Leading Integrated Healthcare

Phospholipid Exchange Therapy


Chemicals such as pesticides, preservatives, heavy metals and even some medical drugs can be stored in body fat for long periods, and continue to interfere with functioning, most notably of the brain, nervous system and immune system.  They can only be excreted from the body by two routes: via the liver into bile, which then enters the gut, or via sweat (the only other route, which is no solution, is in breast milk).


Lipid Exchange is a technique that has been practised for some decades, especially in Eastern Europe, using an oily product derived from soya (brand-names Lipostabil and Essentiale), which can be given by intravenous injection or by mouth.  There is an extensive literature on its safety and efficacy in a wide range of disorders including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, liver damage, kidney failure,and auto-immune diseases.  Like many such therapies, it was never taken up very much by medicine in Western Europe or the USA, although in recent years drug-development scientists have again been very interested in its use as a delivery system for drugs — a means of getting them rapidly into cells.


However in the last 6 years anaesthesiologists have become aware of the powerful potential effects of injected lipids, and are using it in an increasing range of clinical contexts. They called it Lipid Rescue. According to Guy Weinberg, one of the pioneers;

It is surprising that such a simple formulation, lipid emulsion, can rapidly reverse severe clinical toxicity from a variety of vastly diverse medications with distinct pharmacodynamics and mechanisms of action. 

Anaesthesiology 2012; 117


One group in the USA saw the potential of PLX in a range of disorders, and have developed it further into an effective means of detoxifying the cell membrane.  This is dramatically important in modern times, because the major groups of toxins —

  • organophosphate and organochlorine pesticides
  • related chemicals such as fire-retardants (PCBs, PBBs)
  • heavy metals such as lead, mercury etc

— are all fat-soluble, and end up either inside fat cells or in cell membranes, where they disrupt the very processes of life.  Inside fat cells they are in fact relatively inert and thus safe, since this is a storage facility; it is in the membranes that they do damage.


All membranes in our bodies, indeed in all life, are made up of two layers of oil molecules (the phospho-lipid bilayer) which slide over each other, and which require a precise composition in order to function properly — to allow signals or molecules into or out of the cell, to keep them out etc.  This is the reason why too much animal fats or processed fats can be bad for us, and why the “Essential Fatty Acids” are essential.


The first active ingredient of the treatment is phospholipids, oils, in the form in which they occur in the membranes.  When this is injected intravenously there is a rapid exchange, the injected lipids being put into the cell walls to replace the ones there being taken out, and with the lipids coming out of the cell wall there also come some of the toxins.  The literature suggests that at least 5% of total cell lipids can be turned over by one treatment.


The second ingredient of the treatment is glutathione.  This amino acid is an important antioxidant and a key component of liver detoxifying systems. It is also what the herbalists refer to as a cholagogue; it stimulates bile production.  It is given as a second injection through the same needle, with the purpose of mopping up in the bloodstream the toxins that are released by the phospholipid membranes, combining with them and being excreted still attached to them. It also serves to stimulate bile flow, and in the bowel to keep the toxins from being re-absorbed into the system.  I and many others have used glutathione intravenously for some years and I have never seen an adverse reaction, even with the large 2 gram doses used in PLX.


The combination of these two agents amounts to a new treatment, but there is very good evidence of safety for each component, and the American group have given thousands of such combined treatments, with no serious adverse effects, and often with dramatic benefits. Their major focus has been on neurotoxic diseases, ranging from Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis through Alzheimer’s to Autism.  They also report good results in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, Lyme disease and other chronic infections, and in Rheumatoid Arthritis.  The earlier, Eastern European research also reports beneficial results in cardiovascular disease, other auto-immune diseases, severe liver and kidney problems and other severe infections.


While we make no medicinal claim for this treatment, we  offer it primarily to people with either demonstrated chemical toxicity — where it clearly can help in removal of toxins — or those with other problems of detoxification and excretion, such as Gilbert’s syndrome where the liver’s detoxing capacity is reduced.