Lecithin

General review of Lecithin

Lecithin is also known as phosphatidylcholine, which consists of choline, together with inositol, phosphoric acid, glycerol, glycolipids, and linoleic acid. Lecithin is very essential in the cells of the body for key recovery of cell membranes and preventive purpose. It is a very cheap source of choline. Commercial lecithin usually obtained as a by-product in the production of soybean oil and sold as soy lecithin. This lecithin is often used by supplements for vegetarians (who do not naturally get enough choline in their diet), medicines production, cosmetics production as well as food industries as food additives or emulsifiers to allow the combination of oils and water during ice cream, margarine, mayonnaise, peanut butter and chocolate production. It is excellent emulsifier to mix the oil and water together and avoid separation happen. When lecithin is added, it will break down the oil into smaller particles. This is how emulsification happens. Lecithin can also help to improve the products’ appearance and consistency as well as extend shelf life. Thus, it is considered as valuable things in food industries.

Sources of lecithin

Lecithin is widely found in varieties of foods, such as egg yolks, soy, vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, chickpeas, and green beans), brewer’s yeast, grains, legumes, fish, rapeseed, sunflower, and wheat germ. Lecithin also found in both natural (animal and plant tissue) and synthetic supplements (fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin D).

Benefits

Lecithin goes above and beyond an emulsifying agent by carrying health benefits. It can help to:

  1. Prevent arteriosclerosis,
  2. protects against cardiovascular disease,
  3. improve brain function and prevent memory loss,
  4. keep the liver and kidneys healthy,
  5. aid in thiamine and vitamin A absorption,
  6. repair liver damage caused by alcoholism
  7. keep cells protected against oxidation (Lecithin act as antioxidant),
  8. aids in the breakdown of fats, transportation of fats,
  9. facilitate cellular communication
  10. control the flow of nutrients in and out of our cells
  11. reduce LDL cholesterol level, improve HDL cholesterol
  12. prevent gallstones
  13. Healing agent

Used for treating diseases

Anxiety, Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Memory, Depression, Liver disorder, High cholesterol, Eczema, Dermatitis, Gall bladder disorder, Lowering cholesterol.

Downsides

Here are some minor side effects of using excessive doses of lecithin

  • diarrhoea, bloating, rapid changes in weight (loss and/or gain), loss of appetite, skin rashes, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, low blood pressure, blurred vision.