As you may know, good health starts on the cellular level. When your cells are healthy, you’re healthy. When your cells become diseased, you suffer health challenges. So it makes sense that keeping your cells healthy is the best way to stay healthy into your 90s and beyond.
Just last week, we looked at telomeres and how keeping their tails long is a predictor of longer life. But there’s another important part of the cell we have to look at for good health. And by looking at this part of the cell, researchers are discovering some amazing advancements in science and medicine. So amazing that it shows a very simple way to help you stay young longer.
Unfortunately, medical science has been looking at your cells the wrong way. For years, medical science believed your DNA held the secret for everything. In fact, that’s what the incredibly expensive human genome project has been all about. They figured that if they knew the sequence of your DNA, they could figure out all solutions from there. But they were wrong!
Their rationale didn’t work. It failed to explain why identical twins don’t share diseases identically. It doesn’t explain why cancer rates (and autism) have gone up significantly in the last century when our DNA sequence hasn’t changed at all!
While there were some great advances in medicine during this time, medical science soon realized they were looking at the wrong part of the cell. Yes, keeping your DNA healthy is important. We see that with telomeres. But there’s more to the cell we have to consider.
Protecting Your Cells’ Skin
So what part of the cell is vital for keeping the cell — and you — healthy? The cell membrane. The cell membrane is the “skin” of your cell. I can’t stress enough the importance of the health and integrity of your cell membrane. If the skin surrounding your body gets hard, cracked, broken, or otherwise damaged, bad “stuff” starts happening to your body! Cell disease — and subsequent organ failure — starts with cell membrane dysfunction. And so does vascular disease and cancer.
Because scientists finally realized the importance of the cell membrane, they’ve moved away from wanting to know everything about your DNA. Now they’re focused on ways to keep your cell membrane healthy. And some of the greatest health news we’ve ever seen is starting to come out as a result of their new discoveries. All of this directly impacts your health and ability to age gracefully. That’s because the cell membrane is where the action really is; it’s where health and disease diverge! Your cell membrane is the first line of defense against cellular injury, and likely where the aging process begins.
This Essential Fat Protects Your Cells
Your cell membrane is largely made up of phospholipids. Similar to triglycerides and other lipids, phospholipids are a complex form of fat.
There are three phospholipids that collectively make up essential phospholipids (EPL). They are phosphatidylserine, phosphatidyl ethanolamine, and phosphatidyl choline. By far the most important constituent to your cell membrane is phosphatidyl choline. Phosphatidyl choline consists of two water insoluble fatty acid “legs” and a water soluble choline "head" group. Choline has several functions. It’s essential as a neurotransmitter. And it moves fats in and out of cells.
Your body can make small amounts of choline. But it’s extremely energy costly and slow. If you don’t get enough choline in your diet, you’ll become deficient. Choline deficiency can cause fatty liver, kidney disease, infertility, growth impairment, bone impairment, and even cancer. It is a crucial methyl group donor, so it can become indispensable in biochemical reactions. This includes, surprisingly, your body’s ability to manufacture glutathione (more on this in a moment).
The Most Critical EPL for Your Cell-Membrane Functions
At birth, your membranes are about 90% phosphatidyl choline compared to the other EPLs. (Think of the softness and suppleness of a newborn’s skin!) Phosphatidyl choline makes your membranes more fluid and flexible compared to the others. Your membrane’s electrical voltage is dependent on phosphatidyl choline. Crucial enzyme activities within your cell membranes are totally reliant on sufficient and properly functioning phosphatidyl choline. As you age, your cell membranes lose this life-giving molecule. When you are elderly, your membranes might only contain 10% phosphatidyl choline. Compare your skin today to that of a child. One key difference is phosphatidyl choline.
Now here’s where it gets really interesting. The “legs” of phospholipid molecules of a healthy cell membrane twist or relax depending on the voltage across the cell membrane and their structural integrity. This twisting or relaxing allows your cell to breath, drink, and eliminate waste. There is a significant negative electrical charge (-25 millivolts) across your cell membrane. As it wanes, the cell degenerates. If it wanes enough, your cell can turn cancerous, stop functioning, or simply die. Voltage is life!
Science has discovered in recent years that your cell membrane connects directly to your DNA. In fact, it controls your DNA. So keeping your cell membrane healthy will keep your telomeres long and your DNA healthy.
Transform Your Whole Body
EPL can transform your whole body, every single cell, by keeping your cell membrane healthy. Here’s how it works.
Phosphatidyl choline is so important to your health because it also is essential for fat metabolism and transport. Phosphatidyl choline can help reverse atherosclerosis. It can lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. It lowers oxidized (rancid) lipids in your body, and increases a key anti-atherosclerosis enzyme called LCAT. This enzyme plays an integral role in your body’s ability to transport cholesterol (including damaged cholesterol) from your arteries to your liver for elimination. LCAT improves insulin sensitivity.
In particular, certain commercial phosphatidyl choline brands have a key (essential) fatty acid make up that induces the formation of a form of cholesterol ester. This esterified cholesterol is easier for your body to remove from your arterial walls. This can completely reverse atherosclerosis. It works so well that vascular patients really need to use phosphatidyl choline.
Phosphatidyl choline also provides strong protection against liver and gall bladder (including stones) disease. Your liver is your body’s most important protective organ. In addition to elimination of toxins, it must metabolize them. This can incite considerable liver membrane damage. Phosphatidyl choline can ameliorate liver damage since liver repair involves the creation of massive amounts of membrane structure. Alcohol, viral, and toxin-induced liver damage have shown significant easing with phosphatidyl choline supplements.
Phosphatidyl choline delays and inhibits diabetes-associated vascular diseases. It may improve cognitive function and protect against nervous system disease. Remember, we are faced with a lifetime of assaults on our cell membranes, from heated rancid oils to heavy metals and other free radical induced damage. Over time, this sludge simply overwhelms your cells’ ability to function, perform, repair, heal, and survive. This is one of the cornerstones of the aging process. It’s so important that I think that repairing the cell membrane is the first step in combating aging.
Helps Manufacture Glutathione
Now for exciting information that even I’ve only recently uncovered. Phosphatidyl choline can assist in your body’s manufacture of its most important detoxification molecule — glutathione. You read that right. I had to go to the biochemistry books to double check this. And it’s true. A 1991 study showed that phosphatidyl choline can restore glutathione levels of aged rats to youthful levels. Another study followed children with cystic fibrosis. The researchers gave them phosphatidyl choline and it increased their glutathione levels.
Supplementing with a rich source of phosphatidyl choline spares your body’s hard-pressed efforts to make choline. This allows your body to divert precious resources to make glutathione instead! Phosphatidyl choline may be your best way to increase glutathione. It can cause your own body to make more! In my opinion, stimulating your body to optimize its production of anything you require beats everything else!
Phosphatidyl choline is the main source and reservoir of choline used by your body. Dietary sources of this phospholipid are animal protein, particularly egg yolks, and soybeans. Soy is the main source of lecithin, traditionally used as a supplement for phosphatidyl choline. However, not all lecithins are the same. And sadly, not all EPL products are the same either.
I’ve found that one source of EPL outperforms every other product on the market. The product is PhosChol. PhosChol, in particular, has a phosphatidyl choline makeup containing essential fatty acids in both legs of the phosphatidyl choline molecule. What makes PhosChol unique is that it is the first and only product on the market that is 100% phosphatidyl choline. Other formulations have phosphatidyl ethanolamine. This is inferior to phosphatidyl choline and competes with the phosphatidyl choline for absorption.
Furthermore, PhosChol isn’t just any phosphatidyl choline. It is the only rich source of polyenylphosphatidylcholine (PPC). Here’s why that’s important: 52% of the two fatty acid legs of the phosphatidyl choline in PhosChol are both parent essential (PEO) unsaturated fatty acids (18 carbon chain omega 3 and 6). This double PEO specific phosphatidyl choline is called DLPC (1,2 dilinoleoylphosphatidylcholine). It’s the most desirable and active phosphatidyl choline.
Studies using radio-labeled DLPC in this formulation has documented that your absorption will be greater than 50% of intact DLPC. The extraordinarily high concentration of DLPC sets PhosChol worlds apart from all other phosphatidyl choline (and lecithin) products. Studies have shown that up to 60% of radio-labeled DLPC will remain in your body after two weeks. (The rest is burned for energy.) The high retention can be measured in higher DLPC in your cell membranes. This is simply stunning. No other EPL product has this property.
So if you want to keep your cells young — and running at their highest efficiency — PhosChol is one of the most important supplements you can take. And it’s readily available. I suggest two capsules daily.
Exp Pathol. 1991;41(3):151-6; AJCN Vol. 85, No. 3, 702-708, March 2007.