Lecithin is used for the treatment and improvement of liver problems, high cholesterol levels, and neurological (nerve) disorders. Though scientific research gives some mixed impression about the effectiveness, safety, and purity about taking Lecithin as a supplement (i.e. tablets), it is proven to very important for normal biological function.
In this article, we are doing to discuss the benefits of Lecithin, how Lecithin can help to manage blood pressure, how it interacts with other drugs, and who should and shouldn’t consider taking Lecithin… and many more question that we were asked by our readers.
Let’s start the topic by defining what Lecithin is.
What is Lecithin?
Lecithin is an essential fat in the body cells.
It can be seen in several foods as well as in supplements.
It is not only one, but a collection of chemicals known as phospholipids. The essence of these phospholipids is to help build the cell membrane.
The body needs it for standard functioning of the nerve, brain, blood and other tissues.
Types of Lecithin
Usually, Lecithin supplements are taken from sunflower seeds, soybeans or egg yolk.
Soy is the most common ingredient used in producing Lecithin supplements, but sometimes, fish, animal fats and corn are also used.
Soybean Lecithin comes in capsule form while sunflower Lecithin can be seen in both liquid and powdered form.
Generally, sunflower Lecithin is not common, yet many people like it because it helps them to escape a genetically modified organism (GMDs) while eating.
Sometimes, soybeans are ‘genetically modified’ during mass production, but it is not the same with sunflower seeds. Sunflower Lecithin’s process of extraction is also gentle as it does not demand harsh chemicals.
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What are the Benefits of Taking Lecithin?
Lecithin breaks down to choline when taken, and it helps in several important processes, such as the ones noted below.
Improving heart health
Soy Lecithin can boost cardiovascular health, particularly when there is a risk of heart disease or high blood pressure.
It takes the body a long time to breathe down soy products because soy is not easy to digest. This makes some people feel full after taking it.
Lecithin is proven to improve digestion in individuals with ulcerative colitis. The qualities of Lecithin emulsifying help in stimulating the mucus in the intestine, protecting the soft lining of the digestive system and making digestion easier.
People without ulceration colitis may still use Lecithin if they suffer irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or any disease that affects the digestive process.
It helps with breastfeeding mothers
Some professional recommends Lecithin as a remedy for preventing continually plugged ducts. To experience this, Breastfeeding Foundation in Canada (BFC) suggests a 1,200 milligrams dose 4 times a day.
The Foundation assumes that Lecithin reduces the viscosity of the breast milk so that it will not clot milk ducts in the breast.
However, it is not for plugged ducts treatment. Ducts are usually treated with; massage, warm compresses application, extra pumping (if necessary), draining the breast properly, and more suggestions from a lactation consultant.
Moisturizes and soothes the skin
Many skincare products use Lecithin in their ingredients. It restores hydration and makes the skin looks smooth.
The king of Lecithin, mostly used in these products is known as hydrogenated Lecithin.
People use Lecithin for eczema and acne cure, though there is no enough evidence which shows that Lecithin can do that when it is used alone.
Intake of the Lecithin capsule can as well improve the skin. Since it stimulates and tones other parts of the body.
Fights symptoms of dementia
Lecithin has the content of choline, a chemical used by the brain to communicate.
A suggestion from clinical research says that a meal rich in choline improves the memory and assists individuals with Alzheimer’s.
Substances with choline content such as Lecithin can improve the functional pathways of the brain.
Some people believe that Lecithin can also be used in treating individuals with nervous system neurological conditions, though there is still some evidence conflicting it, Lecithin benefits are promising.
Supports the liver
Lecithin helps the function of the liver in all aspects such as;
- balancing hormones,
- eliminating toxins and
- assimilating nutrients.
It guards the liver against injury caused by medications, alcohol, viruses, pollutants, radiation treatments, and mushroom poisoning.
Lecithin is also very helpful in treating hepatitis
Protects the arteries
Lecithin reduces the level of plasma homocysteine which can increase the risk to arterial and heart disease when elevated.
It also increases the sensitivity of the cells to insulin, reducing type 2 diabetes risks.
Also, it reduces the artery-clogging fat build-up and degenerates existing deposits, strengthening the artery to prevent heart disease.
Total women wellness
Lecithin helps to reduce several estrogen-related issues by assisting the liner in converting estradiol to estriol. It is therefore essential in reversing or preventing hormonal imbalances related diseases like;
- Fibrocystic breast syndrome,
- Uterine fibroid,
- Estrogen-related cancers, and
Usually, such problems dramatically improve after one or two months of taking Lecithin with inositol or with other nutrients that support the liver.
Heals wound quickly
Since Lecithin is rich in linoleic acid with other critical fatty acids, it assists in releasing cytokines (inflammatory transmitters that heals wounds).
Lecithin absorbs anti–oxidants like Vitamins A, D, E, and K
It slows the process of aging by keeping cell membranes from hurt
Possible Lecithin Interaction with Other Drugs
It is necessary to follow the instructions of the health care providers concerning any restrictions on beverages, food or activity. Lecithin may interact with other drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription medicines, herbal products and vitamins.
Therefore, it is advisable you speak with a health care provider before taking Lecithin.
For example, Lecithin should not be taken without medical advice when using topical diclofenac (Voltaren Gel).
Lecithin also may interact with other drugs that are not listed here.
Who Should Take Lecithin?
Lecithin helps to reduce cholesterol, and that has always been the major reason why people seem to consume it.
Also, we are aware individuals with various conditions (such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, skin, liver and gall bladder disease, certain types of anxiety and depression, and also many other health disorders) believe there are many other health benefits of Lecithin. However, most of those benefits haven’t been scientifically proven as yet.
Tip: Here are the best supplements for stress and anxiety.
Who Shouldn’t Take Lecithin?
People who take herbal or other medicines such as health supplements and those with allergies should discuss with their doctors before using Lecithin.
Pregnant women are not advised to use Lecithin without any sort of medical advice.
Generally, Lecithin is not recommended for pregnant women. Breast-feeding mothers also are not advised to use Lecithin without the doctor’s recommendation.
It is not yet clear if children can use this supplement, but they should not be given any herbal or health supplement without the doctor’s approval too.
Why Should I Take Lecithin?
Lecithin has a lot and different health benefits, which is vital for the body.
It serves as an emulsifier, and this implies that it suspends the oils and fats, and keeps them from other substances.
Lecithin can help in treating high cholesterol, ulcerative colitis, and can help in breasting feeding and many others.
(But, remember, you should seek doctors advice first!)
What are the Side Effects of Lecithin?
Since soy Lecithin is made with soybeans oils, it contains soy protein that can spike soy allergies. However, a blood sample from a patient who is sensitive to soybeans usually displays no reaction to Lecithin.
It has the content of Immunoglobulin E (IgE) binding proteins. At the time, these proteins act on the antibodies of the immune system, they cause an allergic response that can lead to digestion discomfort and rapid inflammation.
Who suffers from soy allergy is advised to be cautious with Lecithin and other products containing Lecithin, though.
Infertility in men
Lecithin and other soy products have the content of plant hormone phytoestrogen, it acts like estrogen (human hormone).
Research shows that phytoestrogen can cause hormone imbalance and low sperm count in male rats when it is added to their meal, so it could also do the same in men.
Research studies show that taking Lecithin daily can increase clumping of blood cell in the blood vessels to seal, and leads to heart disease.
Lecithin boosts the production and storage of fat. When the body is introduced to Lecithin, the liver cells will begin to build up and store fat.
Difficulty in breathing
Swelling of the tongue, lips, hives or face
Other minor side effects may include the following
Little or no appetite
There may be other possible side effects, but it is necessary to seek medical advice if any of these side effects or another health issue is noticed.
Can Lecithin Cause High Blood Pressure?
Recent research shows that taking phosphatidylcholine, Lecithin major component can raise the compound TMAO blood levels temporarily. The action of enzymes in the liver and microbes in the gut produces TMAO in phosphatidylcholine from choline. TMOA reduces normal cholesterol clearing, thereby hardening the arteries.
Research also has it that consuming two boiled eggs (about 500mg total choline content) can raise the levels of TMAO blood plasma temporarily. The study further suggests that immoderate consumption of choline and dietary phosphatidylcholine should be avoided. It is advisable because foods that are high in these compounds such as liver, egg yolk, pork, and beef are also usually high in cholesterol and fat.
Researchers highlight some facts that a high fiber diet or a vegetarian can minimize the total intake of choline.
Unless medically approved, it is necessary also to avoid prolonged supplementation, which is high in lecithin, choline, and phosphatidylcholine.
Can Lecithin Cause Low Blood Pressure?
Lecithin can lower blood pressure. The content of linoleic acid in sunflower Lecithin assists in breaking accumulated excess fats in the body like cholesterol and triglycerides. When there is a high level of triglycerides and cholesterol in the body, they invade the arterial walls and cause arteriosclerosis. Individuals with arteriosclerosis can have high blood pressure since their arteries are thickened. They also have increased chances of health attack or stroke. Daily intake of recommended Lecithin will assist in gradually unclogging the arteries and reduce blood pressure.
Does Lecithin Cause Heart Problems?
Evidence from research confirms that choline, a nutrient generally seen in foods such as egg yolks, red meat, and dairy products, can clot the blood.
Choline helps to produce TMAO (trimethylene N-oxide) when interacted with gut bacteria and causes the blood to be prone to clotting.
High levels of TMAO in the blood increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, and even death. The study suggests reducing high choline food consumption, and supplements intake unless approved by a doctor.
Lecithin is seen in several foods such as the below.
- Red meat,
- Canola oil,
- Wheat germ,
- Organ meats (liver),
- Green vegetables (such as Brussels sprouts and broccoli),
- Legumes (such as soybeans, kidney beans, and black beans).
6 Best Lecithin Supplements
Each dosage of a good Lecithin supplement should contain from 1200 to 2400mg of Lecithin.
When considering buying a ‘good’ Lecithin supplement, it is necessary to be certain that it’s coming from a well-known and trusted company.
Below are some of the leading Lecithin supplements.
1. Pure Naturals Lecithin
This Lecithin supplement is straightforward and contains 1200mg soy Lecithin in each capsule like several other Lecithin products. However, one unique thing about pure natural is that it does not contain GMOs, and retains the natural ingredients, unlike most soy that are genetically modified.
2. NutraBlast Soy Lecithin
This product contains 1200mg soy in each capsule and comes in an immaculate design. It is been praised by users for its efficacy during prolonged use.
3. Now Lecithin
This Lecithin supplement comes with 400 capsules in a bottle. Its tablet is derived from gelatin, and the Lecithin itself is made from soy.
4. Natural Nutraceuticals Lecithin
This Natural Nutra Lecithin supplement is derived from soy and contains the usual 1200mg Lecithin in each capsule. This supplement suits better for short-term use because the number of pills in each bottle are not many.
5. Solgar Soya Lecithin
Solgar contains the highest dosage of 1360mg soy. Lecithin in each capsule different from the normal 1200mg.
Without any unnecessary ingredients, the design of this supplement is clean, which makes it a solid choice.
6. Lecico Lecithin
How should I take Lecithin? – The Dosage
The normal dosage for any supplements which include Lecithin is based on several factors including your age, the individual’s general health condition and more. There is no certified evidence that ensures the safety of Lecithin dosage in most of the circumstances. This is where your doctor’s view and advice is essential.
Whether the product is artificial or natural, that does not ensure that they are safe. Most supplements have unpleasant side effects; therefore, it is always advisable to talk with a doctor or any health care provider concerning the appropriate dosage before using Lecithin.
Science suggests Lecithin is very beneficial to human health and can be used as a supplement to boost liver and heart health. It can help to restore cognitive decline and improve general health. Many people find Lecithin very useful because of their diverse biological activities.
After all, given the scientific evidence is ‘inconclusive’, our advice is for you to seek medical advice before considering Lecithin into your supplement list.
Tip: RESPeRATE Blood Pressure Lowering Device might be a better option to lower the ‘norm’ of your hypertension.