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Emulsion in Oral Delivery of Bioactive Lipophilic Phytochemicals

Phytochemicals, plant secondary metabolites produced as part of the defensive mechanism to stressful environmental condition, are widely studied for their ability to provide health benefits. However, more than half of the phytochemicals discovered are lipophilic and, thus, exhibit low solubility in aqueous environment. Oral delivery route involves passage through gastrointestinal (GI) tract containing a constant aqueous flow of the digestion process with radical pH changes and substantial enzymatic activities. Moreover, phytochemicals, compare to synthetic drugs, are frequently chemically labile, sensitive to environmental conditions and rapidly metabolized activities. Therefore, an effective delivery vehicle designed for oral delivery of phytochemical should retain functional properties beyond just to encapsulate but also to protect, to control release, and to enhance intestinal absorption and permeation. Edible O/W emulsions are regularly applied method for lipophilic compound delivery in food and pharmaceutical industries. Through choosing different composition materials and processing methods, emulsion delivery vehicles can offer favorably flexible alternations that have enormous potential being applied to diverse phytochemicals. When applied for oral delivery of lipophilic phytochemical, O/W emulsions are shown to appreciably augment compound in vivo oral bioavailability employing various functional mechanisms. This article provides a brief overview of different types of O/W emulsion system that is presently available as well as commonly applied processing methods and design strategies. In particular, the current state-of-the-art in applications of O/W emulsion for improving in vivo bioavailability and efficacy will also be discussed.

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13 Mar 2013
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Special Publications