Phosphatidylcholine

background

Phosphatidylcholine is the most abundant of the phospholipids, a class of specialized fat molecules, in plant and animal cells. Phosphatidylcholine is a key building block of cell membranes (the lining around each cell). It is also a precursor of acetylcholine, a compound required for normal brain activity.
Although phosphatidylcholine is present in almost all cells in the body, the highest concentrations may be found in the brain, heart, liver, and kidney. Liver, egg yolk, and peanuts are rich sources of dietary phosphatidylcholine.
For human health, phosphatidylcholine is most commonly used to treat liver conditions. There is some evidence of benefit in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and drug-induced high blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Injectable phosphatidylcholine has been used as an alternative to liposuction to break down localized fat deposits.

Related Terms

EPL, essential phospholipids, Essentiale®, lecithin, Lipostabil®, phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidylcholine, polyenyl-phosphatidyl choline, polyunsaturated phosphatidyl choline, PPC, Sterpur P-30 Granulat.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
Body fat reducer (fat deposits) (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that phosphatidylcholine injections may aid in the reduction of localized fat deposits. Further research is required before conclusions can be made.
Hepatic disease (failure) (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that phosphatidylcholine may be useful in the treatment of hepatic (liver) failure. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
Hepatitis (Grade: C)
Limited research suggests that phosphatidylcholine, in combination with interferon, may be useful in the treatment of some forms of chronic hepatitis. Further research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
Hyperlipoproteinemia (drug-induced) (Grade: C)
Preliminary research suggests that phosphatidylcholine may reduce clofibrate-induced increases in low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol. Additional research is needed before a conclusion can be made.
Ulcerative colitis (Grade: C)
Phosphatidylcholine is found on the inner lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and plays a key role in defense. Research suggests that increasing the level of phosphatidylcholine in the GI tract may improve the defense system and decrease inflammatory activity in ulcerative colitis. Additional research is required before conclusions can be made.