This article will focus on cell membranes and their vital importance for our health and function. It also explains how selected nutrition can positively alter their lipid composition to promote strong health, and cell function, and prevent disease. Scientists estimate that there are approximately 37.2 trillion cells in the human body.
The membrane encapsulates each cell by a continuous double layer of lipid molecules, in which membrane proteins are embedded. It is primarily made of phospholipids, which we eat.
Cell membranes are critical for maintaining cell architecture and physiology. Plasma membranes are more than a barrier that separates cells’ inner and outer spaces. They also play a role in cell-to-cell communication and the initiation of intracellular signals.
Important diseases have been linked to changes in lipids. Therefore, it is possible to treat these conditions by normalizing lipid alterations or regulatory interventions that regulate membrane lipid composition.
Cell membrane structure and composition are key aspects of the pathophysiological characteristics of cells. Health generation is possible by manipulating membrane composition using approaches such as membrane lipid therapy or membrane replacement (MLR). This aims to normalize cell functions via the modification of membrane bilayers.
Singer and Nicolson published the famous 1972 paper describing the fluid-macro model of cell membranes. This encouraged further research into membranes and the roles of each component.
In 2014, Nicolson published a second paper. He stated that “after more than 40 years, the basic model of cell membrane still holds relevance for describing basic nano-structures in a variety intracellular and cellular membranes from plant and animal cells as well as lower forms of life.” “
Membrane Lipid Replacement (MLR) is the use of functional oral supplements containing cell membrane glycerolphospholipids and antioxidants to safely replace damaged membrane lipids that accumulate during aging and in various chronic and acute diseases.
Most clinical conditions and aging, if any, are marked by membrane phospholipid-oxidative damage. This causes cell function to decline and can lead to significant MLR
MLR Supplements have been shown to be beneficial in replenishing damaged membrane lipids and restoring mitochondrial function. This has led to a reduction in fatigue in patients with various clinical diagnoses as well as aged subjects.
MLR is a natural supplement strategy that can be used in a variety of conditions. It can be useful in chronic fatigue (fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome), chronic infections (Lyme Disease and mycoplasmal infection); cardiovascular diseases; obesity; metabolic syndrome and diabetes; neurodegenerative disorders (Alzheimer’s disease); neurobehavioural disorders (autism spectrum disorder); fertility diseases; and cancers (breast and colorectal, and other types of cancer.
MLR provides general nutritional support for membrane function during illness and aging. It is free of any adverse effects.
The outer membrane mainly consists of phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin and the inner membrane is composed of phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, and variable amounts of cholesterol.
In addition to the phosphatidyl-nutrients, sphingomyelin, and glycerophospholipids, about 50% of the cell membrane is in the form of lipids, of the omega 6 and omega 3 families as well as omega 7 and omega 9 and saturated fats.
The optimal ratio of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids in the human cell membrane would be 4:1
BodyBio has done exactly this in its BodyBioPC supplement. They have combined the essential phospholipids and the 4:1 ratio of essential fatty acids from the omega-6 and 3 families.
I use the BodyBioPC supplement in my clinical practice to treat fatigue. This includes chronic fatigue syndrome, mycoplasma infections, and Borrelia burgdorferei infections.
MLR is gaining ground in the arsenal of practitioners as the world becomes more polluted.
The National Geographic, Oct 23rd, 2013 – How Many Cells Are In Your Body? (accessed 7.11.22)
Casares D, Escribá PV, Rosselló CA. Membrane Lipid Composition: Effect on Membrane and Organelle Structure, Function and Compartmentalization and Therapeutic Avenues. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 May 1;20(9):2167.
Singer S.J., Nicolson G.L. The Fluid Mosaic Model of the Structure of Cell Membranes. Science. 1972;175:720–731
Nicolson GL. The Fluid-Mosaic Model of Membrane Structure: still relevant to understanding the structure, function, and dynamics of biological membranes after more than 40 years. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Jun;1838(6):1451-66