Bioavailability as the missing link in biohacking

The BiohackingCongress is the platform and community for exchanging opinions and gaining exclusive skills between renowned scientists, nutritionists, dietitians, fitness explorers, life expectancy researchers, and authors of bestsellers on healthy food, sleep, and mind. 

Our goal is to help build a world where people are engaged with their health and living happy, wholesome, and long lives.

We are grateful to all our great Speakers for giving their educational lectures at our previous Biohacking Congress in Silicon Valley.

Christopher Shade, PhD, Founder & CEO, Quicksilver Scientific gave an enlightening lecture on Bioavailability as the missing link in biohacking.

Why do supplements need hours to affect? It is so easy with some biohacks as an iced bath, red lights… They took up to 20 minutes, and the result is visible right after the session. Meanwhile, if you decide to take a berberine pill, it takes 8 hours to absorb into the blood, and nothing happens.

Dr. Shade describes it precisely, “You could be in ketosis during the morning and then eat carbs in the afternoon. That's the biohacking thing. You want to be able to have multiple different scenarios throughout the day. I want to be up: I'm going to take this nootropic. It is going to give me a little speedy, it's going to go abroad to my brain, I'm going to have a bunch of meetings, I'm going to do all the stuff, and then I get a chill-out a little bit, and I'm going to take a little CBD, and I don't want to wait 3 hours to chill out I wanted to happen right away.”

Here we are talking about bioavailability. Bioavailability is the proportion of the drug or other substance that enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect. It is the proportion of what you get, how it absorbs into the blood, and how long it takes to absorb. Dr. Shade mentioned that he likes to say, “You're not what you take or what you eat, but you are what you absorb”. 

“When we use things that get high bioavailability, we're using lipid nanoparticles to make things small, so they just slip right through your mucous membranes into the blood. And when you make these things, they're like fancy salad dressings, but they're small, and they're clear,” Dr. Christopher Shade explained.

Pic 1. Clear Nanoparticle Suspensions

Here are some of the products compared. The one on the right [Quicksilver Scientifics, CBD Synergies-SP] is clear and is a mixture of fat and water. It is dispersed in the little particles of fatter. If you compare this sample to those on the left, the left ones have large particles. The size of the particles is essential.

"Here we're talking about lipid nanoparticles. The essential element here is a small size. We want things to be under 100 nanometers and that's called nano when they're this small, and when they're that small so they're clear. What do you get from them? You get immediacy and high absorption," Dr. Shade explained.

Quality is equal to the small size and clearness, as you may see in Pic 1. Clear Nanoparticle Suspensions, the samples with suspensions over 300 nanometers are unclear.

Pic 2. Pharmacy-on-a-Chip: Microfluidic synthesis of Pegylated and Folate Receptor-Targeted Liposomes For Drug Delivery provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“Looking at liposomes of different sizes and these bars are uptake into the cells. If we look at the black ones, liposomes are on the 236 nanometers. You barely get anything at all, and this compound wouldn't go into the cells unless there was a liposome. As they get smaller and smaller here, they get down below 100 nanometers and down to 50 see this linear increase in absorption into the cell. The smaller it is, the faster and the higher amount you get into the cell, so that's what we want.”

Pic 3. Suspensions after spinning in centrifuge tubes.

The other part of quality is stability. “Suppose you put them in centrifuge tubes and spin them around really fast, which gravity makes; that shows the impact of time. You don't have a salad dressing separated over time if you make these things right. When they are really small and have the right chemistry, they won't separate. Still, these other products, when you put them in the centrifuge tubes, they break into 2 layers or even 3 layers. The right product is small in size: high absorption, high stability. To check the particles' size, we use a combination of lasers and electron microscopy, you know, sharks with laser beams on their heads. We shoot the laser beams off the sharks into the solutions, and they tell us the size of the particle,” Dr. Christopher Shade continued.

To figure out how well they absorbing, some uptake studies can be done:  

- Human uptake studies;

- Animal studies: Quicksilver Scientific does not do these kinds of studies any more;

- Caco2 GI permeability assay: “We set up these two beakers and we separate them by little membranes that look like a GI tract, it's actually GI cells grown there, and we measure the velocity of our particles going across there,” Dr. Christopher explained.

It is just data to see how well the products are working because we can set up our chemistry in many different ways. 

If you want to try Quicksilver Scientific, feel free to check it out at the section Top Biohacks on our website.

The BiohackingCongress team is grateful to the brilliant Dr. Christopher Shade for giving the enriching lecture!

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