Lecithin can be found in all plant and animal products, including cabbage, cauliflower, caviar eggs, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), green beans, lentils, organ meats, seeds/nuts, soy lecithin, soybeans and split peas.
Lecithin is also found in chemicals that assist in the massage of many nutrients form the bloodstream into the cells. Lecithin's benefits are the same as those of choline such that Lecithin is a major source of choline. Consequently, Lecithin must be present in order for choline to be synthesized. Fatty acids, glycerin, and phosphorus are also found in lecithin. Choline is the key element in lecithin that researchers believe may have a beneficial effect on cholesterol and memory.
Natural Lecithin acts as an emulsifier and helps the body in the absorption of fats. Studies indicates that soy lecithin improves the metabolism of cholesterol in the digestive system. Therefore, lecithin has been touted as a treatment for high cholesterol. It has also been said to be a treatment for neurologic and liver disorders. Some proponents of lecithin warn that the low fat and low cholesterol diets that many Americans follow may lower the amount of lecithin that we consume, creating a deficit and necessitating supplemental lecithin. As Americans eat fewer eggs, meats, and dairy products, the amount of choline that they consume may be less than required.
A group of researchers from the Netherlands summarized findings in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that found that many studies of the effects of lecithin had faulty methods, and the few good studies proved that lecithin was not effective in lowering cholesterol.
More recently, a group of American researchers solved part of the mystery concerning the fact that eggs, which are packed with cholesterol, don't impact people's cholesterol much if eaten in moderation.
The reason seems to be the lecithin found in eggs that reduces cholesterol's absorption in the bloodstream.
There is a lesson to be learned here: Mother Nature knows what she's doing...never doubt her!
How Lecithin Works in Your Body
- Protects against damage to cells by oxidation
- Major source of the chemical nutrient choline -- choline's benefits are also lecithin's benefits
- May protect against cardiovascular disease
- May treat liver damage caused by alcoholism
- May lower cholesterol levels
Lecithin is derived from soy and is available in several forms. Because lecithin is not considered an essential nutrient, currently, no Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) has been set for this nutrient.
While Lecithin is an especially good addition for elderly people, it is a great addition to anyone's diet.
Lecithin Granules. Granules are a convenient and easy way to deliver to you the Lecithin your body needs. Bob's Red Mill Soy Lecithin Granules are an excellent source of choline, with 250 mg in just one tablespoon. These nutritious granules have a natural, nutty taste. Sprinkle them on cottage cheese, yogurt, granola or cereal. Blend them with your favorite juice or nutrition beverage. Add them to fresh salads, fruit or mix with salad dressings. Use them to enhance soups, breads or other baked goods.
Home Made Non-Stick Cooking Oil
Cheaper than the commercial sprays.
1/4 cup liquid lecithin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Mix the lecithin with the oil in a small jar and stir well. Brush the mixture on pans before heating. Do not use on any surface, such as pancake griddles or waffle irons that must be preheated over high heat or the nonstick will burn. Will keep 6 months at room temperature in a ithgtly covered jar. Stir before using if necessary. Yield: 1/4 cup.
Side Effects of Lecithin
There are no major side effects for lecithin as a supplement. As with anything, taking too much can cause unpleasant side effects. In high doses (more than 25 g per day), lecithin can cause sweating, upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
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