Health Benefits of Phosphatidylcholine

Posted by Wen Dan Jiang on

Health Benefits of Phosphatidylcholine

Phosphatidylcholine is a chemical substance found in many food items such as soybeans, mustards, eggs, and sunflowers. It is all present in the cells of the human body. It belongs to a group of phospholipids in which choline is incorporated as the main group. It is also a major component of the cell membrane. People can obtain it from many food items such as soybeans, egg yolks. 

What is Phosphatidylcholine?

Phosphatidylcholine consists of phospholipid and choline. Phospholipids are made up of phosphorous, fatty acids, and glycerol. The phosphorus group of phospholipids is called lecithin. The lecithin substance of phospholipid contains phosphatidylcholine. Due to this reason, the term lecithin and phosphatidylcholine are interchangeable, but they are different from each other.  

Phosphatidylcholine is used to balance cholesterol level, support function of liver and brain health. Human body uses phosphatidylcholine for producing acetylcholine, a brain chemical. Acetylcholine is used to treat brain diseases such as anxiety, memory loss, manic depressive disorders, and Alzheimer's. 

Health Benefits of Phosphatidylcholine

  1. Help in reduction of triglyceride and cholesterol levels

Phosphatidylcholine drugs help in the reduction of fats level in the human body. Due to this ability, it helps the body to function properly. There are high risks of cardiovascular complications in dialysis patients that result in hyperlipidemia. The intake of phosphatidylcholine by dialysis patients can make cholesterol more soluble. Due to increased solubility of cholesterol, there will be less hardening of arteries in dialysis patients.

In research in 1980, patients of dialysis with a cholesterol level greater than 260 mg/dl and level of triglycerides in the body greater than 210 mg/dl were given the phosphatidylcholine or placebo. The patient with phosphatidylcholine intake shows a decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

This result shows that phosphatidylcholine drugs can be used for treating hyperlipidemia. The cholesterol level of patients decreased after two weeks of phosphatidylcholine supplement intake compared to those who intake a placebo.

Similarly, the triglycerides level of patients also decreased within four weeks than those patients who intake the placebo group. These results demonstrated that phosphatidylcholine supplements could best reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which lower the risks of cardiovascular problems in kidney patients. 

  1. Increased memory

Many kinds of research and experiments show that deficiency of phosphatidylcholine can lead to many brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and memory loss. An experiment was conducted in the 1990s on 100 young women and men. The result of the experiment shows that Phosphatidylcholine drugs can increase the memory of humans and help improve the brain's functioning.

It was also proved that if Phosphatidylcholine used along with choline and acetylcholine, it can also decrease the risk of dementia. A study was conducted in 2015 about the effects of Phosphatidylcholine on the memory of humans.

The study results showed that Alzheimer patients have a lower concentration of Phosphatidylcholine than a healthy person. Phosphatidylcholine supplements produced acetylcholine, which increased the memory of a person. If one has a low level of Phosphatidylcholine, then there are chances that his/ her memory becomes weak.

 Another research in 2017 demonstrated that Alzheimer's disease is directly related to levels of Phosphatidylcholine. These studies and research prove that it is important to maintain an appropriate level of Phosphatidylcholine for better memory, learning, and functioning of the brain. 

  1. Help in the reduction of side effects of medication

Phosphatidylcholine can also reduce or help in dealing with the side effects of certain medications. For example, excessive use of NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can cause serious gastrointestinal side effects. It can cause intestinal perforation, stomach pain, and gastric bleeding.

A study was conducted in 2012, which proved that the excessive use of NSAIDs could disrupt the phospholipid layer of the tract of gastrointestinal. Disruption of the gastrointestinal tract can result in gastrointestinal injury. Phosphatidylcholine supplements can avoid gastrointestinal injury as it can prevent NSAID damage to the gastrointestinal tract.

Many studies were conducted on rats to understand the action of Phosphatidylcholine drugs. The results demonstrated that Phosphatidylcholine reduces the toxicity of NSAID in rats as well. It was also found out Phosphatidylcholine supplements can reduce the chances of development of stomach ulcers due to stomach injuries caused by NSAID. 

  1. Phosphatidylcholine performs lipolysis

Lipolysis is the process of breakdown of fats in the body. The breakdown of fats includes the conversion of triglyceride into free fatty acids and glycerol. Phosphatidylcholine supplements can enhance lipolysis. Phosphatidylcholine increased the production of gamma receptors, which play a major role in the breakdown of fats. The injections of Phosphatidylcholine have been used for the breaking down of fats in fats cells in many European countries since 2002. In research, it was found out that Phosphatidylcholine injections can breakdown the eyelids fats. The result proved that Phosphatidylcholine supplements are also beneficial for cosmetic purposes.

Phosphatidylcholine supplements can reduce fats of abdomen, hips, chin, back neck, and thigh. The reduction if fats in these areas can be seen by taking an injection of Phosphatidylcholine in two to three years. According to an experiment in 2013, the injection of Phosphatidylcholine in lipoma can reduce its size and kill its fat cells. If there is less level of Phosphatidylcholine in the body, then too many fats will store in the body.

Excessive fat may occur lipomas to form. Lipomas are hard to remove. They are usually removed with surgery. They cause pain and form benign fatty tumors. 

The Phosphatidylcholine supplements increase the production of the PPAR gamma receptor, which is required for lipolysis. Phosphatidylcholine thus level is a faster breakdown of body fats. Many kinds of research prove that it can be safely used for weight loss and a faster reduction in fats. 

The cholesterol level of patients decreased after two weeks of Phosphatidylcholine supplement intake compared to those who intake a placebo. Similarly, the triglycerides level of patients also decreased within four weeks than those patients who intake the placebo group. These results demonstrated that Phosphatidylcholine supplements could best reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which lower the risks of cardiovascular problems in kidney patients. 

  1. Role of Phosphatidylcholine in liver health

Phosphatidylcholine is considered one of the best supplements for treating many liver diseases such as hepatitis, alcoholic hepatic steatosis, and drug-induced liver damage. The experiment of Phosphatidylcholine on both animals and humans proves that it gives a hepatoprotective effect. Phosphatidylcholine plays a role in the liver by distributing cholesterol and fats in extrahepatic tissues.

PC performs this function by packing cholesterol and fat into VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein) and then secrete them from the liver. Low level of Phosphatidylcholine can cause inadequate, very-low-density lipoprotein secretion, which can lead to the accumulation of fats in the liver.

The accumulation of fats in the liver can result in liver damage by following a set of reactions involving dysfunction of mitochondria, production of ROS (reactive oxygen species), damage of DNA, inflammation of cells, apoptosis of cells, and then damage of liver cells and liver. The presence of an appropriate amount of Phosphatidylcholine in the body helps promote the liver's health. Phosphatidylcholine can improve liver health in many ways, such as:

  1. Help in reduction of enzymes of the liver which cause liver damage
  2. Help in the protection of liver against toxic chemicals and side effects of medication
  3. Decrease the accumulation of fats in the liver
  4. Play a role in the improvement of function and structure of the liver
  5. Help in reduction of ROS (reactive oxygen species)
  6. Phosphatidylcholine also reduces liver inflammation.
  1. Role of Phosphatidylcholine in cell membrane

The Phosphatidylcholine plays a major role in the maintenance of cell membrane as it is its main component. It provides structure to the cell membrane. It also regulates fluidity of membrane in addition to its structural support. It also performs as a precursor for cell signaling and helps the cell to perform its functions.

If the right amount of Phosphatidylcholine is present in the body, then the cell membrane will function normally. Cell membranes will reduce the fats by breaking down and secreting them outside the cell. The Phosphatidylcholine is also beneficial for damaged liver tissues.

The Phosphatidylcholine helps in the replacement of the mass of cell membranes in the liver. This will occur only when the required level of Phosphatidylcholine is available for incorporation into the cell membrane. The presence of the right amount of Phosphatidylcholine in the cell membrane will dissolve the extra fats and secrete it outside the body. 

  1. Reduction in cardiovascular disease

The Phosphatidylcholine also plays a role in the maintenance of cardiovascular disease. PC maintains cardiovascular health by providing a methyl group, which helps in converting homocysteine to methionine, and manages metabolism and transport of lipids. 

Many types of research and experiments proved that Phosphatidylcholine supplements could reduce cardiovascular diseases by lowering the concentration of plasma homocysteine. Phosphatidylcholine supplementation gives choline, which oxidizes into betaine. Betaine is used to convert homocysteine into methionine. 

Many types of research were conducted on animals to study the role of Phosphatidylcholine in reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases. The study results show that Phosphatidylcholine injections can decrease the obesity issues of high fated diets like lipid accumulation, hyperlipidemia, and weight gain. These all are high risks factors for cardiovascular disease. These results can also be seen in humans if studies are done on humans as well.

Excessive intake of Phosphatidylcholine can result in the risk of heart disease. In a study, it was found that trimethylamine N-oxide which is a byproduct of Phosphatidylcholine, can cause atherosclerosis. The Phosphatidylcholine injections increased the level of blood triglyceride in 20 participants of the study. But in the same study, it was found out that Phosphatidylcholine decreases homocysteine. Homocysteine is one of the main risk factors of heart disease. So we can say that the right amount of intake of Phosphatidylcholine can decrease the risks which cause heart problems.

  1. PC improved the functioning of the nervous system

Phosphatidylcholine supplementation has positive effects on the cognitive function of the nervous system. Intake of Phosphatidylcholine supplements improves the nervous system functioning. The main group of Phosphatidylcholine, choline helps in the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays a role in many nervous functions such as memory development, muscle control, and circadian rhythm.

Phosphatidylcholine provides an essential supply of choline to the nervous system, enabling it to perform effectively and efficiently. It is also an important part of the neuronal membrane. It plays a neuroprotective role.

Phosphatidylcholine also protects the nerves. If there is less level of Phosphatidylcholine, then inflammation can occur in brain memory and learning part hippocampus. Due to inflammation, new neurons will not produce, which results in memory loss and malfunctioning of the nervous system. Research and experiments done on animals show that Phosphatidylcholine can prevent inflammation in the hippocampus by suppressing the production of TNF alpha. 

  1. Brain development in infants

Much research and experiments on animal and human trials have demonstrated that choline is an essential element for infants' brains. Many doctors also suggested the intake of Phosphatidylcholine supplements to patients during pregnancy. The right amount of intake of choline during pregnancy results in:

  1. Development of the proper structure of the brain
  2. Ensure ideal functioning of the brain
  3. Enhance cognition and memory
  4. Help in the prevention of mental illness and congenital disabilities 

In research, it was found that parental Phosphatidylcholine supplementation results in the promotion of the developing brain and the prevention of mental illness in the fetus. Phosphatidylcholine supplementation is the main source of choline, which is essential for brain development. 

In research, 50 mothers who received prenatal Phosphatidylcholine supplementation, their 3 to 4-year-old children show less social withdrawal and attention problems. 

In another study of one hundred pregnant women, it was demonstrated that supplementation of Phosphatidylcholine prevents any kind of deal in brain development in the fetus. 

It is also necessary that Phosphatidylcholine supplement should be taken as prescribed by a physician. Because in a study of one hundred and fifty pregnant women, who intake enough choline, the prenatal Phosphatidylcholine did not enhance cognition in infants. The reason can be that Phosphatidylcholine supplementation is only effective in the low intake of choline. 

  1. Phosphatidylcholine prevents inflammation

The result of many studies shows that Phosphatidylcholine helps in decreasing inflammation. Choline can reduce inflammation. Choline is derived from Phosphatidylcholine. It has anti-inflammatory properties that enable it to act as an anti-inflammatory substance in stress conditions. Chronic and systematic inflammation is the reason for various chronic health issues associated with aging. It is required that it should be kept in check.

A research was conducted on mice in 2009, which demonstrated dietary supplementation of Phosphatidylcholine could decrease inflammation. The dietary Phosphatidylcholine reduced inflammation in mice to improve rheumatoid arthritis. Another research on mice demonstrated that Phosphatidylcholine decreased inflammatory white blood cells.

It can also decrease pleurisy inflammation, which is inflammation of the lungs and its surrounding. The experiment done on humans in 2005 shows that Phosphatidylcholine decreased inflammation in patients with chronic ulcerative colitis. In a study of cells, researchers found that the ability of Phosphatidylcholine to decrease inflammation is due to TNF alpha.

  1. Phosphatidylcholine brings improvement in exercise performance

Research shows that Phosphatidylcholine can increase exercise performance and helpful in sports activities. As in sports activities, the level of choline has depleted. Phosphatidylcholine oral supplements can improve well being by reducing muscle soreness after exercise.

But excessive intake of Phosphatidylcholine supplements can have serious side effects. It should only be taken only on the advice of a doctor. The patient with Phosphatidylcholine intake shows a decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This result shows that Phosphatidylcholine drugs can be used for treating hyperlipidemia. The cholesterol level of patients decreased after two weeks of Phosphatidylcholine supplement intake compared to those who intake a placebo.

Similarly, the triglycerides level of patients also decreased within four weeks than those patients who intake the placebo group. These results demonstrated that Phosphatidylcholine supplements could best reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which lower the risks of cardiovascular problems in kidney patients. 

Precautions

There were many experiments and researches conducted on Phosphatidylcholine and its uses. It proved a safe supplement. But it can cause side effects like:

  1. Vomiting
  2. Sweating
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Upset of stomach
  5. Nausea

The injections of Phosphatidylcholine can have the following possible side effects:

  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Burning
  • Swelling
  • Bruising

Doctors suggested that Phosphatidylcholine injections should not directly inject in fat deposits as it can cause necrosis, the death of tissues and inflammation. Doctors also suggest that long term use of Phosphatidylcholine supplements should be avoided.

The injections of Phosphatidylcholine directly in fat deposits are dangerous for heart patients, patients of the kidney, uncontrolled diabetes patients, pregnant women, and people suffering from any infection. If Phosphatidylcholine injection is directly injected into lipoma, it can result in tumors that have to be removed from surgery. 

The right dosage of Phosphatidylcholine supplements

People can intake Phosphatidylcholine in the form of injections, tablets, or capsules. FDA does not approve a Phosphatidylcholine supplement. So, people should not take them without consulting doctors. It is necessary to intake Phosphatidylcholine only on the advice of your doctor. The below-mentioned dosing of Phosphatidylcholine is a general review.

It does not apply to everyone. The patient with Phosphatidylcholine intake shows a decrease in cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This result shows that Phosphatidylcholine drugs can be used for treating hyperlipidemia.

The cholesterol level of patients decreased after two weeks of Phosphatidylcholine supplement intake compared to those who intake a placebo. Similarly, the triglycerides level of patients also decreased within four weeks than those patients who intake the placebo group. These results demonstrated that Phosphatidylcholine supplements could best reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which lower the risks of cardiovascular problems in kidney patients. 

According to their doctors, people should take Phosphatidylcholine supplements according to their age, health, etc. 

  • The injection of Phosphatidylcholine for reduction of fats contains between 40 to 60 cc. 
  • The oral uptake of Phosphatidylcholine doses should range from .5 to 5g one time a day for about twelve weeks.
  • For patients who have ulcerative colitis, 1 to 6 gram of Phosphatidylcholine per day in divided doses.

Phosphatidylcholine is safe from pregnant women. It does not affect pregnancy. It plays a role in the better development of the fetus's brain. 

There is not any reliable research done on the intake of Phosphatidylcholine during breastfeeding. So it is suggested one should avoid it or consult with a doctor. Many types of research were conducted on animals to study the role of Phosphatidylcholine in reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases. The study results show that Phosphatidylcholine injections can decrease the obesity issues of high fated diets like lipid accumulation, hyperlipidemia, and weight gain. These all are high risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

These results can also be seen in humans if studies are done on humans as well.

Excessive intake of Phosphatidylcholine can result in the risk of heart disease. In a study, it was found that trimethylamine N-oxide which is a byproduct of Phosphatidylcholine, can cause atherosclerosis. The Phosphatidylcholine injections increased the level of blood triglyceride in 20 participants of the study. But in the same study, it was found out that Phosphatidylcholine decreases homocysteine. Homocysteine is one of the main risk factors of heart disease. So we can say that the right amount of intake of Phosphatidylcholine can decrease the risks which cause heart problems.

Tips for taking Phosphatidylcholine supplements

As Phosphatidylcholine supplement plays a role in decreasing fats deposit. So people take it without consulting the doctor. It may have weight loss effects, but one should not take on his/her own. If your doctor is prescribing the Phosphatidylcholine, then take it in the right amount at the right time. Disruption of the gastrointestinal tract can result in gastrointestinal injury.

Phosphatidylcholine supplements can avoid gastrointestinal injury as it can prevent NSAID damage to the gastrointestinal tract. Many studies were conducted on rats to understand the action of Phosphatidylcholine drugs. The results demonstrated that Phosphatidylcholine reduces the toxicity of NSAID in rats as well. It was also found out Phosphatidylcholine supplements can reduce the chances of development of stomach ulcers due to stomach injuries caused by NSAID.

 It plays a neuroprotective role. Phosphatidylcholine also protects the nerves. If there is less level of Phosphatidylcholine, then inflammation can occur in brain memory and learning part hippocampus. Due to inflammation, new neurons will not produce, which results in memory loss and malfunctioning of the nervous system. Research and experiments done on animals show that Phosphatidylcholine can prevent inflammation in the hippocampus by suppressing the production of TNF alpha. 

Conclusion

It is concluded that Phosphatidylcholine plays a major role in liver protection and detoxification provides choline to the body for lipid transport and metabolism, methylation reactions, neurotransmitter synthesis, and brain development in infant’s cell signaling, and proper functioning of the liver.

The Phosphatidylcholine is made of choline, two fatty acids, and a glycerol body. It is present in every cell of the body. However, if one faces its deficiency, it can be obtained from various food sources like egg yolk, soybeans, beef, squid, and chicken liver. It plays a part in maintaining the structure of cells. It protects our liver, performs lipolysis, makes a layer of protein and fats around the lungs, and protects the nerve by increasing acetylcholine and choline levels. 

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