If you are looking for help with your memory or if you need to strengthen and repair your liver, there is a supplement called Phosphatidylcholine, also known as PC, that you should definitely consider.
What Is Phosphatidylcholine?
Phosphatidylcholine is a phospholipid attached to a Choline particle that is present in every single cell of your body as a key component of its membrane. It improves communication between nerves by increasing Choline and Acetylcholine levels in the brain, helps to break down fats and improves liver health.
Phosphatidylcholine levels may decrease with age. Low levels of PC are associated with memory loss, Alzheimer disease, schizophrenia, fatty liver and ulcerative colitis.
How does Phosphatidylcholine work?
Phosphatidylcholine has been used for a long time in the food industry to emulsify fat, and in the body it will do the same. As you probably know, the buildup of fat is known to negatively affect the liver, as it may cause cirrhosis or nonalcoholic fatty liver.
Fat builds up in the liver, the gallbladder and blood vessels. Using PC can help in breakdown of fat in the body, making it a good treatment for fatty liver, gallstones and high blood pressure related to clogged arteries.
Phosphatidylcholine’s best documented use is for improving liver damage and, more specifically, speeding up the functional and structural rebuilding of liver tissue. It is potentially beneficial for repairing the liver due to hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and people who suffer from alcohol induced fatty liver disease and who are also deficient in Choline may see improvements in their condition after having been supplemented with PC.
Phosphatidylcholine is also important to brain function and memory, because it protects cell membranes and helps to make neurotransmitters. It can also be used in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. PC supplementation can increase the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine in the brain, repairing neural connections and brain cells and improving memory, cognition, focus, alertness and mood.
Phosphatidylcholine is a large component of cell membranes and it helps to regulate what goes into and out of the cell. It can cross the blood-brain barrier, which allows it to work in the brain to enhance memory through the production of nerve transmitters like Acetylcholine.
The protective coating of nerve and brain cells is made up largely of Choline, and Phosphatidylcholine helps to make the myelin sheath that protects nerves. It is the myelin sheath that degenerates and produces the symptoms of MS.
Dosing considerations for Phosphatidylcholine
There are some drugs that will deplete Lecithin, which naturally contains Phosphatidylcholine. If you are taking oral contraceptives, estrogen, sulfa drugs, processed foods, coffee or alcohol, then you may need more Phosphatidylcholine, because these all deplete Lecithin and Phosphatidylcholine levels in the body.
The optimum dosage of Phosphatidylcholine is 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams daily taken with food for optimal absorption. Foods that naturally contain Phosphatidylcholine are egg yolks, soybeans, fish, whole grains, legumes and nutritional yeast. It can be difficult to get the high doses of Phosphatidylcholine from food alone, so you may need to supplement.
You can use Lecithin as a source of Phosphatidylcholine, because it contains about 10 to 20% of it. Otherwise, Phosphatidylcholine is available in capsules or soft gels. Doctors practicing complementary medicine recommend Phosphatidylcholine for MS and fatty liver disease. Take Phosphatidylcholine with Inositol for brain health or take it with B vitamins and milk thistle for liver support.
So remember: Phosphatidylcholine helps to break down fat in the body, and it can be used for fatty liver disease, gallstones and arteriosclerosis. It is also used for better memory and degenerative disturbed disease like multiple sclerosis. Take 1000 to 3000 milligrams daily with food and be sure to use it with Inositol, B vitamins and milk thistle.
To reduce the risk of side effects, you should start with the lowest possible dose and gradually work your way up to a full dose. Be always sure to follow your doctor’s instructions and/or the manufacturer’s guidelines.
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- Volinsky R, Kinnunen PK. Oxidized phosphatidylcholines in membrane-level cellular signaling: from biophysics to physiology and molecular pathology. FEBS J. (2013)