Phosphatidylcholine – What is It?
The human cell membrane is composed of phospholipids, which specifically make up the phospholipid bilayer. The outer part of the cell membrane is polar (higher in energy) and the inner layer is nonpolar (lower in energy). Other components that are a part of the phospholipid bilayer include cholesterol, sphingomyelin, and Phosphatidylcholine (PC).
As we age, the phospholipid makeup of the cell membrane changes. This results in a
reduction of phosphatidylcholine and increase in cholesterol and sphingomyelin, which make the cell membrane more rigid and less flexible. Therefore, when we administer phosphatidylcholine, the high amount can replace the sphingomyelin and cholesterol in the cell membrane, increasing the fluidity of the cell membrane.
Phosphatidylcholine is found in foods such as eggs, soybeans, and sunflower. Our bodies use phosphatidylcholine to make acetylcholine, which is an important neurotransmitter in our brains used for nerve signaling.
A protein in blood capillaries traps the choline and transports the choline to the brain, across the Blood Brain Barrier, which is also composed of a lipid layer. The choline then helps to make nerve membranes. The choline also promotes the production of neurotransmitter acetylcho- line. Intravenous phosphatidylcholine can help move these processes along quicker and improve brain function. This application is used by our center in anti-aging related issues and neurological disease.
Conditions Treated with Phosphatidylcholine
In similarity to the brain, we use intravenous phosphatidylcholine to help delay age- related changes to cardiac muscles. Phosphatidylcholine has also been shown to improve cardiovascular and respiratory health, especially in individuals exposed to reduced oxygen environments. We use intravenous PC to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL), therefore improving the LDL:HDL ratio. In athletes, damage to the aorta is common because of the high amounts of blood flow required to push through the heart during exercise. Research has shown that PC can reduce the damage done to aortic cells, at the molecular level of the cell membrane.
In addition, we use phosphatidylcholine in atherosclerosis treatment, as it improves the removal of plaque accumulations in vascular tissue and reduces the risk of a heart attack. Furthermore, phosphatidylcholine plays an important role in the liver. Phosphatidylcholine was studied among patients who were diagnosed with fatty liver disease, liver fibrosis, and liver infection. Blood markers significantly improved over time and all of the treatment groups receiving intravenous PC benefited. We have had remarkable success with this application. Studies have also shown that intravenous phosphatidylcholine can improve metabolic and detoxification potential in patients with liver cirrhosis.
Where phosphatidylcholine use really shines is in the neurological system. In clinical settings, phosphatidylcholine can help to increase memory and cognition because it can help maintain the integrity of cellular membranes in the brain. Brain fog can be a common symptom in chronic infection and disease and PC can help improve brain function, while other therapies target inflammation and immune optimization. Additionally, phosphatidylcholine can help improve the neurological system as a whole. We have seen patients benefit from phosphatidylcholine in conditions such as Dementia and Post-Concussion Syndrome. We also see benefit through its use in combination with EDTA chelation to support cardiovascular health. One of our major clinical uses for IV PC is Diabetic Neuropathy. The pain, burning, and numbness should decrease or even resolve within approximately ten IV treatments.