People these days are constantly looking for supplements to help them improve their overall health and fitness. One supplement that can be used for a variety of conditions is lecithin. Derived from a number of natural sources, it comes in both capsule and granule form, making it easy for you to take advantage of the numerous benefits of lecithin wherever you are.
What Is Lecithin?
The word lecithin is used to describe substances found in plant or animal tissues that are amphiphilic, meaning they have both water and fat-loving properties. This substance was first separated from an egg yolk by scientist Theodore Nicolas Gobley in the mid-1800s. Since that time, researchers have discovered several other benefits of lecithin, which is why it is now used as nutritional supplement, a food additive to help bond certain ingredients together, and as a moisturizer for the skin.
Health Benefits of Lecithin
Many athletes take lecithin because it is known to help the body better digest fats as well as certain fat-soluble vitamins. In addition, lecithin provides some amazing health benefits, a few of which are:
- Improving memory – Studies show that individuals who use lecithin on a regular basis have improved memory and are better able to recall specific information. This is why many doctors believe one of the biggest benefits of lecithin could be warding off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Restoring liver function – This supplement boosts phosphatidylcholine production, a substance that is responsible for preventing the buildup of fats in the liver. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, those with insufficient phosphatidylcholine are more susceptible to developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Protecting the arteries against damage – Lecithin acts as a protective shield for the arteries, preventing debris from sticking to their insides and becoming clogged. Some studies show that it also reduces bad cholesterol levels to help people better control or manage atheroschlerosis, or the build-up of plaque.
- Enhancing cell health – Lecithin is needed in every cell of your body to maintain healthy functioning and prevent their membranes from hardening. It also plays an important role in removing waste products from the cells.
Possible Complications from Soy Lecithin
Not all lecithin is created equal, as where it is obtained from is extremely important. These days, lecithin is derived from marine animals, milk, rapeseed, sunflowers, and cottonseeds, all of which are ideal sources. Soy lecithin on the other hand may cause complications such as bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea, despite being given a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) designation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As such, the benefits of lecithin might not outweigh the risks for anyone who is sensitive to soy products.
When taken as a weight loss supplement, around 1,200 milligrams before each meal is recommended to assist with the breakdown of fats. Two tablespoons of lecithin granules sprinkled on your food should be sufficient for improving any underlying health condition. Always follow the advice of your physician or nutritionist very carefully, as nausea, dizziness, and vomiting could occur if you take too much lecithin.