What are Phytosomes?
Phytosomes are a type of advanced herbal formulation in which the active ingredients of botanical extracts are bound to phospholipids, usually phosphatidylcholine. This complexation improves the bioavailability and absorption of the herbal compounds. Phospholipids are natural substances found in cell membranes, and they have the ability to form liposomes, which are tiny spheres with a structure similar to cell membranes.
When herbal extracts are bound to phospholipids, they are said to form phytosomes. This process enhances the absorption of the herbal compounds by the body, as the phospholipid component helps in transporting the active constituents across cell membranes and into the bloodstream more efficiently. As a result, phytosomes are believed to increase the effectiveness of herbal supplements and medications compared to conventional herbal extracts. They are commonly used in the formulation of dietary supplements and herbal medicines.
Are Phytosomes Natural?
Yes, phytosomes are considered natural. They are formed by complexing herbal extracts with phospholipids, typically phosphatidylcholine, which are natural substances found in cell membranes. Phospholipids are often sourced from soybeans or sunflower lecithin, both of which are natural and widely used in food and supplement production.
Why use Phytosomes?
Phytosomes are used for several reasons, primarily because they offer enhanced bioavailability and absorption of herbal compounds. Here are some key reasons why phytosomes are utilized:
- Improved Absorption: Phytosomes enhance the absorption of herbal compounds by incorporating them into a phospholipid structure. This allows the active constituents to bypass certain barriers in the body, such as the gastrointestinal barrier, and be more readily absorbed into the bloodstream.
- Enhanced Bioavailability: Bioavailability refers to the proportion of a substance that enters circulation when introduced into the body and is available for biological activity. Phytosomes increase the bioavailability of herbal extracts by facilitating their absorption and transport across cell membranes, leading to higher levels of active compounds in the bloodstream.
- Stability: Phytosomes can also enhance the stability of herbal compounds, protecting them from degradation in the gastrointestinal tract and improving their shelf-life.
- Targeted Delivery: Phytosomes can be designed to target specific tissues or organs in the body. By encapsulating herbal compounds within phospholipids, they can be directed to particular cells or tissues, increasing their effectiveness for certain health conditions.
- Reduced Dosage: Due to their increased bioavailability, phytosome formulations may allow for lower doses of herbal extracts to achieve the desired therapeutic effects compared to conventional formulations.
- Consistent Effects: Phytosomes can provide more consistent and predictable effects compared to traditional herbal extracts, as their improved absorption leads to more reliable blood concentration levels of active compounds.
- Combination Therapy: Phytosomes can be used to combine multiple herbal extracts or other active ingredients into a single formulation, allowing for synergistic effects and potentially enhancing therapeutic outcomes.
Overall, the utilization of phytosomes offers numerous advantages in improving the efficacy, stability, and targeted delivery of herbal compounds, making them a popular choice in the formulation of dietary supplements and herbal medicines.
What Phytosomes are There?
There are numerous phytosome formulations available on the market, each incorporating different herbal extracts or active ingredients. Some common examples of phytosome formulations include:
- Milk Thistle Phytosome: Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) phytosome is a popular formulation used to support liver health and detoxification. The active compound in milk thistle, silymarin, is complexed with phospholipids to enhance its absorption and bioavailability.
- Ginkgo Biloba Phytosome: Ginkgo biloba phytosome is used to support cognitive function and circulation. Ginkgo biloba extract, known for its antioxidant and vasodilatory properties, is combined with phospholipids to improve absorption.
- Green Tea Phytosome: Green tea phytosome is formulated to harness the antioxidant and health-promoting properties of green tea polyphenols, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Phytosome technology helps improve the bioavailability of these compounds.
- Curcumin Phytosome: Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, is complexed with phospholipids to create a phytosome formulation. This enhances the absorption of curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it more effective for various health conditions.
- Boswellia Phytosome: Boswellia serrata extract, commonly used for its anti-inflammatory properties, is combined with phospholipids to create a phytosome formulation. This enhances the absorption of boswellic acids, the active compounds in boswellia, for better efficacy.
- Bilberry Phytosome: Bilberry extract, rich in anthocyanins and other antioxidants, is complexed with phospholipids to create a phytosome formulation. This enhances its bioavailability and makes it beneficial for eye health and circulation.
- Berberine Phytosome: Berberine, a compound found in various plants such as goldenseal and barberry, is complexed with phospholipids to create a phytosome formulation. This improves its absorption and makes it more effective for managing blood sugar levels and supporting cardiovascular health.
These are just a few examples of the many phytosome formulations available. Phytosomes can be created with a wide range of herbal extracts and active ingredients, offering enhanced bioavailability and efficacy for various health purposes.
Where to Buy Phytosomes?
It is not very hard to find phytosomes. Chances are, you have already stumbled upon phytosomes in a supermarket, on the supplements section. So, supermarkets and pharmacies are great if you want to go there physically. But if you prefer shopping online (more phytosomes to choose and easier shopping) they are also available online on many stores. If you prefer to get phytosomes online, you might want to check out science.bio as they have a wide selection of phytosomes.