Lecithin

Lecithin, a lipid material which is made up of choline and inositol, is a substance that can be found in all living cells and is a major component of all living cell membranes. Its function is to regulate the different nutrients upon entering and exiting the cell. Lecithin is an essential lipid which is used and synthesized by all living things on a cellular level. Lecithin is produced by the human body and is found in all of the major organs including the heart, the liver, and the kidneys. Lecithin aids in maintaining our overall health and is utilized by every cell in our bodies. Though it is produced by your own bodies, we do not always ingest enough of the foods that provide the nutrition needed to produce adequate amounts of lecithin.

Lecithin can be found in many foods such as: cabbage, cauliflower, garbanzo beans, soy beans, split peas, organic meat, seeds, nuts and eggs. If a person does not eat enough of these foods, the body then does not produce enough lecithin to successfully protect or cells and allow it to reap the benefits.

When this happens, Lecithin should be used as a supplement to make up for the deficiencies to take care of general health conditions and prevent many conditions and diseases. Research has shown that lecithin will decrease cholesterol, promote heart and circulatory health, improve damage to livers and improve neurological and brain function, as well as help reduce gallstones.

It makes sense to include lecithin in one’s diet for health benefits such as decreased cholesterol levels or gallstone problems. There have even been some claims that lecithin may be beneficial for weight loss. However there has been no scientific research to back this up. There has been a lot of scientific research done to show exactly what lecithin’s role in neurological and liver diseases is. Studies have shown some conflicting results when examining lecithin’s role in memory, probably due to different variables that were involved when doing the testing that was involved in the trials. Scientists still felt that the results were promising concerning lecithin and the possibility of its ability to improve memory.

Many studies have been done which have also tested lecithin’s effect on Alzheimer’s disease. Lecithin produces the neurotransmitter acetylcholine which promotes communication and signal-transmission between brain cells. Alzheimer’s disease can be caused by a change in production of acetylcholine. Some scientists have reasonable belief that an increase in lecithin will help the brain cells to produce more acetylcholine, which in turn will hopefully improve the memory. Lecithin and choline have both been tested in this manner. The results were mixed. Some participants had positive results, others did not. They felt that more study was needed before definitive results could be concluded.

Many scientists and herbalists alike feel that lecithin is a very important part of our diet and that even if it has not been proven in some studies to have definitive health benefits, it definitely has benefits in its abilities to prevent future disease and its anti aging qualities. Research has been done showing that lecithin has been proven to be able to help reverse the damage of coronary artery disease. It also keeps large fatty deposits from being stuck or accumulating in the blood vessels. This can reduce the chance of cardiovascular disease or stroke. If lecithin is taken as a preventative, it may be able to prevent heart disease or other diseases in the future.

Taken as a supplement lecithin is known to be safe without any of the serious side effects that are associated with a lot of medications that have to be taken for the diseases that are discussed above. The minor side effects that have been associated with lecithin are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, anorexia, and sweating.

Last updated on Sep 17th, 2009 and filed under Health Supplements. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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