Not All Liposomal Vitamin C Is Equal - Amandean

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April 13, 2020 5 min read

We’ve seen a tremendous number of fly-by-night brands of liposomal vitamin C pop up in the past couple of weeks due to the increased demand from COVID-19. We think that it’s important to understand what is “liposomal” and what isn’t, as there is a lot of junk that is being passed off as liposomal, when it truly is not.

In lay terms, a liposomal formulation encapsulates the vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) in little nano-sized fat bubbles (liposomes) that protect the ingredient and allow it to pass through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, where it can then attach to cells and be delivered to where it is most needed. What we are talking about here is increased bioavailability - the amount of vitamin C that is actually absorbed and utilized by the body. Liposomal encapsulation is the closest alternative to intravenous (IV) delivery, which is expensive & inconvenient to say the least. Um, er, it also requires a NEEDLE.

How Is Liposomal Delivery Different From Traditional Vitamin C?

With traditional forms of vitamin C (capsules, tablets, powders, gel caps, etc.), the body will typically only absorb about 200mgs of the vitamin at a time, even if taking higher doses (i.e. megadoses). The body excretes any amount over that, but high dosages can also cause an upset stomach and diarrhea. Intravenous and liposomal delivery methods avoid those problems by bypassing the lower intestine and getting the vitamin C to where it needs to go, and allows the body to absorb and utilize it at much higher rates.

Soy or Sunflower Lecithin

These little liposomes are created with lecithin, which generally comes from either soy or sunflower. Lecithin is a fat that is essential in the cells of the body. It’s a group of chemicals belonging to compounds called phospholipids. The importance of phospholipids is that they are required by the body to build cell membranes and are vital to the normal functioning of the brain, blood, nerves and other tissues. When ingested, lecithin is broken down into a substance called choline, which the body uses for many vital processes including1:

  • Transporting fats
  • Metabolism (breaking down food for energy)
  • Facilitating nerve transmissions in the brain (by making the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine)
  • Building the cell membrane (and facilitating the cell membrane’s function)

Choline is not readily produced by the body, but rather, most of it must be ingested in the diet. Thus, we come up with the term phosphatidylcholine (impossible to pronounce, so it’s just referred to as “PC Complex”).

Amandean Liposomal Vitamin C uses a non-hydrogenated sunflower lecithin to make this PC complex. If you have a soy allergy, you should pay special attention to the type of lecithin used. There are some (expensive) brands that are pushed by doctors which are actually made with soy lecithin. That’s mainly because the doctors are receiving a commission on the sale of it, but we view that as a big no-no.

When It Comes To Liposomes, Size Matters

Liposomes need to be a certain size to be able to pass through this intestinal wall into the bloodstream. Studies have shown that you want the peak size to be under 100nm (nanometers), and the smaller the better for increased absorption2. If it’s over 300nm, it ain’t gettin’ through! Our Liposomal Vitamin C has a peak particle size of 85 nm with over 92% of the particles being between 60 and 172 nm. This tight distribution is indicative of the reproducible and highly controlled manufacturing methodology we utilize. We use the only lab in the world that is specifically cGMP certified for liposome manufacturing.

Particle Size Chart

Liposomal liquid vs Capsules

We’re of the opinion that a real liposomal formula contains the vitamin C (or glutathione or other nutrients) encapsulated in a properly sized liposome, not just the ingredients to create them. Many of the capsule formats just contain a blend of lecithin powder and vitamin C powder, with the hopes that the body then magically creates the liposomes upon ingestion. Using language like “creating a liposomal environment” is not the same as a true liposomal formula. That is akin to handing somebody a shopping bag with a piece of red meat, bacon, bottle of wine, carrots, onions and spices and calling it Julia Child's beef bourguignon. Then there are other brands using licaps with mixtures of MCT oils and powders...also not liposomal! Then others that use emulsions that don’t actually contain any liposomes. Let’s be real here...GO LIQUID and make sure it’s from a reputable liposomal manufacturer!

Highest Quality Ingredients and China-Free

We find this topic to be uncomfortable and to fuel stereotypes. The issue is that several brands market themselves as “China-Free”, meaning they contain no ingredients made in China. We personally don’t have anything against Chinese made ingredients, although we don’t use any in any of our products. Many Chinese factories are state of the art and do produce excellent quality products, so we don’t feel the need to fuel any stereotypes by marketing our products as China-Free. However, because other brands are marketing themselves this way, we constantly get asked this question: Is your liposomal vitamin C China-Free? The answer is YES, even though it makes us feel dirty to play into the stereotype that somehow anything from China is tainted. We are a US based company that cares about quality and transparency, and we go to great lengths to source the finest worldwide ingredients. We use Quali®-C in our formula, which is produced in Scotland and widely recognized as the gold standard of vitamin C. We use a non-GMO, non-hydrogenated sunflower lecithin. We use ultra pure water that meets or exceeds purity levels for IV solutions.

Better. Faster. Stronger.

To recap, this is what to consider when deciding on which liposomal vitamin C brand is best to purchase:

Better transparency, ingredients, and manufacturing.
Faster absorption.
Stronger results.

Does liposomal vitamin C actually have higher bioavailability over traditional forms?

Great question. Our formula does. We have a clinical study to show it.

Vitamin C Comparison

To liposome or not to liposome? If you’re considering the science, clearly there is no question. But remember to consider these characteristics before you buy. Your body will thank you for it.


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Article References:

  1. The Health Benefits of Lecithin. (2020). Retrieved 10 April 2020, from https://www.verywellhealth.com/lecithin-4771091
  2. Bergin, I. L., & Witzmann, F. A. (2013). Nanoparticle toxicity by the gastrointestinal route: evidence and knowledge gaps. International journal of biomedical nanoscience and nanotechnology, 3(1-2), 10.1504/IJBNN.2013.054515. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJBNN.2013.054515



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