Plasmalogens are a vital lipid in the body. They are a specialized phospholipid found in all human tissue that is quite prevalent in the brain, heart, lungs, eyes, and kidneys. Plasmalogens are important to the process of neurotransmission. They are also essential to other functions that impact cells.
When plasmalogen levels decline, many physiological and biochemical processes are negatively impacted. Unfortunately, our bodies produce plasmalogen for a limited amount of time then levels begin to decline as we age.
Plasmalogen levels begin to escalate in the fetal stage then begin to taper off after 30. After around age 60, levels decline significantly. As mentioned previously, their prominence in the brain and other key organs explains why many of those specialized tissues are often degraded as we age.
With no adequate food sources featuring high enough amounts of plasmalogens to impact our reserves of the lipids, what can we do as our bodies use them up?
Dr. Dayan Goodenowe has been researching the importance of plasmalogens since 2006. As a well-respected neuroscientist who specializes in seeking and discovering the life-extending benefits of biochemical health, Dr. Goodenowe is always on the hunt for a new way to harness our chemical makeup for improved healthspan.
Fortunately, this hunt led to the discovery and development of multiple tools that could be a game changer in the world of brain health and overall longevity.
A test has been developed that measures plasmalogen levels. Combined with the creation of a supplement that can restore plasmalogens in the human body, we now have a way to combat the natural drop in plasmalogen levels.
Lower levels of plasmalogens can indicate a basis for disease severity. Recent research seems to show that those with the APOE4 gene, which may represent a higher risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s, have some form of lipid-level dysfunction, including low levels of plasmalogens.
Could the introduction of plasmalogens via supplements impact those with the potential for neurological diseases like dementia, MS, neuropathies, or chronic fatigue?
Plasmalogen levels are finally on the radar for these diseases. For those with higher risks of disease, introducing them around the natural drop-off age of 30 makes sense. Otherwise, supplementing plasmalogens may be good for the prevention of disease, chronic pain, or reduced function in those around 60.
The groundbreaking discovery of the role of plasmalogens combined with the creation of a way to supplement levels in the body may just be the key to a longer healthspan.