Phosphatidylcholine is an extremely important substance in our body, being the major lipid of the cell membranes and blood protein. It is responsible for the repair of cell membranes, liver function, and the production of a brain chemical called acetylcholine which is important for memory and brain function. Lecithin and Phosphatidylcholine are often discussed as the same thing but actually Phosphatidylcholine is a component of Lecithin being found at varying percentages depending on what the food source was.
Why to Consume
The primary interest in Phosphatidylcholine is that of the effects of this supplement on longevity related to cell membranes. As we age, the levels in our cells deplete causing reduced liver function and cell elasticity. By increasing our intake of Phosphatidylcholine, the goal is to retain high levels in our cells as long as well possibly can. Consumption also promotes improvement to memory and brain function which can be a problem as we age. Essentially, we can keep our cells young and elastic as well as maintain our brain function to that of levels found in youth.
How to Consume
Lecithin and one of its components Phosphatidylcholine are found in natural foods such as egg yolks and animal liver in fairly high percentages. As such, consuming these foods will increase the levels in your body. Consuming very large quantities of liver or eggs on a daily basis however, is both realistically difficult to do, as well as likely to cause some other imbalances with cholesterol or saturated fat levels. A supplement, such as a pill or injection, seem the reasonable alternative. When purchasing a pill however, one needs to be careful about what is actually in the product. Some products labeled as Phosphatidylcholine actually only consist of 35% Phosphatidylcholine. Also, if the source is soy lecithin, does the product contain other unwanted byproducts of the manufacturing process such as hexane residue? The best choice is likely the most pure form of Phosphatidylcholine that one can find. Further, consideration has to be given to the fact that in pill form, less Phosphatidylcholine is likely to make it into the body.
As with foods, care should always be taken to ensure the highest quality supplements are being consumed. Supplements, unlike food found in nature, must undergo processing which adds one more way for unwanted things to enter your body.