Lecithin - Uses, Benefits, Sources and Dosage
Lecithin is a fat and a necessary component of every cell in our body. It belongs to phospholipids and composed of glycerol, phosphoric acid, fatty acid and choline. In our body, it is mainly found in lipoproteins and cell membranes which carry cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. Lecithin is also produced in certain quantities in the major organs of the body like heart, liver and kidneys. It plays an important role in cells construction and also prevents the hardening of cell membranes. Except the health benefits lecithin also has the therapeutic uses. It is taken as a medicine and also used in the medicines manufacturing.
Health Benefits of Lecithin
1. Neurological conditions
It is used in the treatment of neurologic disorders. It is the good source of choline and increases accumulation of acetylcholine (Ach) in brain. Acetylcholine (Ach) plays an important role in several brain functions like supports the good memory. So increased concentration of this neurotransmitter (Ach) results in improved memory.
2. Effects on Liver/Cholesterol level
Lecithin is used the treatment of liver complications and hypercholesterolemia. It is packed with the wonderful properties which are quite effective in reducing cholesterol levels thus helps in the preventing or controlling atherosclerosis.
3. Immune system effects
It helps in the activating the specific and nonspecific defense systems. Thus lecithin is useful to modify the immune system.
4. Protect cells
Lecithin helps in the protection of cells which is useful for maintaining the resistance to various diseases in the body.
5. Cardiovascular health benefits
It helps to maintain the good health of heart. It helps in lowering down the levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides. Besides this, lecithin increases the HDL, known as good cholesterol in the body. Lecithin prevents the damages which may occur due to coronary artery diseases. It prevents the cholesterol and fat deposition in the heart. It also improves the circulation and prevents the clot formation.
It has been found that vegans and vegetarians are at a risk of developing lecithin deficiency. Lecithin deficiency in body may result in the several health issues like digestive problems, nausea, muscle, joint problems and sluggish memory.
Food Sources of Lecithin
Good sources of lecithin may include cauliflower, soy, peanuts, corn, spinach, oranges, wheat germ, egg yolk, fish, milk, red meat and beef liver.
Side Effects of Higher intake of Lecithin
Higher intake of lecithin may result in the nausea, anorexia, increased salivation, abdominal pain, fishy body odor, diarrhea and hepatitis.