Phosphatidylcholine: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, and Precautions (2023)

other names):

1,2-διακυλ-:ussn:ουγλυκερο-3-φωσφοχολίνη, Fosfatidilcolina, Lipodissolve, Lipolight, Lipolyse, Lipothérapie, Lipotherapy, Phosphatidyl Choline, Phospholipid, Phospholipide, Phospholipon, Polyenylphosphatidyllin,Polyenylphosphatidyllincholine.

  • overview
  • Used
  • side effects
  • Precautions
  • interactions
  • dosage


Phosphatidylcholine is a chemical found in eggs, soy, mustard, sunflower and other foods.

The term "phosphatidylcholine" is sometimes used interchangeably with "lecithin", although the two are different. Choline is a component of phosphatidylcholine, which is a component of lecithin. Although these terms are closely related, they are not identical.

Because the body uses phosphatidylcholine to make a brain chemical called acetylcholine, there is some interest in using it to treat "brain-centric" conditions such as memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, manic-depressive disorder, and a movement called tardive dyskinesia.

Phosphatidylcholine is also used to treat hepatitis, eczema, gallbladder disease, poor circulation, high cholesterol, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). to improve the efficiency of dialysis. to strengthen the immune system; and to prevent aging.

Doctors sometimes give phosphatidylcholine intravenously (intravenously) for chest pain, fat globules in the blood (fat embolism), high cholesterol, liver disease, and fatty plaque buildup in the arteries.

Phosphatidylcholine is injected under the skin (subcutaneously) to treat benign fatty lumps (lipomas), excess fat around the eyelids, and yellowish deposits of cholesterol just below the surface of the skin (xanthelasma).

Phosphatidylcholine is the main active ingredient found in injectable cosmetics and is used to "dissolve" fat. These products include Lipodissolve, Lipolight, Lipolysis, Lipotherapy and more. Some cosmetic centers in many countries initially imported a prescription intravenous drug called Lipostabil from Germany. It was used subcutaneously for cosmetic purposes. However, the manufacturer of this product does not recommend it for this purpose due to a lack of reliable data. Some countries, such as Brazil, have banned the import of this product for cosmetic use. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also issued a warning to sellers of Lipostabil for false and misleading claims and that it is an unapproved drug in the US.

Phosphatidylcholine injections are now often prepared in pharmacies. However, in the US, phosphatidylcholine, when synthesized and used as an injection, is considered an unapproved drug and not a dietary supplement.

How does it work;

The body makes a brain chemical called acetylcholine from phosphatidylcholine. Acetylcholine is important for memory and other bodily functions. Because phosphatidylcholine can increase acetylcholine levels, there is interest in its use to improve memory and conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

Some researchers believe that phosphatidylcholine acts as a detergent and breaks down fat.

A specific form of phosphatidylcholine (polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine) may offer protection against liver fibrosis and liver damage caused by alcohol consumption, although the exact mechanisms are not fully understood.

SLIDESHOW Hepatitis: How do you get hepatitis A, B and C? View the slideshow

uses and effectiveness

Probably effective for...

  • Hepatitis C. Taking phosphatidylcholine by mouth along with interferon seems to improve liver function in people with hepatitis C.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis). Research suggests that taking a specific phosphatidylcholine product (Sterpur P-30 Granulat, Stern-Lecithin und Soja GmbH) daily for a period of 3 months improves symptoms in people with ulcerative colitis.

It may be ineffective for...

  • Hepatitis A. Taking phosphatidylcholine by mouth does not seem to improve liver function in people with hepatitis A.
  • Improvement in a medical procedure called peritoneal dialysis. Taking phosphatidylcholine by mouth does not seem to improve a medical procedure called peritoneal dialysis.
  • A movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia. Taking phosphatidylcholine by mouth does not seem to improve a movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia.

Insufficient evidence to assess the effectiveness of...

  • Liver disease caused by alcohol. Early research shows that taking phosphatidylcholine daily for 24 months does not increase the chances of survival for people with alcohol-related liver disease.
  • Reduction of fat deposits. Early research shows that localized fat deposits on the chin, thighs, hips, abdomen, back, neck, and other areas appear smaller in people after subcutaneous injections of phosphatidylcholine. Improvements seem to last 2-3 years or more. In one study, 80% of patients reported improvements in facial fat deposits that lasted up to 3 years. However, these results have been questioned because the studies were not well designed.
  • Reduced brain function due to liver disease. Research suggests that taking phosphatidylcholine daily for 6 to 8 weeks does not improve the decline in brain function in people with liver disease or liver failure.
  • Hepatitis B. Studies on hepatitis B show conflicting results. It is not clear whether phosphatidylcholine is beneficial.
  • Inability to break down cholesterol in the body. Research shows that taking phosphatidylcholine does not lower cholesterol levels in the bodies of people who cannot break down cholesterol
  • Treatment of benign fatty tumors (lipomas). There is a report that injecting a phosphatidylcholine solution directly into a lipoma can shrink the tumor by about 35%. However, this treatment can cause an adverse reaction of the lipoma.
  • memory loss. There is early evidence that taking a single 25 mg dose of phosphatidylcholine (PC-55, TwinLab) can improve some memory scores in healthy college students.
  • eyelid fat. There is some evidence that injecting a phosphatidylcholine solution reduces protruding fat patches on the lower eyelid in some people.
  • Worry.
  • eczema.
  • gallbladder disease.
  • manic-depressive illness.
  • Circulatory disorders in the hands and feet.
  • weight loss.
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).
  • Alzheimer's disease.
  • weakened immunity.
  • prevention of aging.
  • Other situations.

More data are needed to rate the effectiveness of phosphatidylcholine for these uses.

The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence using the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Likely Effective, Likely Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence for Rating(Detailed description of each rating).

side effects

Phosphatidylcholine istPossibly definitelyif taken by mouth or if injected just under the skin, short-term. The safety of long-term use is not known.

When phosphatidylcholine is taken by mouth, it can sometimes cause excessive sweating, stomach upset, and diarrhea.

Phosphatidylcholine injections may cause irritation, swelling, redness, itching, burning, bruising, and pain at the injection site. These side effects usually go away within a few days.

When phosphatidylcholine is injected directly into a fatty overgrowth (lipoma), there can be an inflammatory response that can make the tumor more fibrous. In one reported case, the patient who did this had the lipoma surgically removed.

QUESTION Hepatitis C virus causes infection of the _______. See the answer

Special precautions and warnings

period of pregnancy and breastfeeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking phosphatidylcholine during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Stay safe and avoid using.


Drying medications (anticholinergics)Interaction rating:ModerateBe careful with this combination. Talk to your doctor.

Some dehydrating medications are called anticholinergics. Phosphatidylcholine can enhance chemicals that can reduce the effects of these drying medications.

Some drying medications includeAtropine, scopolamine and certain medicines for allergies (antihistamines) and depression (antidepressants).

Drugs for Alzheimer's disease (acetylcholinesterase (AchE) inhibitors)Interaction rating:ModerateBe careful with this combination. Talk to your doctor.

Phosphatidylcholine can increase a chemical called acetylcholine in the body. Alzheimer's drugs called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors also increase levels of the chemical acetylcholine. Taking phosphatidylcholine with Alzheimer's drugs may increase the effects and side effects of Alzheimer's drugs.

Some medicines called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors include donepezil (Aricept), Tacrin (Cognex), Rivastigmin (Excellent) and Galantamine (Reminyl, Razadyne).

Various drugs for glaucoma, Alzheimer's, and other diseases (cholinergic drugs)Interaction rating:ModerateBe careful with this combination. Talk to your doctor.

Phosphatidylcholine can increase a chemical called acetylcholine in the body. This chemical is similar to some drugs used to treat glaucoma, Alzheimer's and other conditions. Taking phosphatidylcholine with these drugs may increase the risk of side effects.

Some of these medications for glaucoma, Alzheimer's, and other diseases include pilocarpine (Pilocar and others) and others.


The following doses have been studied in scientific research:


  • For hepatitis C: 1.8 grams of lecithin, which contains phosphatidylcholine, daily along with a medicine called interferon.

Phosphatidylcholine: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, and Precautions (3)

Report problems to the Food and Drug Administration

We encourage you to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit itFDA MedWatchwebsite or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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bibliographical references

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Fabia, R., Ar'Rajab, A., Willen, R., Andersson, R., Ahren, B., Larsson, K., and Bengmark, S. Effects of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylinositol on acetic acid-induced colitis. in the rat. Digestion 1992;53(1-2):35-44. View summary.

Holecek, M., Mraz, J., Koldova, P., and Skopec, F. Effect of polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine on the initiation of liver regeneration after hepatectomy in the rat. Drug research. 1992, 42(3):337-339. View summary.

Neuberger, J., Hegarty, JE, Eddleston, AL, and Williams, R. Effect of polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine on immune-mediated hepatocellular injury. Good 1983? 24(8):751-755. View summary.

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FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. Warning letter to Ayula Dublin regarding Lipostabil. July 22, 2003.

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