[Effects of Phosphatidylcholine] From Improving Memory to Fetal Brain Development, 3 Benefits of Phosphatidylcholine

[Effects of Phosphatidylcholine] From Improving Memory to Fetal Brain Development, 3 Benefits of Phosphatidylcholine

Dec 03, 2023KimSunhyo

[Effects of Phosphatidylcholine] From Improving Memory to Fetal Brain Development, 3 Benefits of Phosphatidylcholine

Phosphatidylcholine, Supports Brain Health and Brain Development
This content is health information about ingredients and not directly related to a specific product.
Effects of Phosphatidylcholine
1. Improves memory in learning tasks
2. Improves adolescent bipolar disorder
3. Prevents delayed fetal brain development

Hello, I am Jinny, a pharmacist.

There are organs that we consider most important throughout our lives, but most people do not take special care of. It's the brain. In fact, brain cells begin to decline after the age of 30, and unlike other cells, it is known that they cannot be regenerated once damaged, so it is important to maintain healthy brain cells through consistent management [1].

But maintaining healthy brain cells is not that easy. Continuous stress and tension promote fatigue of brain cells, and psychological factors such as depression and nervousness also affect them. Not to mention lack of sleep or excessive alcohol consumption[2]. To put it simply, we can say that most people, from test takers to office workers, are in an environment where their brain health is threatened.

Today, we would like to introduce you to ingredients that can help protect brain health, which is threatened in our daily lives. This ingredient, phosphatidylcholine, is not only distributed in greater abundance in brain cells than other cells, but is also used in the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates learning and memory formation in our brain.

Phosphatidylcholine is a phospholipid similar to phosphatidylserine, known as a functional ingredient for brain health, and is characterized by the fact that the head of the molecule is made of choline. In a cohort study, the relationship between phosphatidylcholine intake and language and memory abilities was established [3]. Now, let’s take a closer look at phosphatidylcholine through academic research.
[1,2] Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Food Safety Country, health functional food functional information ,
[3] Ylilauri, M., Voutilainen, S., Lönnroos, E., Virtanen, H. E., Tuomainen, T. P., Salonen, J. T., & Virtanen, J. K. (2019). Associations of dietary choline intake with risk of incident dementia and with cognitive performance: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 110(6), 1416-1423.

1. Improves Memory in Learning Tasks

Earlier, I told you that phosphatidylcholine is used in the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates learning and memory formation. Extensive research accumulated in academia over the past several decades has consistently reported that acetylcholine regulates various cognitive functions, and it has been proven in numerous studies that learning ability and memory are improved when acetylcholine is secreted or used.

So, will consuming phosphatidylcholine, which is used in the synthesis of acetylcholine, improve learning ability and memory? Ladd, S. L, and researchers (1993) conducted human trials to answer these questions. In this human application test targeting 80 college students, it was reported that significant improvement in explicit memory* was observed due to the intake of phosphatidylcholine.
*Explicit memory: It is a type of long-term memory and refers to memories that can be consciously recognized. Because it can be expressed verbally, it is also called declarative memory, and a typical example is storing and recalling knowledge gained through learning [5].

[4] Gold, P. E. (2003). Acetylcholine modulation of neural systems involved in learning and memory. Neurobiology of learning and memory, 80(3), 194-210.
[5] Doosan Encyclopedia

“Ninety minutes after ingestion of phosphatidylcholine, a significant improvement in explicit memory measured through a learning task was measured in the phosphatidylcholine group.”

Reference :  Ladd, S. L., Sommer, S. A., LaBerge, S., & Toscano, W. (1993). Effect of phosphatidylcholine on explicit memory. Clinical neuropharmacology, 16, 540-548
2. Improves Adolescent Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is a mood disorder and is characterized by repeated episodes of mania, where one is excited and confident, and depression, where one feels depressed. Several studies have identified problems with brain cell function and neural networks, and genetic factors, biochemical imbalances in the brain, and stress are known to be the causes [6].

Although bipolar disorder develops for a variety of reasons, problems with brain cell function and neural networks are commonly observed. Accordingly, a human application test was conducted to determine whether phosphatidylcholine, which can help in the composition of brain cells and neurotransmitters, can contribute to the improvement of bipolar disorder. It is reported that improvement in adolescent bipolar disorder and insomnia due to genetic factors was observed following phosphatidylcholine supplementation.
[6] National Mental Health Service Portal, National Mental Health Service Portal Medical Information ,

“In the case of an adolescent who had bipolar disorder and insomnia that persisted for 5 months despite receiving medication, recovery of normal sleep patterns and improvement of bipolar disorder were observed after supplementation with phosphatidylcholine.”

Reference :  Rao, S., Lam, M. H., Wing, Y. K., Yim, L. C., Chu, W. C., Yeung, V. S., & Waye, M. M. (2015). Beneficial effect of phosphatidylcholine supplementation in alleviation of hypomania and insomnia in a Chinese bipolar hypomanic boy and a possible explanation to the effect at the genetic level. SpringerPlus, 4(1), 1-8.
3. Prevents Delayed Fetal Brain Development

As mentioned at the beginning, phosphatidylcholine is abundantly distributed in the brain in our body. Furthermore, it is known that phosphatidylcholine is one of the main phospholipids that constitute cell membranes and can contribute to regulating gene expression and biological metabolism [7].

Because of the physiological importance of phosphatidylcholine, the impact of maternal intake of phosphatidylcholine on the fetus has also received academic attention. Ross, R. G. and researchers (2013) conducted a human trial on 100 healthy pregnant women. This study reports that phosphatidylcholine supplementation from the second trimester of pregnancy to three months after birth prevents delayed fetal brain development.
[7] Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Encyclopedia of Biochemistry

“Delayed brain development in the fetus and newborn is associated with attention problems as the child grows. Maternal phosphatidylcholine intake during the perinatal period, from the 20th week of pregnancy until after birth, activates the normal development of the fetal cerebrum, which is associated with genetic disorders that delay brain development. “The same thing appeared even when there were hostile factors.”

Reference :  Ross, R. G., Hunter, S. K., McCarthy, L., Beuler, J., Hutchison, A. K., Wagner, B. D., ... & Freedman, R. (2013). Perinatal choline effects on neonatal pathophysiology related to later schizophrenia risk. American Journal of Psychiatry, 170(3), 290-298.

Today, we looked at research reports on phosphatidylcholine, a valuable ingredient that can help with brain health. Overall, like phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylcholine appears to be able to help with memory and mood disorders. And similar to choline, it appears to be able to help with the development of the fetus's brain and cognitive ability when consumed by the mother.

In addition, it can be said to be an ingredient with a very high level of safety for consumption in that there were no side effects on mothers and babies in human application tests on pregnant women. Of course, if you want to consume products containing phosphatidylcholine during pregnancy or lactation, you may need to be careful about other ingredients, so it is best not to forget to consult with your doctor.

I hope you have a healthy day both physically and mentally. This was Jinny.

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