The liver performs many important functions, including processing nutrients, converting sugars to glycogen stores, producing hormones, clearing old blood cells, and detoxifying the body.
Modern lifestyle imposes great stress on the liver so it is important that we can help it to function at its best.
Phosphatidylcholine (PPC) is a clinically significant ingredient for any liver protocol. PhosChol® is a pharmaceutical grade PPC providing highest potency of 1,2-dilauroyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphorylcholine (DLPC), the primary active component.
Clinical studies suggest PPC’s benefits stem from its vital role in the cell membranes:
- Restructures damaged membranes
- Normalizes cellular permeability
- Improves cell metabolism
- Reactivates membrane-bound enzymes
PPC is Crucial in Liver Function and Health
Cell membranes act as barriers to protect the cells, maintaining their structure and functions. Being a predominant component in cell membranes, PPC’s unique beneficial effect is based on its ability to be incorporated into liver cell membranes where it restores membrane structure, increases membrane fluidity, and facilitates membrane-dependent functions, eg. receptors and transport molecules.1-3
PPC improves liver functions through the following modes of action:
- As an antioxidant and defence mechanism against membrane damage by increasing the activity of detoxifying enzymes
- As a membrane component to restore, repair, and regenerate cell membranes
- Facilitates membrane-related liver metabolic functions
- Inhibits liver inflammation
- Reduces liver fat accumulation
- Bile stabilization
- Anti-fibrogenesis to avoid liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis
- Stimulates liver cell regeneration
PPC in Arterial Health
Mounting evidence suggests PPC is also incorporated into blood lipoproteins, and that PPC supplementation supports the transport of cholesterol from the arterial walls to the liver for processing, similar to the well-documented function of HDL-cholesterol.4, 5
Research also supports PPC’s critical role in helping to reduce LDL oxidation.6, 7 In fact, a growing body of research shows that PPC can help maintain healthy lipoprotein profiles.8
PPC in Brain Health
The benefits come from its role in the formation and release of acetylcholine, a vital messenger chemical used by brain cells in the memory centers of the brain (hippocampus and septum). Maintaining healthy levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is essential to muscle control, sleep, and cognitive function.9, 10
Our body requires free choline in the blood in order to manufacture acetylcholine. When PhosChol® is ingested, it provides free choline, passes the blood brain barrier and becomes available for the manufacture of acetylcholine. A number of studies show that pharmaceutical grade PPC is the most effective method of delivering choline to the brain.
PPC in Diabetics
PPC helps to prevent the complications of diabetes by:
- Protecting the insulin-protecting cells in the pancreas against oxidative stress11
- Acting as an anti-fibrogenic agent
- Helping to treat the metabolic syndrome by improving lipid levels12
- Delaying and inhibiting diabetes-associated vascular processes, and improving symptoms such as reduced walking distance and myocardial infarction13, 14
PPC in Gut Health
The surface of the stomach, known as the mucosal, protects the stomach wall from the high concentrations of acid and the enzymes present in the stomach’s contents. Without this protection, the stomach wall would be digested along with the food suspension that the stomach contains.
Disturbances, like alcohol, stress, reflux of bile, operations involving the gut, can lead to the disruption of stomach lining cause pain, or in more severe forms, gastric ulcers or cancer. Some pain medication often referred to as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also cause significant erosion.15-17
Phospholipids, especially PPC, are essential components of the mucosa. By integrating into the cell membranes, PPC helps protect the gastrointestinal mucosa against stress ulcer formation and NSAID-induced inflammation.18-20 A promising study also reveal that PPC treatment can help patients with inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, to be less dependent on steroid therapy.21
PhosChol® has been used:
- As an adjunct therapy for acute and chronic hepatitis; cirrhosis; intoxications; fatty degeneration of the liver of any origin; functional cholestasis; prophylaxis of gallstone formation; pre-and postoperative care, especially in liver/gallbladder surgery.
- In lipid metabolism and atherosclerotic disorders, aiding cholesterol mobilization and removal from arterial walls
- Diabetes-associated dyslipidemia and diabetes induced peripheral, coronary and cerebral disturbances of circulation.
Dosage and Use
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- Life Sci. 1997;61(19):1907-14.
- Zierenberg O. et al. Atherosclerosis. 1981 Jul;39(4):527−42.
- Atherosclerosis. 2000 Sep;152(1):89–95.
- J Hepatol. 2009 Jun;50(6):1236-46.
- Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1995 Dec;9(6):779–84.
- J Neurol Sci. 2011 Jun 15;305(1-2):34-7.
- Curr Biol. 2015 Jun 1;25(11):1461-8.
- Aleynik SI, Leo MA, Aleynik MK et al.: Alcohol-induced pancreatic oxidative stress: Protection by phospholipid repletion. Free Radic Biol Med 26 (5/6): 609-619, 1999
- Kirsten R et al.: Polyenylphosphatidylcholine improves the lipoprotein profile in diabetic patients. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 32(2): 53-6, 1994
- Klimov AN et al.: "Essential" phospholipids versus nicotinic acid in the treatment of patients with type Iib hyperlipoproteinemia and ischemic heart disease. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther 9(6):779-84, 1995
- Tokes T, Eros G, Bebes A, et al. Protective effects of a phosphatidylcholine-enriched diet in lipopolysaccharide-induced experimental neuroinflammation in the rat. Shock. 2011 Nov;36(5): 458-65.
- Raskin JB: Gastrointestinal effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory therapy. Am J Med 106(5B), 1999
- Wolfe MM et al.: Gastrointestinal toxicity of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NEJM 340(24):1888-99, 1999
- Anand BS et al.: Phospholipid association reduces the gastric mucosal toxicity of aspirin in human subjects. Am J Gastroenterol 94(7):1818-22, 1999
- Dunjic BS et al.: Gastroprotective capability of exogenous phosphatidylcholine in experimentally induced chronic ulcers in rats. Scand J Gastroenterol; 28: 89-94, 1993
- Fabia R et al.: Effects of phosphatidylcholine on acetic acid-induced colitis in the rat. Digestion 53: 35-44, 1992
- Lichtenberger LM et al.: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) associate with zwitterionic phospholipids: Insight into the mechanism and reversal of NSAID-induced gastrointestinal injury. Nature Medicine 1(2): 154-58, 1995
- Stremmel W, Ehehalt R, Autschbach F, Karner M. Phosphatidylcholine for steroid-refractory chronic ulcerative colitis: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2007 Nov 6;147(9):603-10.