues.

Steve Hickey, PhD and Hillary Roberts, Phd, pharmacology professors and graduates of the University of Manchester in Britain, are challenging the established Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, which is 75 and 90 milligrams for males and females respectively. In their book “Ascorbate, The Science of Vitamin C”, Hickey and Roberts point out some biological flaws to justify their attack on the RDA for vitamin C. The rapid elimination of vitamin C was demonstrated graphically; however, the Institute of Medicine (IM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) did not account for the half-life of vitamin C. This flawed approach is one of the main contentions that Drs. Hickey and Roberts maintain.

Half Life of Vitamin C

The half life of any substance is the time it takes for half of the substance to be removed from the body. Vitamin C’s half life is quite short, about 30 minutes in blood plasma, a fact that the IM and NIH failed to recognize. NIH researchers established the RDA for vitamin C by conducting a test 12 hours or 24 half life’s after consumption. Due to the short half life of vitamin C, many studies make the conclusion that high-dose supplemental vitamin C is ineffective. Drs. Hickey and Roberts state that due to its rapid deterioration, a very high dose of vitamin C would not achieve the same concentration in the blood serum over time as several administered doses.

Drs. Hickey and Roberts decided to perform an experiment to measure the blood plasma levels of liposomal vitamin C, which was published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. It was titled Pharmacokinetics of oral vitamin C. Their results indicate that, following oral intakes, high blood plasma levels can be achieved with liposomal vitamin C formulations. The results suggest that such levels (400microM/L or above) could be sustained indefinitely with repeated dosing at short intervals (say 5-grams every 4-hours).

RDA for Vitamin C

In the past, Drs. Hickey and Roberts have shaken the foundation and confidence of the IM and NIH for failing to investigate the use of high-dose vitamin C properly. They have repeatedly challenged the RDA for vitamin C on studies using only 15 healthy subjects and single dosages. They also contend that the RDA is intended to set a level of nutrient consumption that would prevent disease, specifically Scurvy, among the vast majority of the population. However their research shows that 35% of the population is in need of more than the RDA including:

  • Smokers ( 50 million)
  • Estrogen and Birth Control Pill Users (13 and 18 million)
  • Diabetics (16 million)
  • Pregnant females (4 million)
  • and even people taking aspirin

Contradictory Data

Drs. Hickey and Roberts confronted the IM and NIH with their own data however they claim the saturation point is reached at a certain concentration of ascorbic acid in blood plasma. They later published a paper in early 2004  showing they had achieved three times greater concentration of vitamin C in the blood circulation than previously thought possible using high-dose vitamin C [Annals Internal Medicine, April 6, 140: 533-37,2004]. A similar published German study also confirms vitamin C supplements can elevate vitamin C concentrations beyond what NIH scientists said was possible. [Archives Biochemistry Biophysics, March 423: 109-15, 2004]. NIH researchers continue to maintain that no more than 200 milligrams of oral vitamin C is required for human health and that a diet which includes the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables would provide adequate vitamin C. But only 9 percent of the US population consumes 5 servings of plant foods daily. The National Cancer Institute has abandoned their 5-a-day recommendation in favor of a 9-a-day servings of fruits and vegetables once they realized five servings did not provide the proper dietary intake of vitamin C and other essential vitamins in the prevention of cancer or heart disease.

Hickey has called for the IM and NIH to retract the current RDA or provide scientific justification for their recommendation.

What do you think? Is the RDA for vitamin C adequate?

For more on the RDA for vitamin C, check out our article about the RDA for Guinea Pigs.

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!