Phosphatidyl Choline, Your Brain, Body And More
Phosphatidyl Choline, or PC, is oftentimes considered synonymous with lecithin largely owing to the fact that it was the first constituent of the latter to be identified. While present day sources of both lecithin and phosphatidylcholine comprise a long list of plant and animal products, the word lecithin is in fact derived from an ancient Greek word that translates as egg yolk, the first known food to contain significant amounts of PC.
Lecithin comprises phosphatidyl choline and many other organic compounds categorized as pigments giving certain animal and plant tissues their bright yellow or golden brown coloration, as is the case with egg yolk and soy beans. PC has a distinct lipophilic molecular structure, and belongs to a class of lipids called phospholipids, which make up the outer leaflet of all cell membranes in the human body.
Maintains Cellular Health
It is a well established fact that phosphatidyl choline is a major constituent of all cells of our body. The outermost layer of cells, called the cell membranes, consist of a lipid bilayer that is responsible for many cellular activities. The exoplasmic leaflet of this bilayer necessitates the presence of PC along with other phospholipids. It has long been postulated that the formation of a specialized microdomain called lipid rafts within the cell membrane is pivotal to the process of cell signaling, and these lipid rafts contain twice the amount of PC present in the surrounding region. The presence of PC not only protects each cell but also makes sure that the lipid bilayer is at a level of viscosity required to produce cellular fluidity. All of these translate to more effective cellular activities.
Phosphatidyl Choline and Memory
Improves Memory Capacity
From a chemical structure point of view, phosphatidyl choline contains choline as the head group and unsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid for instance, as the tail group. Inside our body, it can be broken down into important metabolites, such as phosphatidic acid, choline, and certain fatty acids. Oleic acid in particular has been in use to treat progressive brain damage and other degenerative diseases of the nervous system. Choline is an active precursor of acetylcholine, a ubiquitous neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, where the formation of memories takes place. The use of PC to slow down the process of aging, especially the shrinkage of brain material characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease, has long been advocated by health professionals.
Stimulates Tissue Recovery
A recent study points to the role of phosphatidyl choline in the healing of hepatocytes, the cells that make up the liver, and this has been supported by trials involving patients diagnosed with viral hepatitis. There are many other studies investigating the potential of PC in medicine, notably in restoring the overall health of tissues, in that the scientific community is convinced that PC is quite indispensable at the cellular level. While PC is present in every single cell, it has been observed that its availability in our body is not always at its peak, making supplementation a healthy option.