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LYSOLECITHINS Soybean Phospholipid

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                                  L Y S O L E C I T H I N S
                                          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
                                                                                  Fig 4b.
                                          themselves in such a way as to          Phosphatidylethanolamine
                                          make this possible comes from their
                                          unique molecular structure.
Fig 1.
    David Garnett is the Scientific            Ordinary           phospholipid
Director of Pathway Intermediates         molecules are made up of a polar
Limited. He pioneered the use of          head group and two hydrophobic
lysolecithins in animal nutrition and     fatty acyl chains (see Fig. 2).
was the inventor of the concept                                                   Fig 4c. Phosphatidylserine
and original patent holder of the
product [1,2].

                                          Fig 2. Ordinary phospholipid
Introduction                              molecule
     Since the 1990’s the use of
lysolecithins in animal nutrition has         In the case of lysophospholipids    Fig 4d. Phosphatidylinositol
gained widespread acceptance by           only one of these chains is present
the scientific community. Although        (see Fig. 3).                               In addition, each fatty acyl chain
many experts recognize the benefits                                               has a specific length and degree
of inclusion of lysolecithins in animal                                           of saturation. Thus, there are a
diets, how it works to improve                                                    number of parameters that can
animal performance is often less                                                  alter the physical and biochemical
                                          Fig    3.        Lysophospholipid
well understood.                          molecule                                properties of these remarkable
                                                                                  compounds. Small changes to the
Form and Function                                                                 molecules can radically alter the
                                              The polar head groups may           functionalities and this is the case
     Phospholipids,        including      include choline, ethanolamine,          with lysolecithins - sometimes called
lysolecithins, are ubiquitous in          serine and inositol (see Fig. 4a-d).    lysolipids or lysophospholipids.
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    Fig 4a. Phosphatidylcholine             Fig 5. Phospholipid bilayer
    However phospholipids and            from fluidity is highly complicated      that make up the wall of the
lysophospholipids do not only form       but the following is a brief             gastrointestinal tract.
bilayer plasma membranes - they          description of what may occur at a
                                                                                      Lastly, we have the surfactant
are also able to form micelles           macromolecular level.
                                                                                  properties of phospholipids. Again,
or liposomes spontaneously - so
                                              Each membrane at equilibrium        due to the size, shape and electric
creating microscopic envelopes
                                         will contain pores or holes - these      charge of the lysolipids they are
that can be filled with useful
                                         are best thought of as gaps or           better oil-in-water emulsifiers than
substrates. This is also a feature of
                                         vacancies where phospholipids are        ordinary phospholipids (see Fig. 6).
the molecules’ shape and charge
                                         missing from the lattice structure.
and the way in which complex
                                         Sometimes there will be clusters
mixtures of phospholipids are able
                                         of these vacancies of various sizes
to arrange themselves into highly
                                         so it is clear that there will be a
ordered arrays at the macroscopic
                                         statistical distribution of pore-sizes
level.
                                         in the membrane. When additional
                                         lysolipids are introduced it is this
                                         distribution that is affected and
                                         results in increase in both the
                                         number and size of larger pores [3].
                                         Through the normal passive
                                         transport      processes,    nutrients
                                         of larger molecular weights can
                                         then pass more readily across the
                                                                                  Fig. 6 Emulsification test.
                                         membrane. In the case of lysolipids      Separation of oil and water
                                         in the diet, this means that the         emulsion after 30 minutes.
Fig 6. Lysophospholipid micelle          nutrient absorption profile of the
     A third attribute of these          gut is beneficially altered with the
lipids is their surfactant property      passive flux ‘hurdle’ temporarily
- the ability to solubilise fats into    lowered. If no further lysolipids are    Animal Nutrition
aqueous emulsions. Each of these         applied to the system the normal
                                         acyltransferase enzymes quickly               In all species of animal
behaviours can be used to positively
impact animal health and nutrition if    redress this balance and return the      beneficial effects can be seen.
correctly applied following scientific   lyso-molecules to their diacyl forms     In pigs for example, lysolecithins
principles.                              and the cell returns to equilibrium.     improved ADG linearly (p=0.04)
                                                                                  between day 15 and 35 and
     Although lysolipids account for         This is a key application of
                                         lysolipids in animal nutrition           overall. Dietary lysolecithins at
a very small (<1%) of the total lipid
                                         because it means it is possible to       0.02% improved digestibility of
content in the membrane, they do
                                         extract more nutrient value from         fat (P=0.10), DM (P=0.003)
have a vital role to play. One of
                                         every kilogram of diet, even when        and protein (P=0.001) [4]. Also,
their characteristics is that they act
                                         such nutrients are normally poorly       inclusion levels of dietary lysine
as membrane fluidity modulators
                                         absorbed.                                can be reduced using lysolecithins
and it is through this function that
the permeability of the membrane                                                  and it has been hypothesized that
                                             A second feature of using
can be altered. When an ordinary                                                  improved homogenisation of the
                                         lysolipids in diets comes from their
membrane (that is to say a                                                        feed by lysolipids results in enhanced
                                         ability to form liposomes. Normal
membrane that is at equilibrium)         phospholipids produce micelles but       digestibility of many water-soluble
comes into contact with an excess        they tend to be large and less well      nutrients [5]. Also, it has been
of lysolipids these exogenous lipids     absorbed in the intestine. Lysolipids    found that lysolecithins significantly
are quickly interdigitated into the      on the other hand naturally form         improve solubilisation of long-chain
bilayer. The membrane becomes            small, tightly packed liposomes          fatty acids in sheep [6]. In poultry,
more fluid and as a consequence,         that are very well absorbed. This is     the benefits are seen primarily in
more permeable. The exact formula        because smaller vesicles are better      reduced FCR figures and reduced
by which permeability is derived         able to fuse into the membranes          mortality.
    Studies have shown that fish       Fig. 8 Enzyme cleavage sites
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 [7]. Fish appear to require
exogenous phospholipids in order
to sustain a sufficient rate of
lipoprotein biosynthesis [8].




Products
     Lecithin is a complex mixture
of phospholipids, glycolipids and
glycerides that can be extracted
from plant material. Soybeans are
the predominant source of industrial
lecithins     although      rapeseed
is an increasingly interesting
alternative. Each plant variety
has a characteristic phospholipid
profile so that the functionality of
the derived lecithin varies between        To produce lysolecithins the         The use of nuclear magnetic
plant species (see Fig. 7).            crude lecithin extract is modified   resonance spectrometry to analyse
                                       using enzymes to produce the exact   the lipids ensures that both the raw
                                       degree of hydrolysis needed to       materials and the reaction end-
                                       make the required lysolipids.        point are optimal.

                                                                                 Using       highly      purified
                                                                            phospholipid fractions to re-create
                                                                            lecithin mixtures it became possible
                                                                            to determine the optimum ratio of
                                                                            constituent lipids. Recent advances
                                                                            in production technology mean that
                                                                            now the most powerful commercial
                                                                            lysolipids have been tailor-made for
                                                                            the best possible impact on animal
                                                                            performance.




Fig. 7 Phospholipid species profile of soybean and rapeseed
References

[1]   Animal    Feed  Containing                and      nutrient  digestibility.               and lysophosphatidylcholine
      Phospholipid   Component.                 J. Xing, E. van Heugten, D. Li,                 enhances       the   lymphatic
      1993. D. Garnett. Patent                  K. Touchette,      J. Coalson,                  absorption of tocopherol in
      Number GB2267033.                         R. Odgaard and J. Odle.                         adult rats. S. Koo and S. Noh.
                                                J.Anim.Sci. 2004; 82: 2601-                     Journal of Nutrition 2001;
[2]   Improved           Lysolecithin
                                                2609.                                           131: 717-722.
      Feed     Additive.      2004.
      D. Garnett. Patent Number           [5]   Effects      of       emulsification      [8]   Effects of soybean oil and
      GB0423583.4.                              on amino acid and lipid                         soybean lecithin on intestinal
                                                digestibility in finishing pigs.                lipid composition and lipid
[3]   Changing the size of holes
                                                L. Averette, M. See and J. Odle                 droplet    accumulation     of
      in membranes: A new
                                                http://mark.asci.ncsu.edu/swinereports/         rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus
      technology?       D. Garnett
                                                2001/07nutlori.t\htm                            mykiss Walbaum. R.M. Olsen,
      and R. Jones. The Genetic
                                                                                                B. Dragnes, R. Myklebust and
      Engineer and Biotechnologist        [6]   The utilization of dietary fat in
                                                                                                E. Ringo. Fish Physiology and
      (1993) 13 No.2: 95-103.                   ruminants. S. Andrews. Ph.D
                                                                                                Biochemistry 2003; 29: (3):
                                                Thesis; 1966, University of
[4]   Effects of emulsification, fat                                                            181-192.
                                                Nottingham.
      encapsulation and pelleting
      on weanling pig performance         [7]   Phosphatidylcholine          inhibits




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