Phosphatidylcholine - NutraPedia

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Phosphatidylcholine Overview

1) What conditions has Phosphatidylcholine been studied for?

Phosphatidylcholine has been studied for a variety of conditions including:

  • Liver diseases (like hepatitis and fatty liver)
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Inflammatory disorders
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Cognitive function and memory improvement
  • Skin conditions (as an ingredient in topical formulations)

2) Does it work in treating those conditions?

The effectiveness of phosphatidylcholine in treating these conditions varies. Some studies suggest it may:

  • Help improve liver function in certain liver diseases.
  • Possibly lower cholesterol levels, but more evidence is needed.
  • Reduce inflammation, aiding in certain inflammatory conditions.
  • Support gastrointestinal health, though results are mixed.
  • Enhance cognitive function, but again, more research is required for firm conclusions.

Overall, while there are promising results, more robust clinical trials are necessary to confirm its efficacy in these areas.

3) What health benefits does Phosphatidylcholine have?

Phosphatidylcholine is associated with several potential health benefits, including:

  • Supporting cell membrane integrity and function.
  • Playing a role in fat metabolism and potentially aiding in weight management.
  • Contributing to cardiovascular health by participating in the process of removing excess fat from the bloodstream.
  • Enhancing brain health and cognitive function, as it is a component of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter.

4) Does Phosphatidylcholine have any downsides?

While phosphatidylcholine is generally considered safe when used appropriately, there can be downsides, such as:

  • Mild gastrointestinal side effects like diarrhea and nausea.
  • Potential for allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.
  • Excessive doses may lead to an imbalance in nutrient absorption or other negative health effects.

It's important to consult health professionals before starting any new supplement regimen.

5) Is Phosphatidylcholine beneficial or harmful for any particular genetic variations?

Research on the interaction between phosphatidylcholine and specific genetic variations is still emerging. Certain genetic polymorphisms, such as those affecting the metabolism of choline (an essential component of phosphatidylcholine), may influence an individual's requirements for phosphatidylcholine or their sensitivity to its effects. However:

  • Individuals with genetic variations that affect choline usage may benefit from increased phosphatidylcholine intake.
  • Conversely, some genetic profiles may indicate a predisposition to choline-related side effects or conditions like fatty liver disease, which could be exacerbated by excessive intake.

Genetic testing and personalized medical advice can help determine if phosphatidylcholine supplementation is appropriate for an individual.

Phosphatidylcholine Research Summary

Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is a component of lecithin that has been investigated for its potential in reducing localized fat deposits. Studies have examined its use in injection lipolysis, a procedure known for its fat-dissolving properties. However, adverse effects such as severe toxic dermatitis have been reported.

A study on the effectiveness of a PC injection formula revealed that it causes significant cell death and damage to fat and muscle structures, with sodium deoxycholate identified as the primary active ingredient responsible for cell membrane destruction. Caution is advised due to potential nonspecific cell damage.

Research on Lipostabil N, a medicine containing PC, shows that it induces lipolysis by triggering lipase release from adipocytes, leading to fat breakdown processed by the liver. It is also approved for preventing and treating fat embolisms and liver diseases.

Another study on rabbits demonstrated significant differences in fat cell necrosis between PC injections and saline solution injections, highlighting the need for further research to understand the underlying mechanisms.

A comparative study of PC with sodium deoxycholate versus sodium deoxycholate alone found no significant differences in fat reduction between the treatments, suggesting that sodium deoxycholate may be sufficient for chemical lipolysis.

A retrospective study on subcutaneous PC injections for fat reduction reported that most patients experienced mild localized adverse effects, systemic side effects were rare, and a majority were satisfied with the treatment, indicating relative safety and lower risks compared to other methods.

Investigations on the impact of homocysteine-lowering nutrients, including PC, showed that while betaine supplementation increases LDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels, the impact of PC on blood lipids is less clear, and folic acid does not affect blood lipid levels.

Studies on PC injections for reducing lower eyelid fat pads indicated satisfactory cosmetic effects for a majority of subjects, yet long-term safety and efficacy require further evaluation.

Research into PC and deoxycholate injections on lipomas revealed necrosis, not apoptosis, of fat cells, with additional studies needed for different doses and time frames.

Finally, PC's impact on lipid metabolism in CaCo-2 cells was examined, showing increased triacylglycerol secretion and decreased synthesis and secretion of cholesteryl esters.


  1. [Severe toxic dermatitis after injection lipolysis]
  2. Detergent effects of sodium deoxycholate are a major feature of an injectable phosphatidylcholine formulation used for localized fat dissolution
  3. Phosphatidylcholine treatment to induce lipolysis
  4. Injection of phosphatidylcholine in fat tissue: experimental study of local action in rabbits
  5. Phosphatidylcholine and sodium deoxycholate in the treatment of localized fat: a double-blind, randomized study
  6. Clinical experience and safety using phosphatidylcholine injections for the localized reduction of subcutaneous fat: a multicentre, retrospective UK study
  7. Effect of homocysteine-lowering nutrients on blood lipids: results from four randomised, placebo-controlled studies in healthy humans
  8. Use of phosphatidylcholine for the correction of lower lid bulging due to prominent fat pads
  9. Induction of fat cell necrosis in human fat tissue after treatment with phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate
  10. Pathophysiology of human visceral obesity: an update
  11. Histologic response to injected phosphatidylcholine in fat tissue: experimental study in a new rabbit model
  12. Phosphatidylcholine for the treatment of prominent lower eyelid fat pads: a pilot study
  13. Phosphatidylcholine increases the secretion of triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins by CaCo-2 cells
  14. The effect of phosphatidylcholine and deoxycholate compound injections to the localized adipose tissue: an experimental study with a murine model
  15. HIV-associated adipose redistribution syndrome (HARS): etiology and pathophysiological mechanisms
  16. Compounds used for 'injection lipolysis' destroy adipocytes and other cells found in adipose tissue
  17. A pilot study on the use of injection lipolysis in visceral adipose tissues
  18. In vitro studies investigating the effect of subcutaneous phosphatidylcholine injections in the 3T3-L1 adipocyte model: lipolysis or lipid dissolution?
  19. Lipolytic effectiveness of phosphatidylcholine in the treatment of 'buffalo hump' of HIV patients
  20. Submental fat reduction by mesotherapy using phosphatidylcholine alone vs. phosphatidylcholine and organic silicium: a pilot study
  21. The lipodissolve technique: clinical experience
  22. Phosphatidylcholine supplementation in pregnant women consuming moderate-choline diets does not enhance infant cognitive function: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

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