by Daniela Aguiniga MD
The cell membrane is structural skin that surrounds all cells of the body. It serves as a doorway to allow nutrients in and out of the cell and it is vibrant with activity. The cell membrane is often considered the essence of life. While the cell can carry on when other parts of the body undergo damage, including DNA damage, without the membrane, the cell will cease to function and die. The volume of the cell membrane is incredible with the liver containing about 300,000 square feet of membrane, the amount of about four and half football fields. Therefore, for optimal health and for healing, it is essential that we do everything we can to protect the cell membrane; here is where phosphatidyl choline (PC) enters the picture. It has been called “Life’s Designer Molecule” by some of the most well-known researchers in the area of lipid (fat) studies. Let’s take a deeper look at the cell membrane and how phosphatidyl choline, this miracle molecule, can help with healing.
The cell membrane has the capacity to be permeable or impermeable depending on the molecule that wants to cross. The type of fats we consume in our diet become part of the membrane and affect the composition, impacting many of its functions. Structure and function of the cell membrane depend upon the balance of structural fats including cholesterol and essential fatty such as omega 6 and
omega 3. When this membrane has a high percentage of trans fats (margarine and most processed foods), and an abnormally high percentage of cholesterol, the membrane becomes more rigid and has less fluidity. Proper fluidity is needed for the ease of transport of nutrients into the cell, as well as the equally important function of expulsion of waste materials out of the cell. Proper balance of dietary fats, which become membrane fats, is needed otherwise membrane function becomes compromised.
Phosphatidyl choline is one of four phospholipids that make up the cell membrane and it is considered the most important of all, making up about 50% of the membrane. Supplementation with PC may offer exciting benefits for a wide range of health conditions. It helps the liver do its job better and helps to maintain the proper ratio of phospholipids on the cell membrane. This is how PC helps with age-related changes. Some authors report improvement of patient symptoms with a number of health conditions when supplementing with phosphatidyl choline:
- Neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, ALS and autism
- Diabetic nephropathy and diabetic retinopathy
- Asthma and degenerative lung and small vessel diseases
- Chemical sensitivities
- Liver damage due to drugs, prescription medications, alcohol and toxins as well as liver diseases such as hepatitis C
- Estrogen related problems such as PMS, fibrocystic breast syndrome, and uterine fibroids
- Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and Lyme disease
Phosphatidyl Choline may be given orally in supplement form (see www.sanovivstore.com) however, chronic and serious neurodegenerative diseases may require a series of intravenous injections in order to make a significant impact. At Sanoviv, phosphatidyl choline is used both orally and intravenously for a wide variety of conditions in and effort to heal and protect the cell membrane and reverse a number of biological distortions.
So how can we improve the health of our cell membranes? Have a solid understanding of the food choices that enhance membrane function and health. Dietary sources of phosphatidyl choline include bee pollen, whole eggs, oat bran, beef and beef liver, Atlantic cod, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, shrimp, peanuts, salmon, milk, non-GMO soybeans, nuts and seeds. Be sure to avoid hydrogenated oils and trans fats to optimize the health and integrity of the cell membranes.
PC also improves the bioavailability of other nutrients that are administered with it, acting as a great emulsifier of fats as an example. For this reason, it has been shown to be helpful in preventing gallstones and has also demonstrated improvements in insulin sensitivity thus helping in the prevention of diabetes. Thus “Life’s Designer Molecule” is an important part of our overall health.
I am in Canada. Is Phosphatidyl Serine a similar product? My son has Schizophrenia and on medication.
Although Phosphatidyl Serene (PS)is also a part of the cell membrane, you can think of Phosphatidyl Choline as the main structure of cell membranes.PS is often also helpful with brain issues. With Schizophrenia, diet has shown to be very helpful with the elimination of gluten and dairy.
YOUR informations are very useful. But essentially can not cover the whole spectrum of heath. The world today is fast getting into the grips of CANCER and searching the internet for answers, but nothing good, strong and sure shot is ever found — !! Do you have any information in targeting the brain tumor / cancers ? My wife is suffering since 2010 started with colon cancer and since then in and out the oncologists; now for radiation of the brain which is devastating. But not treating also invite the death !!
At Sanoviv we focus on prevention and taking good care of all aspects of your health before a chronic illness happens. Sometimes, if cancers are detected early, there are many more alternatives from which to choose.
I was wondering if Choline (as choline bitartrate) is the same as Phosphatidyl Choline? Will it work to treat Chronic illnesses such as Chronic Lyme Disease, Fibromyalgia etc?
Choline bitartrate is not the same as phosphatidyl choline (PC)and has different functions in the body. Since PC is helpful for maintaining the integrity of all cell membranes, it is beneficial for many chronic illnesses.
Can this program cure/ improve the life expectancy of a Marfan Syndrome patient?
Because phosphatidyl choline can improve the health of all cell membranes and therefore help all cells, including connective tissue, it would be beneficial to integrate this supplement into an overall treatment/supplement plan. We don’t know if it can cure it or improve life expectancy.
Is there a USANA product that would help promote PC in the body?
There is Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) in the Ginkgo product. Since PS is also a component of all cell membranes, this is one product that can support proper cell function.
One of my children had Cancer and over a period of a year he had four operations in which each time, I understand they removed a lymph-node from his arm. He also, I believe, had a number of sessions of Chemotherapy. He goes for regular checkups but apparently has no further indication of cancer, but now has ( perhaps not surprisingly) lymphoedema in the arm. Would phosphatidyl choline be beneficial for this. He takes the Essentials at present. Would it be beneficialv he also took Ginko.
I don’t know how much it would help with lymphoedema, but I do think that just for general nutrition and health it would be a good idea for him to be supplemented with phosphatidyl choline, Usanas ginkgo PS has phosphatidyl serine which is in the same group of phospholipids but it is not the same as phosphatidyl choline.
Dr Danielle Aguiniga
I visited Sanoviv in 2006 and learned that I was very toxic with numerous things and my body was highly inflamed. On their recommendation I had a DNA test done and found that I am missing a gene that helps to make L-glutathione which is one of the main detoxifying chemicals. My doctor has given me PC both orally and IV since 2006 and I have had very good success in recovery. Before treatment I had overall body pain, and was suffering from several secondary infections that my body had no energy to fight, including Epstein Bar Virus and Lyme Disease. I have been free of pain and symptoms of the infections for a year and a half. My doctor has also given me L-glutathione IV to detoxify me. He says the PC is to repair the cell walls from all the inflammation I had. Thanks to Sanoviv and Thanks to PC for the life I have now.
Dear Dr. Aguiniga, you were my doctor when I spent one week at Sanoviv in February of 2008. I had a wonderful experience and am still taking my Usana supplements and Iosol iodine. Does Usana’s Biomega have phosphatidyl choline in it? If not what Usana supplements have this important ingredient?
I would love to come to Sanoviv again soon, is it safe to travel into Mexico there now??
Sincerely Tamara Ballif
Most of the Usana supplements contain Phosphatidyl Choline as it is a component of lecithin, though not in significant amounts. When you see “soy lecithin” on a Usana label, it will contain some phosphatidyl choline. Note that the Gingko contains Phosphatidyl Serine, a similar and also important phospholipid.
Mexico is as safe as can be. Here at Sanoviv you are even more secure in our gated environment. I hope to see you soon. Peace
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Is Phosphatidyl Choline also beneficial in dealing with nerve problems due to possible LYME and other systemic infections?