The Cell Membrane
What is Phosphatidylcholine?
It's a natural substance, which is part of every living cell.
Phosphatidylcholine molecules are everywhere. It makes up all cell membranes in the body. Phosphatidylcholine also works as a surfactant30-32. It forms a hydrophobic mono layer over the stomach lining to protect it from gastric juices. In fact, studies in patients taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) like Ibuprofen on a regular basis showed improvement of common side effects of NSAID by 65%. They had less nausea, stomach pain, heart burn, loss of appetite and constipation when taking Phosphatidylcholine soft gels.
In the lungs DLPC acts a as a surfactant (monolayer) as well and regulates the surface tension to prevent tissue collapse and edema. It helps the lungs expand after birth.
Phosphatidylcholine is a molecule made of a choline head and two poly-unsaturated fatty acid chains, namely linoleic acid, attached to the choline head. This molecule is water- and fat soluble as the choline head dissolves in water and the fatty acids dissolve in fat. Egg yolk also contains mostly phosphatidylcholine. However, the fatty acid chains at the fat soluble end are saturated. Because it can both bind to watery and fatty solutions, egg yolks are used to bind vinegar and oil in salad dressings for example.
There are different types of phosphatidylcholine molecules depending on the type of fatty acid chains attached to the choline head. Both chains can be saturated fatty acid chains such as phosphatidylcholine derived from egg yolk. This is Lecithin from the Greek word for egg yolk Lekythos. This type of PC causes atherosclerosis and fatty liver in rabbits and baboons as studies by Adams, Abdulla and Bayliss in 1967 have shown. The New England Journal published a study showing that feeding egg yolk to humans causes the pro-inflammatory marker TMAO – trimethylamin-N-oxide - to increase as a possible cause for atherosclerosis. The last word hasn’t been written yet whether saturated fats really cause atherosclerosis as we’ve seen in the statistics comparing consumption of these fats and rate of heart attack in various countries.
Other forms of PC may contain one saturated and one unsaturated fatty acid chain and Plaquex contains two unsaturated fatty acid chains: Linoleic acid derived from non –GMO soy.
All cell membranes are mainly made out of phosphatidylcholine (PC).
In a watery solution, PC builds double layered membranes. The water soluble choline ends are on the outside and the inside of the cell and the fat soluble fatty acid chains are sandwiched between the choline groups.
Bruce Lipton described a cell membrane in a way that makes it easy to imagine. You take two slices of toast bread and butter one side of each slice. You make a sandwich with the two slices with the buttered side on the inside. That is your basic cell membrane. The butter represents the fatty acid chains that are fat soluble and the bread represents the Choline that is water soluble. Then you insert hollowed out olives from the top slice all the way down to the outer part of the lower slice. The channel in the olive represents the channels found in cell membranes that let nutrients in the cell and waste out of the cell. Now imagine you have different forms of toothpicks stuck on the bread that represent cell receptors and each toothpick can bind to a particular substance. When that substance binds to the toothpick, a channel opens and lets in only that substance. For example, insulin would bind to a particular toothpick and it opens a channel that lets in only glucose. Such receptors bind to neurotransmitters, hormones, peptides, antigens, antibodies and many more substances. There are receptors though that react to vibrational energy fields such as light, radio frequencies, sound and I would suggest, also electromagnetic emissions (think cell phone, cell towers, smart meters). Thoughts put out vibrational frequencies as well. Therefore it may not only be the stress hormones that have a physical effect on such receptors, but the thoughts causing stress.
The toothpick might also activate and the cell starts taking a particular action. These channels (olives) and receptors (toothpicks) only work right when the membrane structure (bread and butter) are intact.
In between the double layered PC molecules there are structural proteins and also LDL cholesterol inserted to help with cell membrane stability. If the cell membrane is damaged, the receptors don’t work right and the substances that want to bind to the cell, for example insulin or Testosterone, can’t bind and thus can’t exert their action on that particular cell and the cell in turn can’t perform its designated function.
The make-up of the PC in cell membranes and the amount of LDL cholesterol and proteins in the membrane determines the cell membranes fluidity. The cell membrane is not a wall, but made up of tiny parts, so it can be fluid and move like sea grass moving with the waves of the ocean. The higher the content of unsaturated fatty acids in the PC, the more fluid the membrane becomes. It was found that the transport of waste and nutrients across fluid membranes occurs up to twenty times faster than across rigid membranes. The more fluid the membranes of red blood cells are, the more flexible the red blood cells become and the better they can squeeze through tight blood vessels. Immune cells need a fluid cell membrane in order to activate. DLPC with unsaturated fatty acids improves immune responses as it is incorporated into the membranes of immune cells, making them more fluid and thus activating the immune cells.
Many enzyme functions depend on the presence of unsaturated Fatty Acids in the membrane, particularly enzymes involved in detoxification and lipid metabolism. The bodys’ own super antioxidative enzymes33 show increased activity such as SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase) and Glutathione reductase. Some consequences are better metabolism of drugs, food additives and environmental pollutants, increased concentration of Glutathione (the body’s’ own super antioxidant) and lower concentrations of lipid peroxides (oxidized fats). It thus serves to improve antioxidant capacity in the body by increasing Glutathione. In 1991 a study with aged rats showed that DLPC could restore their Glutathione to youthful levels. In children with cystic fibrosis, DLPC increases their Glutathione levels.
Lipoprotein lipase and hepatic triglyceride lipase are two enzymes involved in the metabolism of blood fats. They show higher activity as does lecithin-cholesterol-acyl-transferase called LCAT. LCAT is an important enzyme in cholesterol metabolism. Consequences are a reduction in triglycerides, reduced deposition of cholesterol and increased binding of cholesterol to HDL so it can be eliminated through the liver.
Cell Membrane Damage
Cell membranes are damaged by free radicals, toxic substances, heavy metals, detergents and even mechanical, for example by the catheter during angioplasty scratching the inner lining of the blood vessel or the placing of stents. Hypertension, cortisol, aldosterone, adrenalin in other words stress damages the cell membranes, especially in the endothelium. High blood sugar and insulin levels and of course smoking damage the cell membranes as well. Most of these insults cause inflammation.
When we get older the repair mechanisms break down as we can’t make enough phosphatidylcholine to repair the damage. The damaged cell is not able to make enough phosphatidylcholine to repair itself. So cell membranes and with them the cells disintegrate. First the cell membranes lose fluidity, enzyme function deteriorates, electrolyte channels no longer function properly and neither do various receptors. Embedded LDL is let loose and the cell finally dies.
The result of this damage in blood vessels is scar tissue, most likely in the form of plaque formation and finally a blood clot.
Plaquex is indispensable for the regeneration and formation of biological membranes. The functionality of all cellular and sub cellular membrane systems is dependent on the integrity of the PC structure.
The body´s own synthesis of PC declines with increasing age. Then there is the addition of endothelium damaging influences such as free radicals, detergents (dissolve the phosphatidylcholine from the membrane), inflammation, allergies, immunological processes, metabolic diseases, toxic substances, heavy metals, EM radiation and not to mention the mechanical damage done by angioplasty.