Innovative delivery system shows potential in combating vitamin D deficiency: Mouse study

By Cheryl Tay contact

- Last updated on GMT

Scientists have been exploring innovative methods to increase vitamin D levels. ©iStock
Scientists have been exploring innovative methods to increase vitamin D levels. ©iStock
A nanoemulsion-based delivery system may be an effective way to combat vitamin D deficiency, say researchers in China, the US and Turkey.

Though vitamin D can be absorbed via exposure to sunlight and consumption of fortified foods, vitamin D inadequacy remains a prevalent health issue globally.

As such, scientists have been exploring innovative methods to increase vitamin D levels. Researchers from China's Hunan University, the University of Massachusetts, Turkey's Hitit University, and Tufts University in Boston conducted a study to evaluate vitamin D absorption through nanoscale delivery systems.

Delivering the D

Using a simulated gastrointestinal tract system, they assessed the in vitro​ bio-accessibility of cholecalciferol — or vitamin D3 — in nanoemulsion.

They also examined vitamin D3's in vivo ​bio-availability by orally administering three groups of mice with either vitamin D3 nanonemulsion, vitamin D3 coarse emulsion, or vehicle nanoemulsion without vitamin D3.

They observed that the nanoemulsion-based delivery system increased vitamin D3's in vitro​ bio-accessibility by almost four times, and the mouse study showed that the group given vitamin D3 coarse emulsion saw a 36% increase in serum vitamin D levels when compared to the control group.

Additionally, the vitamin D3 nanoemulsion were found to have increased the mice's serum vitamin D levels by 73%.

'Promising approach'

The researchers wrote that their findings "indicated  that  a  nanoemulsion-based  delivery  system  is  a promising  approach  to  improve  vitamin D  bioavailability,  and  further  studies  are  warranted  to determine its efficacy in humans"​.

Nanoemulsification markedly improved both in vitro ​and in vivo ​vitamin D absorption, as shown by the higher levels of serum vitamin D.

The nanoemulsion also reduced the variation of vitamin D absorption when compared to the coarse emulsion.

The researchers concluded that the enhancement of vitamin D bio-availability and the homogeneity of vitamin D absorption brought about by nanoemulsion would "not  only improve  vitamin D  absorption  but  also  reduce  the  risk  for  some  individuals  being  exposed to excess vitamin D"​.

"Although several limitations exist in (the) study as described above, the results demonstrated that the nanoemulsion has the potential to be utilised as a novel strategy to deliver vitamin D in certain applications, and thereby help to improve vitamin D status, which remains a critical public health issue in our society."

 

Source: Molecular Nutrition & Food Research

https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201700836

"The Efficacy of Nanoemulsion-Based Delivery to Improve Vitamin D Absorption: Comparison of in Vitro and in Vivo Studies"

Authors: Alagu Selvi Kadappan, et al.

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