Phosphatidylcholine benefits everyone from babies to centenarians, whether it is through the natural consumption of it in our diets and the food we ear, or by taking additional Phosphatidylcholine from supplements.
Phosphatidylcholine is usually produced from the substance Lecithin which is made up of phosphate, fatty acids and choline. The constituents of phosphatidylcholine, especially the fatty acids and choline, help to make key in many health and disease related issues.
Phosphatidylcholine supplements are used for a number of therapeutic and healing or remedial reasons. For instance, individuals with liver disease, such as people with drug and alcohol induced liver problems, may directly from supplements containing Phosphatidylcholine.
The choline in phophatidylcholine is essential for metabolism of fatty acids and also for the transportation of fats through cell membranes. Phosphatidylcholine, being a key component of these cell membranes, makes it compound vital for maintaining cells structure and keeping them intact.
Choline is known to aid in the breakdown of fats in the body, and Phospholipids are one of the essential ingredients in bile, a substance secreted by the gallbladder to aid in the digestion of fat. In this process Choline acts as a methyl donor, fuelling the metabolic process than transports fatty acids from the liver to other tissues.
It has been well documented that Phosphatidylcholine is important for the normal healthy functioning of the Liver. Phosphatidylcholine has been studied both in its role in treatment of various liver diseases, but also its prevention. It has demonstrated beneficial effects including reducing liver fibrosis, in preventing the death of liver cells from toxins including drugs and alcohol, and also in protecting liver cells from viral damage.
If Choline levels drop below an optimal level, fat can then inadvertently build up in the liver hindering its metabolism. In Germany, Phosphatidylcholine supplements are advertised for many disorders such as liver disease including cirrhosis of the liver, fatty liver (often from diabetic related problems), acute and chronic hepatitis, and toxic liver damage.
Phosphatidylcholine has also been shown to be both protective and restorative of health on people with hepatitis. One study found that by administering Phosphatidylcholine to people with chronic, acute hepatitis, lead to substantial decrease in disease activity.
A different study showed that patients deficient in choline who had fatty liver disease (technical term hepatic steatosis), had a reversal of this condition upon supplementing with Choline. Finally another study on Alcholism showed the protection of liver cells in rats from alcohol induced toxicity. The speculated mechanism by the researchers is Phosphatidylcholine reduced oxiditive stress in the animals.
Phosphatidylcholine is a precursor to the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, a brain chemical very important to memory, particularly memory retention in the Hippocampus. Acetylcholine works through facilitating proper brain and nerve transmission.
Deficiencies in Acetylcholine are associated with many neurological disorders including the involuntary body jerking and facial ticks called tardive dyskinesia, the disease olivaponto-cerebellasatrophy which leads to the deteriotation of the brain, Friedrich’s ataxia which results in speech impairment and other movement disorders, Huntington’s chorea, and myasthenia gravis that is charasterised by gradual paralysis.
Perhaps the most well known is Alzheimer’s disease, which can to lead to a deficiency in Acetylcholine. It is believed that this lack of Acetylcholine is responsible for the memory problems we see in this horrible disease.