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Returning To School + Phosphatidyl Choline for Chronic Illness and Anti-Aging

Before I start this Health Tip on phosphatidyl choline I want to voice a quick opinion about kids returning to school in the Chicago Public School (CPS) system.

The stance of the Chicago Teachers Union seems totally correct, that the decision should be based on a meeting of the minds: those of teachers and those of scientists (who, you’ll remember, were once taught by teachers).

A significant study from South Korea showed that children can and do spread the virus (click here for more from the NYT story):

“Children younger than 10 transmit to others much less often than adults do, but the risk is not zero. And those between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do. The findings suggest that as schools reopen, communities will see clusters of infection take root that include children of all ages, several experts cautioned.”

Returning to school is one thing if you live in rural downstate Illinois with virtually no virus cases and a miniscule student population. It’s quite another if you attend  Francis Parker, Latin, or Lab, which presumably have superb maintenance, large well-ventilated classrooms, plenty of safety equipment, and so forth.

And then there’s our CPS: overcrowded, poorly maintained, many schools in badly ventilated buildings, and many over a century old. My own grammar schools–Kozminski, Oglesby, and Bret Harte–were already ancient when I arrived.

WholeHealth Chicago provides care for a lot of teachers, and many have medical issues that would place them at risk if they were to return without safeguards.

I suggest we let the teachers, working with scientists, decide when to go back safely. If a teacher has medical issues she feels might jeopardize her health, allow her to remain as an online educator and not have to beg some bureaucrat for her life.

Now to phosphatidyl choline
You’ve likely read or heard about phosphatidyl choline somewhere, maybe online or on a bottle in a supplement aisle. Maybe, like many of us, you could barely pronounce it, and it’s a good rule not to swallow anything you can’t pronounce unless someone reasonably knowledgeable gives you a good reason to do so.

Phosphatidyl choline (fahs-fah-tide-all koline, PC for short) is the nutritional source for one of the several type of fats, called phospholipids, required by our bodies for healthy structure and function of the outer surface of our cells–the cellular membrane.

Our cell membranes are designed to allow nutrients into the cell itself, keep out toxins, and flush away waste products of metabolism. But as we age the membranes grow less and less efficient, both at filtering and detoxifying. In a nutshell,

PC strengthens cell membranes.

Interestingly, PC is also involved in the manufacture of acetylcholine, a brain neurotransmitter involved in clear thought and memory.

Phospholipid membrane deterioration is a major component of virtually all chronic illnesses as well as premature aging. Diseases well-known to be linked to membrane deterioration include all the chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders– Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, chronic Lyme and mold biotoxin illness, and multiple sclerosis.

Patients without a specific diagnosis who suspect they’re aging too quickly are probably sensing cellular membrane deterioration. (The look-in-the-mirror moment of “My God! I’ve aged!”). You suddenly notice you’ve been feeling every decade that’s gone by. To cheer you up, here’s a nice article from Forbes about PC, which they call an “anti-aging wonder pill.”

Choline in food and supplements
To raise your PC, you need to eat more foods containing choline, which is classified as an essential nutrient. Click here and scroll down to the second chart to see a list of choline-rich food sources. Eggs lead the way, but cod, shrimp, scallops, and collards are also included.

Supplying yourself with a steady source of choline can be challenging, so while you should plan to eat a choline-rich diet, I recommend also taking an oral supplement such as this one, which absorbs well and reaches virtually every cell in your body for immediate cell membrane repair and optimal function.

Here’s a good overview of choline from Oregon State University.

IV PC
For people who have chronic illness or sense premature aging, however, it’s probably quickest to get the whole process of membrane repair started by using IV phosphatidyl choline. This treatment has actually been around for more than 55 years in medical centers worldwide.

Some centers refer to PC by its original brand name, Plaquex, because one of its most interesting (and widely sought) effects is the clearing of cholesterol plaque from inside arteries. And because PC infused via IV supports so many areas of the body (including circulatory, mental health, liver, and sexual well-being), patients do report improvements in mental function, sexual function, cholesterol markers, and liver enzymes.

Depending on the individual clinical situation, ten treatments are usually recommended as a start, taken twice weekly. As with all WholeHealth Chicago IV therapies, you’ll receive your infusion in a private room except for the staff member who enters to start the IV and, about 15 minutes later, removes it.

Do some homework on PC yourself. You may realize you’ve got a health situation where the investment ($150 per IV) is worth it, or you may choose to support your PC levels with a supplement taken by mouth.

Be well,
David Edelberg, MD

Leave a Comment


  1. Mery Krause says:

    Thank you Dr. E for your wise and protective words concerning the opening of schools and the safety of teachers and children. Wish there were not argument among those in authority. Also wish this did not develop into a political hot cake. Matters of health should always be left to the experts, not the politicians.

  2. Peggy says:

    Dr. Edelberg, thank you for all this information. What are your thoughts on kids going back to college? Everything I’m reading only talks about K-12. Our son’s university plans on being back in session (some online; some in person classes), with the students living in dorms. A negative Covid-19 test done at least 5 days prior is required to move in. My husband and I think this is a disaster waiting to happen—they were sent home abruptly in March because Covid-19 is highly contagious. So why is it OK to go back now? Our pediatrician told me it’s a “family decision,” which is no help. I’ve sent several questions to the school about how they will handle life outside the classroom. But I’m also looking for an honest opinion from someone with a medical degree.

  3. Mike says:

    Hi. Choline is essential, it’s great for many things, including liver health. There have been a few studies though which have me confused either to supplement or not, because I don’t eat eggs. Seems that it might be very bad for prostate. Any way to clear up this debate?

  4. April W. says:

    Hi Dr E.
    I appreciate your comments about teachers & healthcare.
    Do you have some thoughts and suggestions for all of your Flight Attendant patients?

  5. Dr. E. says:

    Hi Peggy
    I think occasional small classes (10 or less) a couple of times a week with everything else online and kids in private dorm rooms with private baths are okay. Anything beyond that gets more and more risky.
    Hi April
    I have been writing a lot of notes for my flight attendant patients. I’ve never been a big fan about the way the airlines treat their employees, especially when it comes to health and safety issues
    Dr E

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DIAGNOSE-IT-YOURSELF: COVID-19

Far and away, the commonest phone call/e mail I receive asks about COVID-19 diagnosis.
Just print this out, tape it on your refrigerator door, and stay calm.

ALLERGIES

• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Red, swollen eyes
• Itchy eyes and nose
• Tickly throat
• No fever

COLD
• Runny nose
• Sneezing
• Sore throat
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild dry cough
• Rarely a low fever

STREP THROAT
• Painful sore throat
• Hurts to swallow
• Swollen glands in neck
• Fever

FLU (Standard seasonal flu)
• Fever
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Sudden onset over few hours
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Fatigue, sometimes quite severe
• Muscle aches, sometimes quite severe
• Rarely, diarrhea

CORONAVIRUS-COVID 19
• Shortness of breath
• Fever (usually above 100 degrees)
• Dry cough (no mucus)
• Slow onset (2-14 days)
• Mild muscle aches
• Mild fatigue
• Mild sneezing

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