Benefits of Lecithin: What Is It?
Lecithin is a product that you can buy as a supplement or as a cooking ingredient. It has many reported health benefits, but is most famous for its cardiovascular benefits. Basically, lecithin is what they call a natural emulsifier—which means that it helps the fat in your bloodstream to float, rather than sticking to the walls of your arteries. This prevention of arterial wall buildup means that your circulation should improve, and your risk for heart attack or stroke should decrease. In my opinion, unless you have a doctor-mandated need for statin therapy, lecithin is a superior treatment to statins. And here’s why.
(Let me just make a disclaimer that you should always listen to your doctor on matters like this. Especially if you’re at increased risk for cardiovascular problems. Lecithin is great, but for some people, it might not be enough.)
Benefits of Lecithin Over Statins
The reason I like lecithin over statins is that lecithin is a natural product. It’s harvested from various food and animal sources; notably, from soybeans. As a result, lecithin is a much more safe and side-effect-free treatment than statins. Just look at some of these side effects of statins:
- Can be bad for your liver. You’ll have to monitor your liver function while on statins.
- Can be bad for your muscles, including damaging your muscle tissue (a condition called myopathy). This can lead to muscle pain, weakness, and tenderness. If untreated, this can even lead to rhabdomyolysis—a potentially fatal condition.
- Can lead to digestive problems that are smelly, gross, or just plain uncomfortable.
- Can lead to skin conditions, including a rash.
- May lead to Lou Gehrig’s disease (not a proven link).
More Benefits of Lecithin
Lecithin also has the following reported health benefits:
- Increases mental functioning—including memory, thinking, and even muscle control—by supplying acetylcholine, which is used in nerve transmissions.
- Metabolizes the clogging fat in your liver, protecting this vital organ from harm.
- Increases your body’s ability to absorb fat-soluble nutrients. Some examples of fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K.
- Increases energy levels and weight loss by increasing fat metabolism.
- Supports a healthy reproductive system.
- Improves your skin and hair.