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Last modified on November 26th, 2022
If you’re considering trying a plasmalogen supplement, you may be wondering about the side effects. Below, we discuss what to know about potential plasmalogen supplement side effects and these supplements in general.
What is Plasmalogen?
Plasmalogen is coming to light as one of the most important things for researchers to understand when it comes to the effects of aging on cognition and memory.
- Plasmalogens are a type of cell membrane phospholipids. They contain a vinyl-ether bond.
- Plasmalogens help build our cellular membranes.
- They play a role in releasing neurotransmitters, which naturally occur in high concentrations in our hearts and brain.
- Plasmalogens are primarily made in the liver.
- Up to the age of 30-40, your body produces plasmalogens. Then, once you age and especially after you hit 60, your levels start to go down. This gets problematic because plasmalogens are important for cell function and communication.
Studies show that plasmalogen levels are low in neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and dementia, as well as multiple sclerosis. Plasmalogen levels are also often low in people with heart disease, diabetes, and pancreatic cancer.
Plasmalogens have antioxidant properties and play a role in the release of neurotransmitters. Some contain polyunsaturated fatty acids like DHA, an omega-3 in fish oils, which are good for optimal brain and heart function and health. Some plasmalogens also contain oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fatty acid in olive oil.
As a reservoir for fatty acids, plasmalogens have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Regarding dementia and Alzheimer’s, we think that people with low plasmalogen levels are more likely to have these conditions. The lower someone’s levels if they have dementia or Alzheimer’s, the more severe the disease. For people who are ultimately diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, the plasmalogen levels start to decline years before they experience any symptoms.
There’s a big emphasis in scientific research to learn how plasmalogens can be replaced to hopefully help the symptoms of many diseases we commonly associate with aging.
There are plasmalogens in certain foods. For example, they are found in marine life, such as mussels, scallops, sea squirts, and similar foods, and they’re also in animal foods like beef, chicken, and pork.
The challenge with trying to get plasmalogens from diet alone is that you would need enormous amounts. There’s not that much vitamins for absorption when you’re trying to replace plasmalogens this way, so companies are increasingly making supplements.
Plasmalogen supplements can standardize the amounts someone is getting and deliver a lot more than what you would get from diet alone.
Are There Plasmalogen Supplement Side Effects to Be Aware Of?
As it currently stands, it doesn’t appear that there are any major plasmalogen side effects to be aware of. These supplements are made from food extracts, so they’re considered safe for human consumption.
One of the most popular types of these supplements is ProdromNeuro Performance Plasmalogens, which is just essentially a bioavailable form of the omega-3 DHA. Of course, we can never say for sure that someone wouldn’t experience plasmalogen supplement side effects, but in currently available research and customer reviews, we weren’t able to identify any.
It is important to follow the dosage instructions of the particular supplement you choose, and if you’re allergic to scallops, shellfish, or the like, you should avoid plasmalogen supplements.
As well as there not being any significant plasmalogen side effects known currently, there aren’t thought to be any drug interactions. However, you should still take your plasmalogen two hours away from any other medicines you take for the best results. It’s also best to take plasmalogen on an empty stomach if possible.
Plasmalogen supplement side effects don’t seem to be an issue currently. Plasmalogen supplements are usually derived from food, such as scallops and marine life, so they’re considered safe, but you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking a supplement. You should also carefully follow all instructions.