Lecithin (from the Greek word ‘lekithos' meaning egg yolk) provides a natural source of healthy fats and nutrients that are essential for our health.
Being a food-based nutrient source makes it a popular natural supplement to fill nutritional gaps. People take it to support heart health, healthy cholesterol, and healthy brain function, including mental energy and focus, and healthy brain aging. Lecithin provides a readily available source of choline, which is the precursor to an important brain messenger – acetylcholine. It also provides a super-bioavailable form of inositol(a key brain nutrient). The wonderful thing about lecithin is that both the choline and inositol found in it, are highly-absorbable because they’re in easy-to-use “phospholipid” forms – phosphatidylcholine (PC)and phosphatidylinositol (PI). They’re highly bioavailable as they’re very similar to the phospholipids that form our cell membranes, making transport into cells very easy.
Being in phospholipid form makes PS and PI very easy for the brain to use – making cell up take a breeze. This is the reason that lecithin is used to make the liposome bubbles in liposomal supplements, which allows for optimal absorption.
How does lecithin work?
Lecithin is a natural emulsifier and is taken to support healthy cholesterol absorption in the gut which in turn supports our heart and blood vessel health. Our bodies use plant sterols from our diet to maintain healthy cholesterol absorption, being a natural emulsifier Lecithin can help support this natural process as part of normal healthy function and is a popular supplement for heart health.
Lecithin supports the transport of cholesterol around the body, inside lipoproteins, which are little freight-bubbles that float along delivering their cargo. Lipoproteins help keep it moving freely for healthy circulation, blood vessel health and for long-term heart health as we age. Lecithin also supports healthy liver function and healthy fat metabolism.
Lecithin offers a dietary source of choline (PC) which the body uses to make acetylcholine, a chemical messenger that is important for healthy brain function and focus.
Lecithin is also a great source of inositol (PI) which is another brain health nutrient, important for healthy neurotransmitters function inside the brain (neurotransmitters are responsible for our mood, brain focus, and clarity.)
In addition to brain and heart health support, Lecithin also supports healthy white blood cells, our immune cells that support recovery from ills and chills.
Lecithin has been shown to contain antioxidants which protect against oxidation (the process that leads to wear and tear as well as aging). Because of the combined health support qualities of Lecithin it’s particularly suited as a general health support as well as for healthy aging, for cardiovascular and brain health.
Where do you find lecithin in your foods?
Lecithin is found naturally in foods like egg yolks, soybeans, sunflower seeds and peanuts plus animal sources like whole milk, cream, liver, steak and fish – so it’s important to eat a varied and healthy diet to consume it regularly.
Lecithin is widely used in the food industry as a food antioxidant, to keep food fresh and act as an emulsifier and stabiliser to keep certain ingredients like fat and water from separating out. Natural health supplements traditionally extract lecithin from soy sources, which is ideal because soy tends to have higher levels of inositol (PI) than other sources.
Both soy lecithin and sunflower lecithin are also used to make the liposome component of liposomal products, like Liposomal C and Liposomal Glutathione because its phospholipid structure offers enhanced bioavailability and cell transport. This also means that if you choose to take your supplements in liposomal form, you’re also getting choline and inositol! You can find our full range of Liposomal supplements here.
If you have a family history that makes heart and brain health a priority for you, taking lecithin as a regular supplement is worth considering.
20-30 grams of lecithin per day is the recommended dose to support cardiovascular, brain and immune health.
Looking for a good quality lecithin supplement? Check out full range of Lecithin supplements, which are available in lecithin granules, softgels and capsules to suit your personal needs. They’re derived naturally from soybeans and can be eaten pure or added to cereals, salads and smoothies.