Lecithin seems to be an all-around miracle supplement as it has been linked to weight loss, heart health, cholesterol health, liver health and brain function as well as other health benefits. This article gives an overview of lecithin and explains its health benefits as well as how to get the proper amount of lecithin in your diet.
Lecithin has long been touted to prevent many illnesses and diseases as well as prevent memory loss and assist in weight loss. Lecithin is a compound of choline and inositol that is found in every living cell as a primary part of the cell membrane. Among other functions, lecithin transports fats and bad cholesterol through the blood stream to keep them from attaching to the walls of the heart, arteries and veins. While lecithin can easily be consumed through eating a healthy diet, supplements are also available as well as powder and granular forms. Here is an overview of the health benefits of lecithin.
- Lowering Cholesterol and Promoting Heart Health – Lecithin does work to move fat and bad cholesterol through the blood stream so it doesn’t stick to artery walls, thus keeping fat from clogging arteries. For this reason lecithin does help lower bad cholesterol and help keep arteries from clogging up promoting improved cardiovascular health. For years, doctors have prescribed adding lecithin to the diet to stay heart healthy with positive results.
- Weight Loss – Because lecithin assists in the breakdown of fat it is believed to be beneficial for weight loss. However, even though lecithin assists in keeping fat from attaching to artery walls, it doesn’t actually flush the fat from the system. Lecithin is healthy for many reasons but researchers do not yet have proof that it will actually help you lose weight.
- Liver Heath – Lecithin has been proven to be effective in liver health. Because lecithin moves fat through the blood stream and breaks it own, it prevents fat from attaching to the liver. This helps to prevent such liver diseases as cirrhosis.
- Brain Function – Studies and tests have been effective in showing the benefits of lecithin on brain function health. Lecithin provides an important substance that helps brain cells continue to communicate effectively. It is this substance, called acetylcholine, which is found to be lacking in Alzheimer’s patients. Increasing lecithin in the diet can help not only those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, but also boost memory for people as they age.
- Reproductive Health – Lecithin is important for fetus development in the womb, especially for the development of the brain and nervous system. Pregnant women should consult their doctor before adding lecithin to their diet.
- Other Benefits – Lecithin contains essential fatty acids that decrease the risk of cell membranes hardening. For this reason it may be beneficial in helping reduce the pain of arthritis. It has also been found to promote gallbladder health and prevent gallstones. Some even believe lecithin helps boost performance in endurance sports, although this has yet to be proven.
- How to Add Lecithin to Your Diet – Your body only needs 30 to 50 grams of lecithin each day to enjoy its health benefits. You can easily get this through eating foods which contain lecithin such as egg yoke, wheat germ, soybeans, fish, legumes, peanuts, whole grains and yeast. Supplements in capsule form are also available as well as powder or granules which can be added to food. Taken in small doses, lecithin has no side-effects. However, if taken in high doses it can cause diarrhea, weight gain, headache, nausea, gastrointestinal problems, vomiting and dizziness. Always talk to your doctor first before adding any supplements to your diet.
Lecithin sounds like a miracle supplement but in reality it is just one more component necessary in the human diet for the body to function properly. You can easily enjoy the health benefits of lecithin by eating a healthy diet and adding lecithin enriched foods or supplements in the proper amounts.