Phospholipids for Your Brain, Heart, Liver, and Skin

Phospholipid supplements offer a range of benefits for your health, from supporting brain health to promoting heart health and aiding in nutrient absorption. In this article, we’ll explore the science behind the different types of phospholipid supplements and the various ways they can contribute to your overall health. This article will discuss phospholipids in general.

What are Phospholipids?

Phospholipids are essential components of cell membranes, crucial for maintaining their integrity and functionality. These molecules consist of a phosphate group, glycerol, and two fatty acid chains, forming a double-layered structure that regulates the passage of substances in and out of cells.

Beyond their structural role, phospholipids serve as the building blocks for important signaling molecules, supporting various cellular processes like communication, metabolism, and nerve function. Moreover, they aid in the transportation of vital fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K throughout the body.

Emerging research suggests that phospholipid supplements may offer benefits for brain, heart, and liver health, as well as help manage cholesterol levels and improve the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. These supplements are commonly sourced from natural sources like soybeans, sunflower seeds, and egg yolks, making them accessible for those seeking to support their overall health.

What Are the Benefits of Phospholipids?


  • Supports brain health: Phosphatidylserine is essential for the structure and function of brain cells. It may improve cognitive function, memory, and attention span by enhancing cell membrane fluidity and neurotransmitter activity, thus optimizing brain health. Follow the link to our article dedicated to phosphatidylserine. PMID: 25933483, PMC9382310


  • Aids liver function: Phosphatidylcholine has hepatoprotective properties, supporting liver cell integrity and function, which are crucial for detoxification and bile production. PMC7170405
  • Aid in weight management: Phosphatidylcholine is involved in lipid metabolism, helping to break down fat and promote its utilization for energy, potentially aiding in weight loss efforts. PMID: 29186713

General Benefits of Phospholipids:

  • Enhances nutrient absorption: Phospholipids are key in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) by forming micelles that make these nutrients more soluble and easily absorbed. PMID: 16261992
  • Supports skin health: Essential for maintaining the integrity and barrier function of the skin, phospholipids help retain moisture, prevent dehydration, and protect against environmental damage, improving skin hydration, elasticity, and appearance. PMID: 26277314

The Many Types of Phospholipid Supplements

  • Phosphatidylserine: Often used for enhancing cognitive functions such as memory, concentration, and brain health. They may also help in reducing stress and improving mood.
  •  Phosphatidylcholine: These supplements are primarily used for supporting liver health, aiding in fat metabolism, and may improve overall cellular function. They’re also thought to benefit brain health and may help in managing certain neurological disorders. Learn more in our article on Choline.
  • Lecithin:
    •  Sunflower Lecithin: A non-soy, non-allergenic alternative, sunflower lecithin is used for nerve health, cholesterol management, and improving digestive health due to its emulsifying properties.
    •  Soy Lecithin: Rich in phospholipids, soy lecithin is used for its potential benefits in cholesterol management, cognitive health, liver function, and as a natural emulsifier to improve gut health.
    •  Egg Yolk Lecithin: These supplements provide phospholipids that may support brain health, cognitive function, and cholesterol management. They’re also beneficial for overall cellular health.
    •  Milk Lecithin: Derived from milk, these supplements are sometimes used for brain health, and cognitive function, and may support the nervous system.
  •  Krill Oil: These contain phospholipids combined with omega-3 fatty acids, which may benefit heart health, reduce inflammation, and support brain function. The phospholipids in krill oil can enhance the absorption of omega-3s.
  •  Fish Oil Supplements with Phospholipids: Similar to krill oil, these supplements may improve the bioavailability of omega-3 fatty acids. They’re used for heart health, reducing inflammation, and supporting cognitive function.
  •  Phosphatidic Acid: Targeted towards athletes and bodybuilders for their potential role in muscle growth, recovery, and enhancing the body’s response to resistance training.

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

Adding phospholipid supplements into your daily routine can offer various health benefits. From supporting brain health and promoting heart health to aiding liver function and enhancing nutrient absorption, these supplements play a crucial role in maintaining overall health. Additionally, phospholipid supplements contribute to healthy skin and may aid in weight management efforts. By providing essential nutrients that support cellular function and integrity, phospholipid supplements empower you to take proactive steps toward optimizing your health.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

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Supplement Sciences

Staff Authors at Nutriscape have been working on this article and it is still a work in progress. Please feel free to login and comment on what you see so far.

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