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Effect of Lecithin on Bipolar Disorder
Lecithin contains a substance called phosphatidylcholine (PC) that is presumed to be responsible for its medicinal effects. Phosphatidylcholine is a major part of the membranes surrounding our cells....
Read more about Bipolar Disorder and Lecithin.
Effect of Lecithin on Viral Hepatitis
For a while, lecithin/phosphatidylcholine was one of the most commonly recommended natural treatments for high cholesterol . However, this idea appears to rest entirely on studies of unacceptably low quality. 1 The best designed studies have failed to find any evidence of benefit. 2 In Europe, phosphatidylcholine is also used to treat liver diseases , such as alcoholic fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis , liver cirrhosis , and viral hepatitis . However, research into these potential uses remains preliminary and has yielded contradictory results. 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Researchers have recently become interested in the use of phosphadylcholine as a supportive treatment in severe ulcerative colitis . There may be an insufficient quantity of phosphatidylcholine in the mucus lining the colon in patients with ulcerative colitis. Taking phosphatidylcholine may correct this deficiency. A small double-blind, placebo controlled study of 60 patients whose ulcerative colitis was poorly responsive to corticosteroids were randomized to receive either phosphadylcholine (2 g per day) or placebo for 12 weeks. 13 Half of the participants taking phosphadylcholine showed a significant improvement in symptoms versus only 10% taking placebo. Moreover, 80% taking phosphadylcholine were able to completely discontinue their corticosteroids without disease flare-up compared to 10% taking placebo.
Some evidence hints that phosphatidylcholine may reduce homocysteine levels , which in turn was for a time thought likely to reduce heart disease risk. 14 Because phosphatidylcholine plays a role in nerve function, it has also been suggested as a treatment for various psychological and neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease , bipolar disorder , Parkinson's disease , Tourette's syndrome, and tardive dyskinesia (a late-developing side effect of drugs used for psychosis). However, the evidence that it works is limited to small studies with conflicting results. 15
- Wojcicki J, Pawlik A, Samochowiec L, et al. Clinical evaluation of lecithin as a lipid-lowering agent. Phytother Res. 1995;9:597-599.
- Oosthuizen W, Vorster HH, Vermaak, WJ, et al. Lecithin has no effect on serum lipoprotein, plasma fibrinogen and macro molecular protein complex levels in hyperlipidaemic men in a double-blind controlled study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1998;52:419-424.
- Buchman AL, Dubin M, Jenden D, Moukarzel A, Roch MH, Rice K, Gornbein J, Ament ME, Eckhert CD. Lecithin increases plasma free choline and decreases hepatic steatosis in long-term total parenteral nutrition patients. Gastroenterology. 102(4 Pt 1):1363-70.
- Guan R, Ho KY, Kang JY, Yap I, Gwee KA, Tan CC. The effect of polyunsaturated phosphatidyl choline in the treatment of acute viral hepatitis. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 9(6):699-703.
- Lieber CS, Robins SJ, Li J, DeCarli LM, Mak KM, Fasulo JM, Leo MA. Phosphatidylcholine protects against fibrosis and cirrhosis in the baboon. Gastroenterology. 106(1):152-9.
- Lieber CS, DeCarli LM, Mak KM, Kim CI, Leo MA. Attenuation of alcohol-induced hepatic fibrosis by polyunsaturated lecithin. Hepatology. 12(6):1390-8.
- Lieber CS, Leo MA, Mak KM, DeCarli LM, Sato S. Choline fails to prevent liver fibrosis in ethanol-fed baboons but causes toxicity. Hepatology. 5(4):561-72.
- Lieber CS, Rubin E. Alcoholic fatty liver. N Engl J Med. 1969;280:705-708.
- Schuller-Perez A, Gonzalez San Martin F. A controlled study with polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine compared to placebo in alcoholic steatosis of the liver [translated from German]. Med Welt. 1985;36:517-521.
- Knuchel F. Double-blind study in patients with alcoholic toxic fatty liver. Effect of essential phospholipids on enzyme behavior and lipid composition of the serum [translated from German]. Med Welt. 1979;30:411-416.
- Jenkins PJ, Portmann BP, Eddleston AL, et al. Use of polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine in HBsAg negative chronic active hepatitis: results of prospective double-blind controlled trial. Liver. 1982;2:77-81.
- Niederau C, Strohmeyer G, Heintges T, Peter K, Göpfert E. Polyunsaturated phosphatidyl-choline and interferon alpha for treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C: a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Leich Study Group. Hepatogastroenterology. 45(21):797-804.
- Stremmel W, Ehehalt R, Autschbach F, Karner M. Phosphatidylcholine for steroid-refractory chronic ulcerative colitis: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 147(9):603-10.
- Olthof MR, Brink EJ, Katan MB, Verhoef P. Choline supplemented as phosphatidylcholine decreases fasting and postmethionine-loading plasma homocysteine concentrations in healthy men. Am J Clin Nutr. 82(1):111-7.
- Stoll AL, Sachs GS, Cohen BM, Lafer B, Christensen JD, Renshaw PF. Choline in the treatment of rapid-cycling bipolar disorder: clinical and neurochemical findings in lithium-treated patients. Biol Psychiatry. 40(5):382-8.