Liposomes are vacuoles or bubbles made from lipids. Although different applications require and use different lipid materials to make liposomes, LivOn Labs uses a class of "essential phospholipids" called phosphatidylcholine.
Phospholipids, when placed in certain conditions, form liposomes by themselves. When in an aqueous solution, the phospholipids form closed bubbles which entrap the host solution inside. The membranes surrounding the contents of vitually all animal cells are made from phospholipids. This makes liposomes an ideal carrier for substances that need to be taken internally since they are so similar in composition to human cells.
View through electron microscope shows bilayer construction of several liposomes. A nanometer (nm) is 1,000,000,000 of a meter.
What Makes Phospholipids Form Liposomes?
Phospholipid molecules are made up of three basic components. All phospholipids have a phosphate head composed of a phosphate atom and some oxygen atoms. The head is attached to one of the three carbons in a triglyceride shoulder. And the tail is formed by two fatty acid chains, each attached to one of the remaining carbon atoms in the triglyceride shoulder.
The phosphate head is ionically charged which makes it hydrophillic (water-attracting) while the fatty acid tail is hydrophobic (water-repelling) much like oil and water. This structure causes a unique alignment of phospholipid molecules when they are placed in an aqueous solution. The water-repelling tails face one another while the heads line up facing outward into the solution forming a bilayer membrane.
When agitated, forced through an extrusion grate, or sprayed through a microfluidizing nozzle, these phospholipid bilayers will form spheres which contain the solution in which they were formed.
Graphic representation showing basic composition of a phospholipid with the hydrophillic (water-attracting) head and the hydrophobic (water-repelling) tail.
Depending upon the process used to form the liposomes, their size can range from 5,000 nanometers down to 100 nameters. Sizes under 400 nanometers require a very special process called microfluidization. Although the smaller sizes hold less material, they are much more stable and better suited to navigate the human digestive system. LivOn Laboratories has chosen to use liposomes that range from 300 to 400 nanometers for their nutritional products because of these advantages.
As pictured above, phosphatidylcholine — "essential phospholipids" — will also form liposomes. The major difference is in the health benefits derived from a supplement application. The choline and the polyunsaturated fatty acids in phosphatidylcholine have many health and anti-aging benefits that far exceed those of simple phospholipids.* While the human body can and does manufacture its own phospholipids, it cannot produce "essential phospholipids." Although a standard requirement for "essential phospholipids" has yet to be established, their importance to human nutrition, health, and vitality has been well-documented.*
Drawing showing the tail-to-tail alignment of phosphatidylcholine ("essential phospholipid") molecules found in the membrane of bilayer liposomes.
*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.