Liquids, Pills, Capsules: Why the Formulation of your Supplement Matters
by Dr. Arianna Ferrini
If you are looking into which supplements to take for fertility and pregnancy, 'ingredients' are not the only factor that matters.
Ingredients are nothing without optimal bioavailability and optimal bioavailability is tightly linked to the formulation of the supplement.
Nutritional supplements now come in many different forms, but how do we know which is best for us?
Here, we break down the differences between the formulations and explore why the liquid liposome is what you should look for.
The world of drug formulations
Drug formulation is a big thing. Drugs and supplements are tiny, tiny molecules that need to be encapsulated into “something” to be delivered to the body. This “something” can take different forms.
There are drugs and supplements in pill, capsule, powder, or even gummies form. There are also drugs and supplements in liquid form.
Pills, capsules, powders & gummies
Many pills, capsules, powders, tablets, and gummies formulations can often use bulking agents and fillers to add weight and volume, as well as anti-caking agents to prevent the formulations from clogging up the machines during the production process. Ingredients are held together by binders, and coating agents cover the nutrients to protect them from stomach acids.
Tablets, for example, only contain 5-10% of the active compound. The rest is made up of binders, fillers, and other compounds which ensure disintegration.
Gummies are notoriously difficult to manufacture with precision. They are usually made of gelatin or pectin at 5-8 %, water at 15-20%, sucrose at 28-50%, and corn syrup at 40-55 %, leaving little space for the active ingredient. Their nutrients are sometimes sprayed on. Since vitamins are more likely to degrade in a gummy, companies often put in extra amounts to try and compensate.
Some coating forms for solid formulations are designed to be so tough to withstand stomach acid that they may sometimes pass through the small intestine without releasing the nutrients.
By definition, liquid formulations are pourable pharmaceutical formulations that contain a mixture of active drug components and nondrug components (excipients) dissolved or suspended in a suitable solvent or mixtures of solvents. Liquid preparations are designed to provide rapid therapeutic effects and ensure a therapeutic response in individuals with difficulty swallowing solid preparations.
The main difference between the formulations presented above and liquid formulations is the speed at which they work. The body might take up to 30 minutes to break through the coating and caking agents in pills and capsules before starting the absorption process. On the other hand, liquids work way faster, and the ingredients are more readily available.
Liquid delivery is an easy way to ensure the vitamins and minerals are absorbed instead of potentially being destroyed in the gut or flushed away before receiving the intended benefit.
In the world of oral supplements, liposomal liquids are a promising solution for several reasons.
Thanks to the lipid layers of the liposomes the content is protected against gastric juices and liver enzymes. Once encapsulated, the vitamin or nutrient cannot escape the liposome until the phospholipid bilayer is disrupted by absorption or breakdown in the body.
This translates to an unprecedentedly high bioavailability, guaranteed by the liposomes, and a fast delivery, guaranteed by the liquid formulation.
The great news is that, once the liposomes and their content have been absorbed, the naturally occurring lipids of the liposomes are recycled by the cells and used as a building material for the cells. With liquid liposomes, really nothing goes to waste!
Naître's liquid fertility, pregnancy, and postnatal formulas are all based on a state-of-the-art liposomal delivery that ensures maximal absorption and minimal toxicity. Not only do they contain high-quality ingredients. They also rely on effective delivery methods to make sure that the precious ingredients are optimally absorbed.