All About Other Nutrients

Lecithin
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Why lecithin is good for you

Lecithin is a fatty substance which is found in high concentrations in the cell membrane (phospholipid). Every living cell of the body requires lecithin because of its requirement in creating cell membranes. Lecithin is both water and oil soluble and regulates the movement of fats and nutrients entering and leaving the cell.

Lecithin is required for a whole range of body functions, including infant and foetal development and as an aid in reproduction, is essential in keeping the liver and gall bladder healthy and for heart health.

The body uses lecithin both for the proper formation of bile (the body's main emulsifying compound), and as an emulsifying agent itself. Lecithin helps the body use and absorb fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K.

Lecithin is an important precursor to the main neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which plays an important role in memory and muscles control. Myelin sheaths that protect the brain, spine and thousands of nerves in the body are almost two-thirds lecithin.

Soy lecithin, a constituent included in most processed and packaged foods is included as a natural emulsifier or stabiliser, is extracted during the processing of soybean oil. It promotes solidity in margarine and gives a consistent texture to salad dressing and other creamy products.

The body produces its own lecithin in the liver.

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Important lecithin facts

 

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Types of lecithin supplementation

 

 

Lecithin is available in the following forms:

  • Capsules - lecithin powder is added to capsules
  • Tablet - lecithin is compressed and formed into tablets
  • Powder - extracted from soybeans and crushed into a powder
  • Granules - soybeans that have been granularised
  • Soft gel Capsules - filled with soybean lecithin liquid
  • Liquid - soy lecithin is extracted into a liquid oil

People who wish to take a lecithin supplement should talk to a medical professional BEFORE taking it.

 

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Lecithin supplementation checklist

 

Lecithin and health

People who wish to take a lecithin supplement should talk to a medical professional BEFORE taking it.

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Lecithin in food

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FOOD AMOUNT Lecithin (mg)
Maize
100g 953
Liver
100g 850
Soya beans
100g 740
Trout
100g 580
Wheat
20g 564
Peanuts
50g 557
Meat
100g 450-750
Eggs
1 medium 350
Oats
50g 325
Rice
100g 290
Butter
20g 30

 

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How to take lecithin

Dosage of lecithin depends on the condition that is being treated. A medical doctor and/or alternative health care provider can advise on individual cases - this information is provided as a guide only:

lifestage age Amount (per day)
INFANTS 0-12mths Not recommended
CHILDREN 1-8yrs Seek medical advice before taking it
CHILDREN 9-18yrs
Seek medical advice before taking it
ADULTS 19-50yrs
1 Tbsp granules or 1 capsule per day
SENIORS 51+yrs 1 Tbsp granules or 1 capsule per day
PREGNANT   Not recommended
LACTATING   Not recommended


People who wish to take an lecithin supplement should talk to a medical professional BEFORE taking it.

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Lecithin works best with

 

Overdosage, toxicity and cautions for lecithin

In generally healthy adults, there are no health concerns or contraindications at normal dosage.

In high doses choline may cause the following side-effects:


CAUTIONS


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Last reviewed: 1 January 2010 || Last updated: 1 January 2010

 

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references

 

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NOTE: Mega doses of vitamins, minerals or other nutrients cannot cure illnesses and in fact can be very dangerous and produce toxic side effects and interfere with medicine you are taking. Always ensure you consult your doctor before taking any type of nutrient supplement.
Disclaimer: This guide is not intended to be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. For any treatment or diagnosis of illness, please see your doctor.