In various scientific reports, stated that the content of Sphingomyelin in Mother’s Milk (ASI) is 29% of the total phospholipids in breast milk. This number is higher than that of cow’s milk is only 24%. In a review conducted by Vesper et al. (1999), animal products contain sphingolipid relatively higher than vegetable products. Exceptions to soy, it has a fairly high sphingolipid content.
Still in the review, sphingomyelin of the food turned out slightly hydrolyzed primarily in the stomach and small intestine and colon section. However, not all of the sphingolipid, including sphingomyelin in it, which is ingested can be absorbed by the body, about 10% is not absorbed and excreted through the large intestine (colon).
Because sphingolipid still relatively lipid group, then the process of transport and distribution follows the pattern of fat distribution, meaning that after decomposed into its constituent metabolites, and some have merged back in sphingolipid molecules. Together with other lipid components, all collected as chylomicrons and subsequently distributed to tissues in need. Even known that sphingomyelin alone abundant in LDL cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein).
In a scientific study using animal models conducted by Oshida et al. (2003) reported that when the activity of enzymes that play a role synthesize sphingomyelin inhibited, then the process penyelimutan (myelinated) nerve cells will also be hampered. Conversely, with the addition of sphingomyelin intake, then the process will be hampered myelinasi restored. Low nutrient conditions is one factor inhibition of enzyme activity forming the sphingomyelin.
Looking at the function and role of the sphingomyelin, it appears that this substance has an important role as well as AA and DHA. AA, DHA and sphingomyelin are not interchangeable but support each other in the formation and function of nerve cells work optimally.