What is Phosphatidyl Choline?
Phosphatidyl choline is the active ingredient in lecithin. Lecithin is a fatty substance that is needed for a wide variety of crucial bodily functions, such as building cell membranes and helping nutrients move in and out of cells.
Phosphatidyl choline, which is an important source of the B vitamin Choline, only comprises about 15% of the lecithin that we derive from natural food sources; however, lecithin supplements can contain a wide range of between 10% to 98% of this active ingredient. The higher the concentration, the more expensive the supplement.
How can Phosphatidyl Choline benefit you?
Phosphatidyl choline breaks down fat deposits in the body, making it valuable in the prevention of atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is also essential to the liver, and helps strengthen its role in removing toxins from the body. As such, people afflicted with hepatitis and cirrhosis may find it beneficial. It can also enhance gallbladder health, and prevent gallstones.
Phosphatidyl choline is broken down into choline in the body, and a lack of choline will adversely affect healthy adults quickly. Studies have shown, in fact, that within 30 days of a choline deficient diet, indications of liver problems will manifest.
New and promising studies also show that this supplement may enhance memory and help people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. However, as of now, these tests have been confined to rats, and not human subjects.
Very high doses of phosphatidyl choline may induce nausea, sweating, and diarrhea. There is no RDA (recommended daily allowance) set for this nutrient, so erring on the side of caution and taking a supplement dosage anywhere from 25 mgs to 100 mgs is probably safest, since we also obtain it from food sources, such as eggs, peanuts, and liver.
The therapeutic efficacy for phosphatidyl choline is strongest for its ability to enhance liver health and function. However, in recent years it has become touted as a virtual cure-all ranging from cancer to high cholesterol to failing memory. Although it may indeed one day prove beneficial for all of these conditions and more, current research and studies into this substance do not yet live up to the hype.
However, because the functioning of the liver plays such a crucial role in the body, and because phosphatidyl choline deficiency causes health complications rather quickly, we believe taking it as a supplement in moderate doses is warranted.
Country Life's Biochem Phosphatidyl Choline
Solgar's Lecithin ""95"" Granules