Phosphatidylcholine Prevents Diabetes

December 12, 2021

Phosphatidylcholine Prevents Diabetes

You have no idea what cognitive dissonance this study evokes! This might be a whole new field of inquiry opening up, or it may be sloppy research and bad statistics. The Finns have done pretty impressive, evidence-based medicine in their research. For being a country off on the edge of Europe, they are "researching above their weight" and turning out ideas that end up being right, though never previously investigated. Example: their investigational work on saunas.

This might be another. The Kuopio Heart Disease Study, done in the city of Kuopio, tucked in close to Russia, was designed to look at the risks of heart disease. 2332 men, ages 42-60, were followed for 19 years. Of that cohort, 432 developed Type II diabetes based on the standard criteria. Food surveys were done by doing a 4-day precise measurement of food intake. What leaped out of the statistical results was phosphatidylcholine intake and Type II diabetes. And it was no small difference. In measure quartiles of intake, those with the highest intake had a 41% lower risk of developing diabetes. This becomes the number one risk factor for diabetes. That's huge! We should be rushing out ......

Just what is phosphatidylcholine, if you can even pronounce it? IT makes up a huge proportion of biological membranes. It is the precursor template for making plasmalogens. Plasmalogens are 70% of the membranes in nerve axons and synapses. Animals central nervous systems could not have evolved without the biological features of plasmalogens. And maybe just as importantly, they constitute the majority of the membranes inside your mitochondria and other intracellular organelles. They are the backbone of allowing your cellular machinery to run.

What is the cognitive conflict? Ah! Here's the rub. Choline is found in most animal products like meat and dairy and particularly in eggs and liver. These are all high on lists of "heart disease problem foods." But choline also plays an important role in our core biology as a methyl donor, a precursor for neurotransmitter acetylcholine and a component of plasmalogens. But, choline has been fingered as a major dietary precursor for gut microbiome-derived trimethylamine, which is converted in liver to trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). Elevated TMAO is being thought to be the new, most accurate predictor for cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and mortality, and........ for type 2 diabetes. 

You can't have it both ways. One study says it reduces diabetes, the other says it increases. What's an egg-eater to do? (Eggs being one of the best sources of choline).

Here is my hunch and see if I can coax you along with it. The "cholesterol" theory of heart disease is broken. It does not predict who gets sick accurately enough. We know too many farmers who have spent their lives eating three eggs for breakfast and liver for supper and dying at 94 with no heart attacks.

There is a difference between plain choline and phosphatidylcholine. Choline is only one part of the whole molecule. It is the whole molecule that is valuable. The choline, by itself, is a minor player. Phosphaditidylcholine is just one vinyl-ether bond away from being a plasmalogen. And plasmalogens are are real deal in making mammalian membranes, and nervous systems, advanced.  They are the key to having a functioning brain with sensory components that can see, and hear, taste and smell, think and talk.......and remember.

With the publication of research on renal dialysis patients showing that plasmalogen deficiency explains heart disease risk better than cholesterol excess, we may have a crack in the "statin empire" opening and our obsession with cholesterol being challenged.  With cholesterol we may be looking at a tangential problem, but not the core defect.   From the several hundred measures of phosphatidylcholine that I have done, I suspect we have a whole new dimension to investigate.  Dysfunctional membrane structure from plasmalogens deficiency is what causes cholesterol abnormalities.   It's the root problem.  At least 90% of folks over age 60 are low on choline and phosphatidylcholine. This study turns on the light. Repairing and mending our broken membranes and restoring our phosphatidylcholine is core biology in our mitochondria and in every cell in our bodies.  This gets us to the root and core issues that really helps us. 

That the folks who eat a lot of phosphatidylcholine get less diabetes is contrary to our current way of thinking. Fortyone percent reduction in diabetes is massive. There must be something fundamental to cellular function going on. But that is what good research does. It challenges you to think differently and go back to your sources to try and figure out WHY? Now we need some follow-up studies that duplicate the findings and add to them by folding in more details. What's the mechanism? Who knows? Yet....that's what we need more research to tease out.

www.What will Work for me? If you want healthy plasmalogens, you have to make sure you have healthy peroxisomes, the site of manufacturing them. The only way to have that is to exercise, limit calories for at least 12 hours a day (longer is better), and get rid of fatty liver. I've bought lecithin. Nature provides abundant phosphatidylcholine in sunflower seeds. Lecithin is what we call it. You can buy it for cheap and take it every day. You only need about a tablespoon a day of lecithin to double what the Finns were eating. That's what I'm doing.

References: European Jr Nutrition, J Am Coll Cardiology, Am Jr Clin Nutrition, Nephrology Dial Trans,

Pop Quiz

1. What is phosphatidylcholine?                               Answer: a critical building block for making plasmalogens and a key component, in its entirety of many cellular membranes.

2. And what do you have to do to phosphatidylcholine to make a plasmalogen?            Answer: You have to add a precious vinyl-ether bond in the peroxisome.

3. What does that "vinyl-ethyl" bond do?                         Answer: It sits on the surface of your cellular membranes and protects them from oxidation. Your plasmalogens are the antioxidant of first resort, protecting your brain from foreign stressors.

4. What's the best way to combat getting adult type II diabetes?                     Answer: Keep your BMI between 22 and 25. No sugar. No processed foods. No ground up flour. Exercise and intermittent fasting. And now, increase your intake of phosphatidylcholine.

5. I'm 65 years old? What is my chance for being "prediabetic" or actually full blown diabetic living in America?                               Answer: Probably close to 80%.