Since the 1990s the use of lysolecithins in animal nutrition has gained widespread acceptance by the scientific community. Although many experts recognize the benefits of inclusion of lysolecithins in animal diets, how it works to improve animal performance is often less well understood.
Phospholipids, including lysolecithins, are ubiquitous in nature as they form one of the essential structures of all living cells - the membrane. The plasma membrane provides the fundamental architecture of the cell, allowing what is technically 'living' to be isolated from the inert. However, this separation is far from absolute since the membrane must permit the flow of nutrients into the cell and also allow the cell to express a variety of metabolites. The ability of phospholipids and lysophospholipids to arrange themselves in such a way as to make this possible comes from their unique molecular structure.
Studies have also shown that fish benefit from lysolecithins in more than one way. Many fish species are deficient in choline and this extra source of readily available choline has a marked effect. Similarly, lysolecithins are known to increase the absorption of tocopherols and cholesterol, which is an added benefit. Fish appear to require exogenous phospholipids in order to sustain a sufficient rate of lipoprotein biosynthesis.
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Article made possible through the contribution of Avitech Animal Health.