Liposomes are microscopic fat ball, that hide a poorly absorbed nutrient inside. The fat ball is made from phospholipids and is 50 to 200 nanometer in diameter. The phospholipids are virtually identical to the phospholipids that make up our cell membrane, and because they are cell membrane identical they will merge into our cell. By doing so, they will carry the hidden payload, for example glutathione or vitamin c, with them into the cell.
Pronounce lip′əsōm and liposome means in old Greek “a body of lipid fat”.
Another way to look at liposomes is as a Trojan horse. Your cells recognize the outside of the liposome, and actually absorb the liposome upon contact. The hidden content is absorbed (merged) into the human cell with the liposomal phospholipid fat layer.
Liposomal absorption is very different from gastro-intestinal absorption. When we eat something, the nutrients are typically broken down in our stomach and intestines with acid, enzymes and bacteria. When the molecules are small enough, they can slip between intestinal cells, and into our blood stream. The liver and other organs then spring into action and re-assemble the more complex molecules, such as enzymes, lipids and hormones.
Liposomes, such as glutathione liposomes, work around this break-down, absorb, then re-assemble protocol. Because on the surface the liposome looks exactly as a human cell and the two will merge, very much like two soap bubbles will merge into one larger one. Liposomes are NOT digested. They are not broken down!
The surface of liposomes and all (human) cells is made from phospholipids. These phospholipids, such as the ones in egg yolks and krill oil, have a very interesting property. They like water on one end and they like fat on the other end, and they like to form mats (or rafts as scientists call them). These rafts are like a woven mat that likes water on one side and fat on the other. When you put two mats with their fat liking side together, you will have a fat surface of only 2 molecules thick that likes water on both sides. Then these mats spontaneously form a ball (like a water balloon) with water inside and they float (fully dissolved) in a water-liquid. And that mechanism is the basis of all life, because that’s exactly how cells are formed (whether human cells, animal or plant cells). These mats are called cell membranes and they determine what goes in and out of the cell, which receptors sit in the membrane, and they maintain the integrity of the cell so that no toxins or foreign DNA can enter.
Scientists have used these water liking properties of the fatty phospholipids to create cell like liposomes. They looked at nature and said: “Hey we can do that too”.
Liposomes, just like a soap bubble, will disintegrate over time. It’s important that the liposomes are very stable over time. Fortunately it’s easy, even for consumers, to identify high quality liposomes:
1. Liposomes cannot contain more than 25% load. Meaning that at least 75% of the solution must be water. If the water content is less, the microscopic balls will touch each other and merge. When too many merge, they will become a fat blob, and no longer work as a liposome should.
2. The microscopic fat balls are so small (50 to 200 nanometer) and are perfectly round that they will reflect light perfectly in all directions. When they do so, the substance will look milky white. If the liposomal liquid is not white, the liposomes are poorly formed, or have merged, and the liposomes no longer work.
3. For example: liposomal glutathione contains 75% water and 25% liposomes. 4 milliliter (the recommended daily dose) thus contains 3 milliliter water and 1 milliliter liposomes. The liposomes contain 500 mg (half of 1 milliliter) phospholipids and another 500 mg of reduced glutathione.