Our mission is to provide the highest quality treatments, products and testing to promote

                   optimal health, beauty and longevity in a non-pharmaceutical environment
              Researched by The  Anti-Aging Clinic   "Aging Younger ®"            


Natural Health





                                                        Lecithin phospholipids
Back to questions

Lecithin phospholipids also called phosphatidylcholine

Lecithin is any of a group of phospholipids found in egg yolks and the plasma membrane of plant and animal cells, used as an emulsifier in a wide range of commercial products, including foods, cosmetics, paints, and plastics; also called phosphatidylcholine.

When researchers use the term “lecithin,” they are referring to a purified substance called phosphatidyl choline (PC) that belongs to a special category of fat-soluble substances called phospholipids.

Phospholipids are essential components of cell membranes. Supplements labeled as “lecithin” usually contain 10–20% PC. Relatively pure PC supplements are generally labeled as “phosphatidylcholine.”

Department of Endocrinology, University Medical Center Groningen, P.O. Box 30001, 9700 RB Groningen, The Netherlands. STUDY:

CONTEXT: Lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT), which esterifies free cholesterol to cholesteryl esters, is required for normal plasma lipoprotein structure and is instrumental in high density lipoprotein (HDL) remodeling, but the relationship of variation in plasma LCAT activity with subclinical atherosclerosis is unclear. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to determine the effect of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) on plasma LCAT activity and its relationship with carotid artery intima media thickness (IMT). SETTING: The study was conducted at the vascular laboratory of a university medical center. METHODS: In 74 subjects with MetS and 90 subjects without MetS (National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria), mean carotid artery IMT, plasma lipids, LCAT activity (exogenous substrate method), high-sensitive C-reactive protein, and homeostasis model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA(ir)) were documented. RESULTS: IMT was greater (P = 0.01) and plasma LCAT activity was higher (P < 0.001) in subjects with MetS compared to subjects without MetS. Similar increases in IMT and LCAT were found in MetS subjects without type 2 diabetes mellitus. Multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated that plasma LCAT activity was independently and positively related to HOMA(ir), plasma triglycerides, non-HDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol (all P < 0.001). After adjustment for age and sex, IMT was positively associated with LCAT activity (P < 0.01), independently of the presence of MetS (or alternatively of plasma lipids), HOMA(ir), and high-sensitive C-reactive protein. CONCLUSIONS: Plasma LCAT activity is elevated in MetS and may be a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis. Our findings do not support the contention that strategies to elevate LCAT more than this study provides are necessarily beneficial for cardioprotection.