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Tolerability and Bioavailability – Myths Vs. Facts Liposomal Vitamin C – Does it Make Sense?

One of the most common questions we hear from both providers and patients is on forms of Vitamin C, and in particular Liposomal Vitamin C.

Some people who take Vitamin C in high doses have experienced gastrointestinal discomfort or loose stools, and to bypass these discomforts they opt for I.V. Vitamin C. However, if you are using Vitamin C as an antioxidant therapy, IVC might not be required. In fact, most infections can be resolved easily and quickly within hours with therapeutic oral protocols. To increase tolerability, Sodium Ascorbate should be utilized as opposed to the highly acidic Ascorbic Acid.

There is notion that the liposomal form of Vitamin C can eliminate GI discomforts. Is it true or just a marketing gimmick?

Some brands make claims that “Liposomal Vitamin C” employs advanced liposomal technology that helps transport vitamin C molecules across your gut membrane and into your cells for enhanced bioavailability, and aids in the formation of protective liposomes in the stomach to reduce the potential for gastrointestinal distress often associated with traditional oral vitamin C.”
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and combining it with liposomal technology is somewhat of a contradiction which many scientists believe makes little sense.

Unless you have an ultra-sensitive GI, liposomal Vitamin C is not necessary. Furthermore, to date, there has been very limited published work on the increased bioavailability of liposomal Vitamin C, and hardly any of these studies have been independent. Moreover, when treating an acute condition, reaching gut tolerability levels is essential. In other words, your body will determine how much Vitamin C it requires on that day. In most cases, once the optimal levels are reached, the symptoms have been resolved.

Does Liposomal Vitamin C Provide Increased Bioavailability?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it dissolves in water and is easily absorbed by the body. In contrast, fat-soluble vitamins are typically encapsulated in liposomes to protect them from degradation in the digestive system and enhance their absorption by the body.

Liposomal Vitamin C is a form of Vitamin C that is encapsulated in liposomes, which are tiny bubbles made from phospholipids. Liposomal technology makes sense with fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin D, E, and K, since these liposomes may protect the molecules from being broken down in the digestive system, allowing for better absorption and utilization by the body.

While some companies may market liposomal vitamin C as a way to improve its bioavailability, the evidence supporting this claim is limited. Some studies have suggested that liposomal vitamin C may increase blood levels of the vitamin compared to standard vitamin C supplements. However, other studies have shown no significant difference between liposomal vitamin C and other forms of vitamin C in terms of bioavailability or health benefits.

Moreover, many leading scientists are of the opinion that combining water soluble vitamins in a liposomal technology adds no benefits. Furthermore, to date, there has not been any independent peer-reviewed scientific publications to validate any claims of increased benefits of liposomal vitamin C.

Dr. Paul Marik, MD, a leading expert on Vitamin C and Sepsis, stated that “Vitamin C is a water-soluble molecule absorbed by saturable vitamin C transporters in the GUT. The concept that encapsulating vitamin C in a liposome would somehow increase absorption is absurd. This has been shown by clinical studies which demonstrate that the absorption curve is exactly the same when comparing ascorbic acid as with liposomal Vitamin C.”

Dr. Richard Fleming, PhD, MD, JD, a leading authority on COVID, Cardio-Vascular Disease, Cancer and Vitamin C Connection, stated that “Sodium Ascorbate [Vitamin C] is a water-soluble vitamin, making it essentially impossible to ingest too much, as ingestion in its water-soluble form merely results in excess being urinated out from the body after being used by the body. It is important to note that Vitamin C is taken into our cells through two different receptors; SVCT1 and 2. Like Locks, SVCT1 and 2 are activated by the Key [Vitamin C]. As the following figure shows [part of Dr. Fleming’s slide presentation for the 2023 VCICI Conference], after opening the lock, Vitamin C not only addresses oxidative damage harming the cell; but it can be involved making stress hormones.

It has become very popular to bypass the body’s lock and key mechanisms responsible for regulating what is happening inside our cells. The use of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) is being used not only for the SARS-CoV-2 [COVID] Genetic Vaccines but also for bypassing our cell receptors, introducing into our cells with whatever is packaged within the LNPs. Liposomal (LNPs) Vitamin C bypasses the lock and key mechanism used by our cells. This mechanism bypasses the safety regulation for Vitamin C by coating a water-soluble Vitamin in a lipid coating. Currently there is no data to indicate that liposomal products produce an enhanced Vitamin C response within cells, including the oxidative damage or production of stress hormones. Whether there is potential harm resulting from this approach is yet to be ascertained; much as the potential harm for the LNP Genetic Vaccines are being determined.”

Although liposomal sodium ascorbate does not cause any harm, it is more expensive than powdered sodium ascorbate, and the liposomes often come with unpleasant flavors and can sometimes be unstable, leading to a shorter shelf life. Additionally, liposomal Vitamin C products may contain added ingredients, such as soy lecithin or other oils, which may not be suitable for people with allergies or sensitivities.
Having said that, it is important to note that liposomal Vitamin C is one of many choices when it comes to Vitamin C products, and so long as the liposomal product is sodium ascorbate and not ascorbic acid, it will do no harm. Whether it brings an increased benefit in terms of bioavailability is an ongoing debate.

In general, to avoid uncomfortable side effects, increase tolerability, bioavailability, and optimize therapeutic effect, it is best to avoid Ascorbic Acid due to its low pH levels which may cause GI discomfort, and dental enamel erosion. A better option is to titrate pharmaceutical grade powdered, and pH neutral Sodium Ascorbate Vitamin C. For optimal absorption, it should be mixed in a large bottle of pure water and consumed throughout the entire day, as opposed to taking one or two servings per day.

Medical grade nutraceuticals provide the purest and most bioavailable form of vitamin C. Pure powdered Sodium Ascorbate is the easiest to titrate and absorb. Furthermore, it can be used in many ways in human health, dentistry, and the veterinary sector.

Overall, whether pure powdered sodium ascorbate, or liposomal Vitamin C is better, depending on the individual’s needs and preferences. People who prefer a simple, inexpensive, and versatile form of Vitamin C may prefer to adhere to medical grade nutraceutical powdered sodium ascorbate for broad spectrum applications.

In summary, liposome technology may not be the most effective way to deliver water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C. It is generally recommended to obtain vitamin C through supplementation in the form of tablets, capsules, liquids, or powders.

How much Vitamin C one needs is dictated by the rate of depletion which varies daily and is correlated to many factors, such as inflammation, oxidative stress, underlying conditions, age, pregnancies, smoking, alcohol intake, trauma, and genetic factors. For those who would like to learn more, VCICI offers comprehensive online and in-person classes on Vitamin C therapies.

Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any supplementation regimen.
To learn more: Dr. Paul Marik, the most published expert in the world on Vitamin C and infectious disease, addressed this precise question in detail at the VCICI 2022 annual conference. To learn more about Dr. Marik’s explanation we encourage you to download the annual recording link, which is available at a discounted rate to VCICI members.

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

Whether you are an integrative physician, a biological dentist, or a patient, you cannot afford to miss learning more about the Powers of C. Join us at the 2023 C-MPOSIUM in Clearwater Beach, FL – September 14-16, 2023, https://www.vcici.org/conference/