What is Phosphatidylcholine?

Most consumers tend to think of all nutritional supplements as vitamins, whether they actually are. What makes PC one of the most intriguing members of the nutritional library? It’s not a vitamin, but a phospholipid (PL), one of the elements that make up our cell membranes—basically the “skins” of our cells. Taking PC supplies your body with the raw materials it needs to keep your cells intact and running on all cylinders. It’s like adding new bricks to the walls of our 70+ trillion cells.

What is a phospholipid?

Any lipid that contains phosphorus is a PL.

Those found in the cell membrane include:

Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is the major component of the cell membrane, located in the outer leaflet of the membrane helping it to maintain structural integrity and to repair cells that are jeopardized by internal and external threats to our health.  PC is essential to maintaining normal liver function, to supporting healthy lung function, and to optimizing brain functioning.

Phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) accounts for about one fourth of all phospholipids and is also an important part of the membrane. However, it is found in the inner part of the membrane where it oversees membrane structure and acts as a basis for several biological pathways, making it integral to our cellular health.

Phosphatidylinositol (PI) is a minor element of the inner side of the membrane but is considered one of the more interesting phospholipids metabolically because its actions can be stimulated by the cell membrane itself through a complex interaction of proteins and enzymes that directs the cell’s metabolic changes, including the ability to change our sense of smell, sight, taste, touch and hearing.

Phosphatidylserine (PS), is not in BodyBio PC because its close association with PE allows its manufacture when cell signaling needs enhancement and support, thus avoiding any complications that can arise from its overzealous supplementation.

Like PE, PS is found in the inner part of the membrane. PS is formed from PE by swapping the ethanolamine head for L-serine, which then enhances acetylcholine release and improves cell signaling to rectify faulty cognitive activity.

Not all PC is the Same

A Brief History of Lecithin

In the 20th Century, lecithin was a problem for big grain companies because of its tendency to stick to oil-producing machinery and cause a mess. Lecithin makes up approximately 2% of oil production, which doesn’t sound like much except when you think about oil production in the US generating approximately 120,000,000 pounds yearly. Two percent of that equals a couple of million pounds—that’s a lot of lecithin.

Around the same time PC, the largest of the PLs, was discovered. However fatty acid technology was still in its infancy. Really understanding lecithin, or more importantly the phospholipids that are part of lecithin, took many years to evolve. The knowledge that lecithin contained PC and that PC was beneficial was used to establish a rule concerning PC and lecithin: If there was 30% PC in the lecithin it could be called Phosphatidyl Choline. Lecithin was packed in drums with 35% soybean oil, encapsulated the oily mix and then the capsules were packaged in bulk and sold to vitamin companies who repackaged them under their own label as “Phosphatidylcholine”.

Lecithin labeled as PC has historically created a big problem. Phospholipids cannot be kept in oil as it causes them to lose their value; they can even harm people.

In 2000, after years of biohacking his own health and dedicating his life to studying fatty acids and lipidomics, BodyBio Founder Ed Kane developed our own PC formula. As an entrepreneur battling his own health issues, he knew the importance of PC and was determined to find a way to maximize its potency. In his lab at BodyBio, he discovered how to isolate and concentrate not just PC but PE, and PI—the three phospholipids that support the membrane of the cell and organelles, like mitochondria. It is this proprietary extraction process that makes BodyBio PC so unique.

BodyBio PC is derived from soy for a very particular reason: PC from soy is a plant duplicate of the egg PC discovered to be so integral to our health by Professor Barenholtz, head of the Department of Membrane Biochemistry and Neurochemistry, Hebrew U, Jerusalem Israel and his assistant, Yechiel, in their groundbreaking study (Yechiel Y. and Barenholz Y., Relationships between Membrane Lipid Composition and Biological Properties of Rat Myocytes, 1985).   

What Do Phospholipids Do?

When PC is extracted in the correct way it becomes liposomal. Using a liposomal PC, such as BodyBio PC Complex, sends phospholipids through the body and brain, rebuilding whichever cells need repair

BodyBio PC Complex is recommended to women seeking pregnancy, as well as to those already growing a baby. Can you imagine how many membranes a growing fetus needs? The same holds true for the other end of the life spectrum, aging. As we mature, the PC content of our cells decreases. The rejuvenating effect of PC supplementation, especially on brain cells, is astounding.

In nature, all seeds carry lecithin and all lecithin carries phospholipids. It’s as if Mother Nature is aware that all life needs membrane-building materials for their cells. BodyBio PC Complex is made from soy lecithin for a reason—lecithin contains the PL’s we need.

Why is PC Important?

For over half a century we have held onto the illusion that our health and fate were preprogrammed in our genes, referred to as genetic determinacyOur genes not only contain the ability to produce the 100,000 proteins from the DNA, they are also the brains of the cell, guiding what proteins are required as needed at every moment of time. However, recent advances in science are moving away from that premise. A number of cellular scientists are viewing epigenetics as the primary guide in genetic production. Epigenetics refers to something beyond genetics, or as outside the cell, on the perimeter— the membrane of the cell.

Sure, it’s an appealing concept, but is there anything to it? Bruce Lipton, a renowned cell biologist, thinks so. For 40 years he has studied how cells process information, leading him to the conclusion that genes are not in control of what proteins they should produce next. Our genes are guided by a thin sliver of lipid phospholipids so tiny it cannot be seen by a microscope. These include our thoughts and beliefs, which Lipton argues can shape our DNA, a theory he presents in “The Biology of Belief” (Elite Books, 2005). Lipton, a former professor at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and the Stanford School of Medicine, makes the case that our beliefs, expressed by our membrane, not our DNA, control our biology.

Scientifically proving this concept is a whole other game. That feat was accomplished earlier by Professor Barenholtz in his 1985 study with rat heart cells. It scientifically validates Lipton’s concept that gene expression is really under the guidance of the cell’s membrane.

Lipton says genes are the blueprints for 25,000 instructions our cell membrane needs to run our body. Architects use blueprints to build things but there is no action taken by a blueprint. A healthy cell membrane takes the blueprints and sets them into motion. For this discussion, Barenholz has helped us along the genetic road more than anyone before him and for that we are endlessly grateful.