Q: WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PHOSPHOLIPIDS?
A: Phosphatidyl serine (PS) has an extremely convincing clinical record to alleviate many of the symptoms of age-related cognitive decline. Good clinical data suggests PS may “turn back the clock” on brain aging in some people over 50. PS can improve mood and behavior in the elderly, and can help people of all ages better manage physical or mental stress. Preliminary studies suggest PS could have promise for improving behavior and learning in children.
Glycerophospho choline (GPC) is a unique, water phase phospholipid that is used by the body’’s cells as a source of many other biochcmically important nutrients. GPC is a highly bioavailable source of choline, a vitamin-like nutrient that the body uses to make acetylcholine (ACh, a very important chemical transmitter in the brain and elsewhere in the body). Clinical trials suggest GPC is an excellent nutrient for mental performance, including information processing and mind-body coordination.
Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is well documented by human trials as a liver protectant. PC protects and may even partially restore the liver after damage from cell membrane toxins including alcohol, toxic chemicals, and medical substances such as certain pain killers. PC may be the best documented liver protective nutrient. PC with omega 3 fatty acid tails (omega-3 PC) can have impressive benefits for the brain, circulation, and joints.
Q: LECITHINS: WHAT’S THE CONFUSION BETWEEN LECITHN AND
A: While simple lecithin is a food emulsifier, phospholipid enriched lecithins make excellent dietary supplements. Phospholipid composition in different lecithin products can vary substantially. What is usually labeled as lecithin in food and supplement products is the unfractionated common lecithin with undefined content of specific phospholipids. For making dietary supplements, it is important to identify and label phospholipid enriched lecithin fractions correctly with name and content of the specific phospholipid and to draw a clear line between them and the common unfractionated lecithin, such as the well-known lecithin granules. Chemists very often use the term lecithin as synonym for phosphatidyl-
Choline, which contributes to further confusion.
A: As a consequence of changes in farming, soil quality, and eating habits, modern food is widely depleted of physiologically important micro-components, such as vitamins and minerals, but also phospholipids. In many processed foods, the natural function of lecithin is refined away, and its phospholipid ingredients replaced by synthetic products. Careful investigation of the daily intake of phospholipids in the food supply of the industrialized nations suggest that their content has decreased from approximately 3 grams per day at the beginning of the 20th century, to currently less than 0.7 grams per day.