Lecithin is an accessory nutrient; it is not made in high quantities in the body and so must be provided through food and other supplements. Good food sources include soybeans, eggs, liver, oranges, cauliflower, peanuts, and dandelion.
Lecithin is commonly used in food preparation, cosmetics, and medications since it acts as an emulsifier and prolongs the product’s shelf life.
In addition, lecithin supplements can be used to treat high cholesterol and digestion problems, prevent blocked milk ducts when breastfeeding, and many more.
One of the critical components of lecithin, called phosphatidylcholine (PC), might be responsible for several reported health benefits.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced by food that contains saturated fats. It is necessary for the body, but too much cholesterol in your blood can increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
Types of cholesterol
The two types of cholesterol include high-density lipoprotein or ‘good cholesterol” (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein or ‘bad cholesterol’ (LDL).
LDL is considered ‘bad’ cholesterol since high cholesterol levels can lead to accumulation in the arteries.
Overall, cholesterol measures the combination of these two, together with some other factors.
It is very important to work on reducing LDL cholesterol levels as well as increasing HDL cholesterol levels.
It can help lower the risk of having severe health complications such as heart disease or stroke.
Having high cholesterol is something you might not even know about; that’s why it’s important to always get checked. According to the American Heart Association, all adults have their cholesterol checked every four-six years, starting at age 20.
You might require more frequent checkups based on treatment plans and other risk factors.
How Does Lecithin Reduce Cholesterol Levels?
The most famous benefit of lecithin is its capacity to lower cholesterol. However, soy lecithin offers an additional boost to those using it to treat cholesterol due to other components that it offers.
Recent studies indicate that a diet rich in lecithin can change hepatic lipoprotein metabolism and cholesterol homeostasis.
Considering the phytotherapeutic effects of lecithin, this work theorizes that lecithin administration in hypercholesterolemia patients might lessen cholesterol concentrations by increasing biliary secretion.
Lecithin is a natural emulsifier that disperses fat. This way, it will always prevent fat absorption and help reduce LDL cholesterol. Lecithin is also good at producing HDL cholesterol and is ideal for reducing low levels of this cholesterol.
In addition to reducing your cholesterol and triglycerides, it also protects the liver to prevent kidney stones. It’s also used to strengthen the nervous system and brain activity.
Lecithin-rich diets stimulate the secretion of fatty acids with high cholesterol and phospholipids compared to diets that do not contain lecithin. As a plant product, lecithin has a broad spectrum of activity, given that it is a phytotherapeutic.
A diet enriched with lecithin can help modulate cholesterol balance and lipid metabolism. The lecithin diet changes cholesterol homeostasis in the liver.
It elevates HMG-CoA reductase and cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity while decreasing the activity of microsomal ACAT.
One of the most impressive qualities of lecithin is its ability to decrease bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels. It also helps to promote the synthesis of toxins in the liver.
A new study shows that bile acid secretion with high cholesterol levels and phospholipids is encouraged by diets rich in lecithin compared with diets with no lecithin.
Thus, this study assesses the hypercholesterolemic soy lecithin effect on an individual’s hypercholesterolemia.
Many patients have relied on lecithin treatments to control hypercholesterolemia. This is due to the high cost of drugs to lower cholesterol and the prospect of their lengthy use.
Soy lecithin on blood cholesterol
Soy lecithin is extracted from soybeans, which has several advantages over other vegetable protein sources. It contains high-protein content, is of low cost, and high quality in addition to isoflavones.
This helps to lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
According to the research done, taking 25 grams of soy lecithin daily reduces cholesterol in a period of about three weeks. This is almost one month after the beginning of treatment.
The research also showed that this effect wasn’t dependent on time because there wasn’t an increase two months after the end of treatment.
The daily intake of soy lecithin can reduce the low-density lipoprotein concentration by 30 percent while causing a stimulus for high-density lipoprotein production.
Recent studies have also found that soybean protein increases the cholesterol-lowering effects of sterols when fed to rats while also enhancing fecal excretion of neutral sterols and bile acids.
For this reason, the combo of soy protein and sterols shows a more obvious decrease in blood lipids than any of its isolated parts.
A decrease in duodenal cholesterol absorption and an increase in bile acid excretions have been proposed as potential mechanisms for the effects of soy protein on lipid levels.
The Right Dosage
Lecithin supplements come in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, soft gels, and pills, liquids, or paste.
There are no guidelines for how much lecithin should be taken every day – the maximum is 2400mg per day for adults. However, exceeding this recommendation can have adverse effects on your health.
Daily administration of lecithin capsules could be an adjuvant treatment for hypercholesterolemia. This can be possible by reducing intestinal absorption or by the increased secretion of bile acids with high levels of cholesterol and phospholipids.
Even if you are taking drugs or supplements to control cholesterol, make sure that you get aerobic exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Also, eat less saturated fat and trans-fat to help manage your cholesterol.
If you decide to take lecithin to lower your cholesterol levels, ensure that you have sourced the best and genuine lecithin.
To guarantee quality and safety, ensure that you have purchased lecithin from trustworthy sources like National Lecithin. Unfortunately, there are numerous lecithin manufacturers, and finding a reliable manufacturer can be a daunting task. Therefore, choose a lecithin manufacturer with a good reputation to ensure you have the best quality on the market.