Lecithin is a substance that is widely found throughout human and animal tissues and certain plants. Lecithin consists of phospholipids linked to choline. It has the ability to attract both water and fat and is therefore widely used in commercial food production such as salad dressings, where it is desirable that the fats and water in the dressing do not seperate but stay bound together. This same emulsifying process is highly beneficial in the body.
Taken as a supplement lecithin provides choline, an essential micronutrient that has been found to be important for sustaining normal development and function of the brain, nerves, muscles, energy production and a balanced metabolism. There are a number of food sources that lecithin is derived from. One excellent source is soybeans and sunflower. The phospholipids that are present in lecithin from soy and sunflower are phosphatidyl ethnolamine, phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidul inositol.
Choline is also necessary for acetylcholine, a key neurotransmitter that supports nerves and muscles. Because choline also helps with neurotransmitter maintenance, age-related deficiencies of choline are suspected to play a role cognitive decline, memory loss and Alzheimer's. Studies on Alzheimer's also reveal that patients lack the enzyme that converts choline into acetylcholine. Studies are being conducted to verify that consumption of lecithin may help deter the progress of dementia in sufferers.
La Leche League recommends that breastfeeding women take lecithin to prevent blocked milk ducts that can lead to mastitis. For additional information and clinical studies on lecithin, please visit our informational public service website at remedysnutrition.org.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.