Lecithin Supplement

By: Esther Vasa

DISCLAIMER: Please discuss with your doctor before starting any new supplements for any possible drug interactions or any health concerns specific to you.

Lecithin Rich Foods  
LECITHIN (Phosphatidylcholine) is a fat that is essential in the cells of the body. It crosses the blood brain barrier to help the brain make acetylcholine. It acts as an emulsifier and breaks down the fats and cholesterol in the diet into tiny particles and holds them in suspension, preventing them from sticking to blood platelets or arterial walls. Foods high in choline are all foods high in lecithin and those foods are soybeans, sunflower seeds, legumes, grains, brewers yeast, fish, iceberg lettuce, beef liver, beef steak, oats, flaxseeds, sesame seeds and egg yolks. The most common form of choline supplement is lecithin, derived from soy. Eat choline-rich or lecithin-rich foods because choline deficiency is linked to increased oxidative stress on the liver, and known to decrease methylation of DNA, which may result in abnormal DNA repair.

Autopsies show that multiple sclerosis patients have significantly less lecithin in the brain, spine and myelin sheath than normal folks. In addition, lecithin present in the brain and myelin sheath of MSers is essentially composed of all saturated fatty acids and no unsaturated fatty acids. Lecithin works best when consumed with your meal. I don't eat soybeans, wheat germ, brewers yeast or fish but I do eat foods very high in poly and mono unsaturated fatty acids i.e., flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, avocados, sesame seeds, walnuts and other nuts, whole grains like brown rice and whole oats, legumes like lentils, beans and peanuts and about three eggs per week. If you have problem with blood sugar levels, lecithin may not be right for you as people did have elevated blood sugars when using lecithin. Please monitor your blood sugar levels regularly if you are using lecithin especially soy lecithin.

If you are considering a lecithin supplement, my suggestion is to consider taking
sunflower lecithin and not soy lecithin as most soy is genetically modified. Plus, soy lecithin is typically confined to unfermented sources rich in enzyme inhibitors making carbohydrates and proteins impossible to completely digest. On the other hand, sunflower seed lecithin is less processed, less contaminated and has far fewer allergies reported. A comparative study between soy lecithin and sunflower seed lecithin showed that sunflower lecithin has higher content of phosphatidylcholine, a phospholipid conferring the best dispersing and emulsifying properties of lecithin.