Sunitha Manthena, Prathima Srinivas, Sadanandam
Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals 2010 1(1):14-18
Phytoconstituents, despite having excellent bioactivity in vitro, demonstrate less or no in vivo actions due to their poor lipid solubility or improper molecular size or both, resulting in poor absorption and poor bioavailability. Lipid solubility and molecular size are the major limiting factors for molecules to pass the biological membrane and to be absorbed systematically following oral or topical administration. Some phytoconstituents are destroyed in the gastric environment when taken orally. The term “phyto” means plant, while “some” means cell-like. Therefore, phytosome is a “phytophospholipid complex” resembling a small cell. Phytosomes are produced by a patented process whereby standardized plant extracts or their constituents are bound to phospholipids, mainly phosphatidylcholine, producing a lipid-compatible molecular complex. Phytosomes exhibit a better pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile than conventional herbal extracts. The phytosome technology markedly enhances the bioavailability of phytomedicine and has effectively enhanced the bioavailability of many popular herbal extracts, including Milk thistle, Ginkgo biloba, Grape seed, Green tea, Hawthorn, Ginseng etc., and can be developed for various therapeutic uses or dietary supplements.