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Phospholipids: A Powerful Tool in Lyme Disease Recovery

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Healing the body at the cellular level is an important component of recovery from chronic Lyme disease.  Microbes, toxins and inflammation all damage the cells, and while the body does regenerate itself, sometimes, it needs a little help.

One powerful tool for healing and restoring the body involves using phospholipids, which are a type of fat that comprises all cell membranes, in addition to cholesterol. The cell membrane is where all cellular communications take place, and is responsible for uptaking nutrients into the cell while removing waste from it.  The cell membrane gets damaged by toxins, inflammation, and other factors involved in Lyme, but by restoring it with phospholipid therapy, the body can more quickly heal.

Phospholipids and Lyme Disease Recovery

Phosphatidylcholine is a type of phospholipid that is commonly used by Lyme-literate doctors (LLMDS) to heal the cells. It is most effective when taken intravenously, but I have also personally found transdermal phosphatidylcholine to be incredibly effective and beneficial. Oral forms of this super nutrient may also be useful, and are an especially good choice when your funds are limited.

In addition to rebuilding cell membranes, phosphatidylcholine helps the body to detoxify Lyme and other toxins, but in a way that is gentler than many detox treatments. It supports liver function (and is in fact a treatment for fatty liver disease), and assists with dumping waste out of the cells. By supporting cellular function and the liver, the body can more easily eliminate toxins.

David Minkoff, MD, a leading Lyme disease doctor featured in my 2016 book, New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment, has this to say about phosphatidylcholine: “There are petrochemicals, plastics, heavy metals, pesticides and other environmental toxins stored in the cell membrane, and phospholipids help to remove these toxins. Phospholipid therapy is essential therefore for detoxification as well as for healing cell membranes and keeping cells intact.”

What’s more, phosphatidylcholine can improve Lyme symptoms of brain fog, memory loss, depression and anxiety, and even increase energy.  It is a component of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that aids in memory and cognition. I have personally found it to be as important for supporting the function of my brain as other brain support tools such as amino acid and hormone replacement therapy. Whenever I have a lot of mental work that I need to get done, I load up on this super nutrient and find that it helps me to process information more quickly, improves my ability to think abstractly—and even improves my mood!

Another great thing about phosphatidylcholine therapy is that it has a good safety track record. But because detox reactions can occur with it, people with Lyme may want to start out on low dosages of it. I recommend working with a Lyme-literate health care practitioner to best determine what you need, and in what form.

This article was first published on ProHealth.com on October 27, 2016 and was updated on July 01, 2020.


Connie Strasheim is the author of multiple wellness books, including three on Lyme disease. She is also a medical copywriter, editor and healing prayer minister. Her passion is to help people with complex chronic illnesses find freedom from disease and soul-spirit sickness using whole body medicine and prayer, and she collaborates with some of the world’s best integrative doctors to do this. In addition to Lyme disease, Connie’s books focus on cancer, nutrition, detoxification and spiritual healing. You can learn more about her work at: ConnieStrasheim.

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