Lethicin is a compound found in many animal and plant resources such as beef and cauliflower, and as a supplement is commonly extracted from soybeans and egg yolk. Lecithin is a phospholipid composed mainly of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, and phosphatidylinositol. These molecules are necessary for proper formation and function of cell membranes and transportation of fats in the bloodstream
The health benefits of taking a lecithin supplement arise primarily from its phosphatidylcholine content. In addition to the roles mentioned above, this molecule is also an essential source of choline, which has a major role in proper nerve function. Because of its various roles in the body, research has found both well-supported and preliminary benefits of phosphatidycholine.
Recently, research studies have found that people suffering from ulcerative colitis have a deficient amount of phosphatidylcholine in their mucus lining of the colon. Patients who supplemented their diets with lecithin had less frequent flare-ups, and some were even able to discontinue taking corticosteroids.
Additionally, some evidence has suggested that because of its role in the nervous system, phosphatidylcholine has improved cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Tourette Syndrome, and bipolar disorder. Further research must be conducted to determine the true impact of a lecithin supplement on cognition. Choline also has similar effects as folic acid, and therefore can help ensure proper neural tube formation during pregnancy.
Lecithin has also been reported to increase levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol) and lower LDL levels (“bad” cholesterol). However, evidence for the impact of lecithin on lowering total cholesterol is weak, and further research must be conducted to determine its effectiveness.
Reduces symptoms of ulcerative colitis
Protects against neural tube defects during pregnancy
Prevents formation of gallstones
May improve cognitive function in disease such as Alzheimer’s and bipolar disorder
May reduce cholesterol levels
Things To Know About Lecithin
Lecithin Is Also Known As
Phosphatidylcholine: Although this molecule is only one of several components of lecithin, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably due to the significant role of phosphatidylcholine in the body
Things To Note About Lecithin
Lecithin (when extracted from soybeans) is not to be confused with soy isoflavones, which have a different function although they are from the same plant
How To Take Lecithin
Recommended Lecithin Dosage, Active Amounts, Other Details
Studies have often used a daily dose of 2g per day of lecithin
Doses can range from 500-2,000mg per day (.5-2g)
Supplementation may very if combined with a purified phosphatidylcholine supplement
*Doses of 3-5g per day may result in minor abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea
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