If you’re looking for the best lecithin supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Lecithin Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Lecithin Supplements
|#1||NOW Foods Sunflower Lecithin||More Info|
|#2||Bulksupplements Pure Lecithin Powder||More Info|
|#3||Solgar Lecithin Supplement||More Info|
|#4||Natrol Soya Lecithin Mineral Supplement||More Info|
|#5||Swanson Lecithin Non-Gmo||More Info|
|#6||Piping Rock Health Products Lecithin||More Info|
|#7||Pure Naturals Lecithin||More Info|
|#8||Nature’s Truth Ultra Soya Lecithin||More Info|
|#9||BlueBonnet Lecithin Supplement||More Info|
|#10||Mason Vitamins Lecithin With Kelp||More Info|
Lecithin occurs widely in foods and as a separate dietary supplement. It also holds many uses as a commercial product additive. This phospholipid, a type of fat, occurs in many locations in human and animal bodies because lecithin forms a major component of cell plasma membranes.
Commercial preparations of lecithin today utilize a variety of sources for the extraction of this nutrient. Some medical experts believe it holds value as a supplement providing liver support in some situations. Its other uses have received less extensive documentation.
What is Lecithin?
Lecithin forms a constituent of cell plasma membranes. Also frequently called “phosphatidylcholine“, it occurs extensively in the cells comprising living organisms.
Biochemically, lecithin displays a choline attached to the phosphate group of a phospholipid. Its properties enable it to possess both “hydrophilic” (water loving) and “lipophilic” (fat loving) activity. As a part of a plasma cell membrane, for instance, lecithin permits the cell to communicate with other cells through signaling mechanisms. Its may play a role as a precursor for the production of acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter. It also may form a precursor for the generation of surfactants, substances which support lung functions.
Some sources suggest the choline in lecithin serves as an important precursor for the formation of myelin sheaths, the lining around nerve cells which helps speed nerve impulse transmission. (Certain nerve diseases attack myelination in certain patients.)
A French pharmacist and biochemist named Theodore Gobley (1811-1876) between 1843 and 1847 became one of the first scientists to experiment with egg yolks. He noticed some similarities between the chemicals in the yolk and chemicals extracted from human brain tissue. He first identified the chemical structure of lecithin in 1874.
Nutritionists now know many popular food items contain lecithin as a natural constituent. These sources include: egg yolk, oranges, cauliflower, milk, yogurt, beef liver, peanuts, soybeans, and even some confectionary items.
Lecithin supplies some important compounds and metabolites used by cells in the body on a regular basis. These include:
- Phosphatidylcholine, a key constituent of plasma cell membranes;
- Choline (and its metabolites), chemicals which play an important role in cell signaling, nerve impulse transmission and surfactant production;
- Some dietary fats, although in limited quantities.
Modern food producers frequently utilize lecithin as a food additive in processed foods. Due to its nontoxic qualities, it often serves as an added ingredient in items requiring an emulsifier or a lubricating agent. Many companies add lecithin to packaged baked goods and chocolate candies, for instance.
Additionally, animal feed producers sometimes add lecithin to pelleted livestock or pet food formulations. Pharmaceutical firms will occasionally use this ingredient to help stabilize medicinal formulations.
Benefits of Lecithin Supplements
Lecithin supplements provide a way to concentrate lecithin, a fatty nutrient present in many different types of foods. This product has become a popular dietary supplement due to its perceived benefits. Since its constituents forms building blocks for certain cell membrane components, some nutritionists argue it holds potential cell protective qualities.
Considerable debate exists among scientists and nutritionists about the value of lecithin supplements. Some medical experts dispute lecithin supplements hold any value, suggesting the type of gut flora interacting with these products significantly affects the resulting metabolites. For instance, Dr. Dov Michaeli has questioned the benefits of consuming lecithin supplements at all. Dr Weil in 2007 reportedly only recommended lecithin supplements to support myelination. Yet other sources by contrast suggest vegetarians whose diet excludes dairy and egg products should consider lecithin supplementation in order to obtain sufficient lecithin and dietary choline.
Possibly the clearest benefit of lecithin supplements relates to the use of lecithin by certain patients for liver support purposes. Studies have found it helps prevent the buildup of fatty deposits in the liver in some medically supervised situations. For example, a heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages over the long term eventually damages the liver, and some researchers hope lecithin supplementation may assist some patients in reversing some of these adverse impacts.
Additionally, although not yet confirmed by extensive studies, lecithin supplements may perhaps help people seeking to protect arteries from the buildup of fatty deposits. The accumulation of fats in the interior of blood vessels poses a common problem in many heart disease patients with atherosclerosis. Research remains ongoing into this issue.
Currently, researchers have also initiated studies to evaluate the effects of lecithin on a variety of other health conditions. Preliminary results suggest this product does not significantly improve the condition of patients with gallbladder disease. Its ability to assist seniors afflicted with senile dementia or memory impairment remains in dispute. Investigators also hope to confirm possible benefits (or not) for people with stress, anxiety and some sleep disorders.
Reportedly, a few studies have suggested taking lecithin may assist people undergoing the symptoms of a manic phase of manic-depressive disorders. This supplement allegedly helps enhance memory and recall in some people. Since acetylcholine plays a critically important role in the actions of cells in the nervous system, the choline in lecithin could offer important nutritional support for the body because phosphatidylcholine functions as a precursor for acetylcholine in the opinion of some biochemists.
Research also appears ongoing into the impact of lecithin supplementation, if any, on the operation of the immune system. This issue could hold great value for people suffering from some types of food allergies, perhaps.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Lecithin as a dietary supplement offers few safety concerns according to the drugs.com website. Nevertheless, experts caution recommended doses for this product have not yet been established.
Many widely-consumed food products include lecithin. It has become a popular dietary supplement in the United States. Both people and pets ingest this substance on a fairly regular basis through food. While certain food items cause allergic reactions in some individuals, even people with allergies to some sources of lecithin, such as peanuts, can obtain it through other dishes instead.
Overdoses of lecithin supplements produce symptoms in some people which include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort and queasiness. Health experts advise anyone experiencing these symptoms after consuming lecithin to seek immediate medical attention.
Very little information exists concerning any possible interactions between lecithin supplements and medications or lecithin supplements and herbal products. It may interact with topical diclofenac according to some reports. Patients concerned about the issue of possible lecithin supplement interactions or side effects should discuss this issue with their physician.
If lecithin does indeed serve as a precursor for acetylcholine production, then potentially lecithin supplements might interfere with dosage levels for any drugs intended to regulate levels of this important neurotransmitter. The safety of lecithin supplements in pregnant and nursing mothers and in infants remains largely undocumented. Whether or not this supplement might assist premature infants born without sufficient levels of surfactants might prove an interesting subject for further research.
How to Take Lecithin Supplements
People consume lecithin through many different foods. They may obtain concentrated amounts in dietary supplements.
Since it occurs so widely, modern labs extract lecithin supplements from a variety of natural sources. Manufacturers can also produce it synthetically. It usually occurs as a powder, or in the form of capsules or gel capsules.
What to Look For in a Good Lecithin Formulation
A good lecithin supplement formulation should provide adequate information concerning the product’s source, ingredients and recommended uses (and dosages). Customers benefit by locating a manufacturer with an excellent overall safety track record.
Today, some supplement providers emphasize the provision of excellent customer service, and they strive to offer carefully formulated lecithin supplements.