Phosphatidylcholine

Naturopathic Doctors of the Nardella clinic in Calgary use intravenous Phosphatidylcholine to help improve cardiovascular and neurological health.

What is Phosphatidylcholine?

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 Phosphatidyl Choline (PC).

As we age, the phospholipid make-up 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, we 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 acetylcholine.  This application is used by our Calgary clinic naturopaths in anti-aging related issues and neurological disease.

Conditions Treated with Phosphatidylcholine

Phosphatidylcholine has also been shown to improve cardiovascular and respiratory health, especially in individuals exposed to reduced oxygen environments. Naturopathic Doctors 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.

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.

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. Along the same lines, phosphatidylcholine can help improve the neurological system as a whole.

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