I, and a number of friends, take a bunch of supplements that are polyphenols and often flavin-oids, -ols or -es; also numerous carotenoids. Examples include quercetin, luteolin, fisetin, curcumin, resveratrol or pterostilbene, apigenin, lycopene and astaxanthin. Most of them are available in a relatively inexpensive, more or less pure form, and in a much pricier lipid nanoparticle form. The latter is justified because most of these substances are poorly absorbed, and lipid encapsulation has been shown to improve this.

When I look at the ingredients used to produce these lipid nanoparticles, they are generally cheep and easily available. They usually include some lecithin fraction, like phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylcholine, non-toxic organic solvents like propylene glycol or polyethylene glycol, and water or ethyl alcohol or both. You can get all these things from Amazon. So I was looking at this list, and I thought:


I’ve made mayonnaise at home with just a blender. It’s not hard, but it is tricky. Try dribbling the aqueous part into the oil a few drops at a time, rather than the other way around. I’ve done this, and it never emulsifies.

So I have this idea that there should be, or at any rate there might be, a recipe for self-assembling lipid nanoparticles that could be made using kitchen equipment, that could be used to improve the nonavailability of a wide range of polyphenols such as those listed above, at lower cost and with greater satisfaction then having someone else do it and deliver it in capsules. And I was hoping that someone here might know of one, or where I could find one.

Based on my very limited exposure to the literature, I think the model I am aiming for is a colloid of nanoscale balls of one or more polyphenol dissolved in a lipid or a non-polar solvent, with a "skin" of phosphatidyl-something, in a mainly water matrix. I should add that all of these polyphenolic substances are marketed as supplements and considered to be foods under FDA rules.

Of all the things I don't know, I think the thing that would help me the most would be suggested identities for a GRAS lipid or lipid-like solvent that is good at dissolving many polyphenols, under atmospheric pressure and temperatures below the boiling point of water.

  • $\begingroup$ It's not really clear what you are asking. What do you mean with "generic"? What is wrong with using a mayo recipe or just (say) olive oil? Is this for home prep or for commercial purposes? $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 5:39
  • $\begingroup$ Dear @BuckThorn -- By "generic" I mean a recipe that does not require substantial knowledge of the polyphenol or carotenoid that you are trying to deliver, beyond “keep adding solvent X and stirring until fully dissolved.” I am equally interested in lipid-coated bubbles and in solid lipid (or digestible wax) nano-particles. I'm a member of a small -- call it a club – that pools our research on nutritional approaches to longevity and buys supplements that cost less when purchased in bulk. Some of us share our purchases with our partners. We do not resell anything we buy. $\endgroup$
    – andrewH
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 21:59
  • $\begingroup$ I actually tried a mayo-like approach with a curcumin-quercetin-fisetin blend, but even heated, I could not get much of it to dissolve in olive oil. The result was more like a slurry, and swallowing it was not pleasant. $\endgroup$
    – andrewH
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the world of drug formulation. My gut instinct is to try to discourage you. There are ways of getting the stuff into a higher concentration cream, I'm sure but if cooking in the kitchen doesn't work your options narrow quickly. You probably don't want to work with volatile solvents or excipients and end up poisoning yourself. There is a lot of literature on attempts to solubilize curcumin and none look simple to implement in the kitchen. I would stick to curry (a reasonable diet). There is no "magic antioxidant bullet". $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ Otherwise your question is very interesting and it would be interesting to see if someone here has better advice. You might also try a formulation site for creams (lotions) and the like. $\endgroup$
    – Buck Thorn
    Commented Mar 21, 2021 at 9:39


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