PolyShield Technology: A solution to the problem of poor absorption of important vitamins such as D3

Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients that the bodies need to develop and function normally. Despite this, micronutrients cannot be produced by the body and are therefore derived from food. Nowadays, there is an increasing interest in nutritious, naturally occurring or minimally processed foods. A growing number of emerging technologies are being applied to maintaining the bioavailability, metabolic function, and health-promoting effects of vitamins through their stability and bioaccessibility in foods.

Every day, the body produces skin, muscle, and bone. It churns out rich red blood that carries nutrients and oxygen to remote outposts, and it sends nerve signals skipping along thousands of miles of brain and body pathways. It also formulates chemical messengers that shuttle from one organ to another, issuing the instructions that help sustain life.  But to do all this, the body requires some raw materials. These include at least 30 vitamins, minerals, and dietary components that the body needs but cannot manufacture on its own in sufficient amounts.  In general, vitamins and minerals perform a few functions - boosting the immune system, supporting normal development, and helping cells and organs function [1].


            A dietary supplement is a product taken by mouth that contains a "dietary ingredient" that supplements the diet. A dietary ingredient in a product may be a vitamin, mineral, herbal extract, amino acid, or it may also be an enzyme, a glandular, a tissue, a hormone, or even another metabolite. Extracts and concentrates of dietary supplements are also available, as well as tablets, capsules, soft gels, gel caps, liquids, and powders. Vitamins and minerals are being depleted day by day due to the current lifestyles. Modern life, lack of exercise, and consumption of processed foods cause a deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals. All vitamins and minerals are not perfectly absorbed into the cells when the body is not functioning optimally. Some of them are destroyed in the stomach and intestine, some are excreted back, and some do not enter into the cell.  The micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals are often difficult to absorb. To protect the body from certain diseases, vitamin supplements are essential for enhancing the body's function. Stress can also increase the body's need for certain nutrients, which can be obtained through supplements [3].  Additionally, antioxidants or supplements can prevent aging and cellular damage. The ability to perform better, lose fat and gain muscle is improved when consuming more essential nutrients than the body can absorb from an average diet. The body takes most of the nutrients from food. Some nutrients, however, such as B12, are harder to come by. This is especially true for vegans and vegetarians, as some of the nutrients our bodies need only come from animal products.

By consuming supplements, more demanding lifestyles or medical conditions can be met in terms of their nutritional needs. Stress, medical complications, and energetic living can all increase the need for very specific minerals or vitamins. We can also benefit from supplementation when we are eating the wrong type of food. We are experiencing a deep imbalance in our food supply from the use of chemical fertilizers, depleted soils, refining, preservatives and additives. According to USDA tests, spinach had an average iron content of 158 milligrams per 100 grams in 1950[8]. The average amount of iron found in spinach is 2.7 milligrams per 100 grams. It's just not the same as it used to be. There are other cases like this as well. Similar statistics can be found throughout the food supply chain. We can make great strides in correcting these food supply deficiencies by supplementing the diet.


Vitamin D3 is also known as cholecalciferol, a vitamin of the fat-soluble vitamin D group, and it is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”.  During its circulation, it provides a means for calcium and phosphorus to be absorbed into the body, thereby maintaining bone health. This nutrient plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system as well as promoting mood, heart health, and weight loss.


                                 Fig: - the structure of vitamin D3

Vitamin D can be obtained through diet and supplements, and skin produces it after being exposed to sunlight.  A chemical reaction is triggered in the skin when ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun hit special vitamin-D receptor cells. This chemical reaction produces vitamin D3.  Vitamin D3 can also be used as a natural supplement or as a prescription medication to treat diseases associated with a lack of vitamin D. In nature, it is found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, and mackerel, red meat, egg yolks, milk and milk products and fortified foods such as some fat spreads and cereals [2].


                                              Fig: synthesis and metabolism of vitamin D3.

Vitamin D3 inhibits parathyroid hormone secretion, adaptive immunity, and cell proliferation while stimulating insulin secretion, innate immunity, and cellular differentiation.  Due to its role in immunoregulation, vitamin D3 has been described as having a dual function as a secosteroid hormone for the regulation of calcium homeostasis in the body, as well as a compound that is essential for immune response maintenance. Maintaining a healthy immune system requires plenty of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency weakens the immune system, allowing infections to thrive. This was reported in an article published in the Journal of Investigative Medicine in 2011. Because of this, the authors of this review argue that supplementing with vitamin D may benefit people suffering from autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D has a recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of about 15 to 20 micrograms for adults, according to the Institute of Medicine.

Vitamin D is important in regulating calcium levels in the body and maintaining phosphorus levels. These factors play a role in bone health. The intestines need vitamin D to stimulate and absorb calcium and reclaim calcium from the kidneys. Children with rickets, caused by a weakening of the bones due to vitamin D deficiency, have a bow-legged appearance. Likewise, vitamin D deficiency can result in osteomalacia in adults. This condition results in poor bone mass and muscle weakness. Over 53 million people in the United States suffer from osteoporosis as a result of vitamin D deficiency, for which they seek treatment or are at an increased risk.

Researchers have found that people suffering from clinical depression are often deficient in vitamin D. There is no clear evidence as to whether the deficiency contributes to depression or whether depression changes behavior (e.g., diet, time spent outside) and therefore causes the deficiency.  Researchers have examined the effect of vitamin D on the brain, and they have found possible mechanisms of action that may shed light on how a deficiency could lead to depression. Increasing vitamin D levels may also help alleviate symptoms, according to research.  Researchers published a study in Molecular Psychiatry in 2014 that found low levels of vitamin D in the bodies of participants suffering from depression. Furthermore, depressive symptoms occurred more frequently in people with low levels of vitamin D. According to the researchers who conducted the study, people with depression may benefit from vitamin D supplementation as a cost-effective treatment. 

Hypertension and cardiovascular disease risk are directly related to latitude.  A lack of vitamin D3 has been linked to hypertension, heart disease, and congestive heart failure, as well as associated with inflammatory factors such as C-reactive protein and interleukin-10. The effects of vitamin D3 supplementation on cardiovascular disease risk were not consistent in two randomized trials. Researchers found that several times each week for three months, UVB radiation reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressures by six millimeters Hg in patients with hypertension (as opposed to the general population).


It is a practical and low-cost method to treat a deficiency of Vitamin D by using oral supplements. Although the development of Vitamin D3 oral administration is limited by its lipophilic nature and low solubility in gastrointestinal fluid, which equates to poor bioavailability. Moreover, the degradation of Vitamin D3 by light, air, and heat should also be considered during manufacturing, storage, and use. In a moderate climate, supplementing with Vitamin D3 should be done every day for most of the year. Therefore, patient compliance could be low. Thus, new Vitamin D formulations are needed, especially those with prolonged release.  Vitamin D3 is released from the food supplements and accumulates in micelles produced by bile acids in the gastrointestinal tract. It enters the enterocytes via passive diffusion through an unsaturated mechanism [5]. There are three transmembrane proteins necessary for oral Vitamin D3 absorption in the intestines that primarily perform cholesterol transporter functions. It is then incorporated into chylomicrons, which are activated by the liver and kidneys. Absorption of nutrients is blocked in the intestines when lipids are insufficient [4]. To improve Vitamin D3 bioavailability, it is important to enhance the water solubility [6]. Several studies have been reviewed by Grossmann and Tangpricha (2010) that have evaluated the effects of oil, cellulose, lactose, and ethanol vehicles on the bioavailability of Vitamin D3 in supplements. Vitamin D3 has been demonstrated to have more oral bioavailability and a greater 25(OH)D effect in a vehicle based on oil compared to a powdered (lactose or cellulose-based) or an ethanol-based vehicle [6].

For adults, the standard recommendation for Vitamin D3 is 1000–2000 international units (IU) per day [4]. It is ideal for encapsulation into drug delivery systems because of its high activity (1 IU equals 0.025% of a gram), relatively low daily requirements (25-50 g/day), and high lipophilicity. In addition, most carriers are lipophilic, and in general, the more lipophilic the active, the better encapsulation efficiency, and the lower the unwanted release. Despite the introduction of encapsulated Vitamin D3 in 1993 [8], several disadvantages still exist, preventing the application of Vitamin D3 supplementation and food fortification. In addition, encapsulation technology may involve high temperatures during the preparation, which would reduce the Vitamin D3 activity, or may involve toxic solvents, which could potentially cause adverse side effects in final products. Another disadvantage may be a low loading capacity and incomplete encapsulation that results in little protection against UV exposure due to absorption on the carrier surface [9]. The instability of some delivery systems is also a serious technological issue. There are numerous variations of pH, ionic composition, interactions between ingredients and storage conditions that affect the pH, ionic composition, and preparation methods of food and beverage products.


  • Lack of Bioavailability
  • Poor stability in the biological systems including gastrointestinal system.
  • Rapid metabolism

We know this very well - fruits and vegetables are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals in most bioavailable way.  The vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables are always full of polyphenols which not only protect them from degradation but also increases their bioavailability. Dr. D’s conceived this concept and formulated an innovative technology for dietary supplements.

PolyShield technologyTM provides the best sustained delivery system for enhancing vitamin and mineral absorption into the body.  Polyphenols are antioxidants present in some plant species and have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Pomegranate polyphenols are used as a shield to encapsulate vitamins and minerals to be delivered directly to the target site. Due to the high stability of the polyphenol matrix of the pomegranate peel, the encapsulated matrix protect vitamins and minerals from the enzymic reactions during metabolism, and the matrix is deactivated in the liver to allow release of the nutrients into the targeted tissues. As a result of the high stability of the PolyShield, vitamins and/or minerals are safely transported through the site where metabolism occurs.  The product obtained from this technology has increased absorption capacity and is highly stable [10].

At least one vitamin and mineral are mixed with the polyphenolic matrix and homogenized to allow encapsulation of the vitamin or mineral in the polyphenolic matrix. The shielding protects the core molecule and reduces its interactions with enzymes, enabling consistent and stable delivery of vitamin and mineral active components to the target site. A further advantage of this polyphenol shielding technology is that its molecules can be released slowly over time, or at specific intervals. Therefore, vitamins and minerals are encapsulated within the polyphenolic matrix to provide controlled delivery.

Importance of PolyShield TechnologyTM:

  • High bioavailability
  • Very good stability
  • Provides powerful antioxidant activity
  1. Semba RD. The discovery of the vitamins. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2012.
  2. Physical health and life skill education.
  3. https://www.balancedwellbeinghealthcare.com/wpcontent/uploads/2017/05/logo-wht-591dfc4862a41.png
  1. Autier P, Mullie P, Macacu A, Dragomir M, Boniol M, Coppens K, Pizot C, Boniol M. Effect of vitamin D supplementation on non-skeletal disorders: a systematic review of meta-analyses and randomised trialsLancet Diabetes and Endocrinology
  2. Rejnmark L, Bislev LS, Cashman KD, Eiríksdottir G, Gaksch M, Grübler M, Grimnes G, Gudnason V, Lips P, Pilz S, et al Non-skeletal health effects of vitamin D supplementation: a systematic review on findings from meta-analyses summarizing trial data
  3. Bolland MJ, Avenell A, Grey A. Should adults take vitamin D supplements to prevent disease? BMJ 
  4. Ebeling P, Adler R, Jones G, Liberman UA, Mazziotti G, Minisola S, Munns C, Napoli N, Pittas A, Giustina A, et alMANAGEMENT of ENDOCRINE DISEASE: Therapeutics of vitamin DEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
  5. Jiang X, O'Reilly PF, Aschard H, Hsu YH, Richards JB, Dupuis J, Ingelsson E, Karasik D, Pilz S, Berry D, et alGenome-wide association study in 79,366 European-ancestry individuals informs the genetic architecture of 25-hydroxyvitamin D levelsNature Communications 
  6. Bouillon R. Genetic and racial differences in the vitamin D endocrine systemEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America
  7. Polyshield Technology by Fabio Di Stefano.