Most of us have heard of lecithin benefits, but you may be wondering exactly what it is, where it comes from, how it’s used and what the benefits of lecithin might be. You may have received health tips and some of the information, but you’re still not 100% clear.
What is Lecithin and What are the Sources of Lecithin?
Technically speaking, lecithin is a mixture of neutral and polar lipids such as triglycerides, sterols and small quantities of fatty acids and carbohydrates. Lecithin is produced mainly from vegetable sources, although it may also be found in animal sources.
Years ago, the primary source of lecithin was egg yolks, until it was discovered that lecithin was also found in plant sources. Commercially produced lecithin is now primarily made from those plant sources because they are considered safer than egg yolks. The majority of lecithin sold today comes from soybeans (soy lecithin) and sunflower and grape seeds, the most common source being soybean.
Do You Need to Take Lecithin?
It is rare that a person would suffer from a lecithin deficiency since you can get the required amount of lecithin from your diet, but is your diet high enough in lecithin sources to support all of your cells? Lecithin is naturally found in the foods that we eat, such as egg yolk, soybeans, grains, fish, legumes, and peanuts. It is good for the body to have a constant, steady supply of lecithin in order to garner the full benefits it has to offer. You can purchase lecithin capsules, pills, powder (for mixing into health drinks or shakes), or granules in some food stores, drug stores and health/supplement stores.
Soy lecithin benefits would be greater because as a rule, it will consist of a higher concentration of phosphatidylcholine (which is the major component of the membranes surrounding our cells). Lecithin granules benefits include the ability to sprinkle them on your food, i.e., yogurt, soup, cereal, etc. The recommended dose in this case is two tablespoons per day and if you find it difficult to swallow pills, the granules offer an excellent alternative.
Lecithin Health Benefits:
Although often marketed or promoted as a weight loss supplement, some of the stated lecithin benefits cover a wider range:
- Improving circulation, thus positively impacting your cardiovascular health
- Allowing your liver to function optimally
- Improving your memory and learning abilities
- Giving you shiny, undamaged hair and radiant, unblemished, soft skin
- Enhancing your physical performance
- Allowing your muscles to be stronger and function better
- Giving relief from the pain of arthritis
- Improving your digestion
Lecithin health benefits are varied and wide, but one of the most important is its ability to assist in preventing or reversing certain diseases and conditions. Since it is mainly composed of fat, it adheres to our cell and nerve linings, and prevents cholesterol and other fats from sticking. It can decrease the body’s ability to absorb cholesterol, lowering total cholesterol, which can help reverse hardening of the arteries. In the same vein, other lecithin benefits include reversing the damage caused by coronary artery disease by preventing fat deposits from accumulating so your blood flows as it should. In essence, it’s a fat buster, allowing the body to dispose of unwanted fats so that our organs can function as they should. Why not use a natural supplement such as lecithin, which allows you to save money and treat your body in a more natural way?