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Dietary Phosphatidylcholine Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Mar 6, 2015

Phosphatidylcholine is a chemical contained in eggs, soybeans, mustard, sunflower, and other foods…

Researchers included data on dietary intake from three observational cohorts; the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), NHS II, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS). The authors excluded participants with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or unlikely dietary data at baseline. A total of 203,308 men and women were included in this study (NHS: 73,128; NHS II: 88,516; HPFS: 41,664).


Using Cox proportional hazards regression models, relative risk and 95% CI for association between phosphatidylcholine and type 2 diabetes were measured. During follow-up periods NHS (7,063), NHS II (4,465), and HPFS (3,531) participants have developed type 2 diabetes.

After multivariate-adjusted RR of type 2 diabetes the association results have demonstrated:

  • NHS, 1.36 (95% CI 1.26-1.48)
  • NHS II, 1.35 (95% CI 1.22-1.50)
  • HPFS, 1.25 (95% CI 1.14-1.44)
  • Overall pooled analysis, 1.34 (95% CI 1.20-1.39)
  • After adjusting for three major food sources (Red meat, eggs, and seafood), 1.24 (95% CI 1.16-1.39)
  • Choline-containing components, 1.27 (95% CI 1.20-1.39)
  • 100 mg choline from phosphatidylcholine, the risk of type 2 diabetes increased by 17% (95% CI 13-22)

Researchers concluded that there was no significant association between phosphatidylcholine and age, BMI, or other major dietary phosphatidylcholine (P>0.07 for all). However, there was an association between dietary phosphatidylcholine intake and risk of type 2 diabetes. The risk for diabetes increased as intake of more phosphatidylcholine plus 100 mg of choline.

Practice Pearls:

  • This study indicated that dietary phosphatidylcholine intake may have some impact on increasing risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • This finding may have opened up a new area of preventing type 2 diabetes.
  • More studies are necessary.

Li Y, Wang DD, Chiuve SE, et al. Dietary Phosphatidylcholine Intake and Type 2 Diabetes in Men and Women. Diabetes Care 2015; 38:e13-e14