Lecithin is a yellow-brown substance that we can meet in the cell membranes in various animal and plant tissues. The fat tissue is usually a mixture of substances: phosphoric acid, choline, phospholipids, triglycerides (normal fat), complex glycolipid molecules, fatty acids, and glycerol.
Lecithin improves the nervous system, including both the CNS and PNS and optimizes memory. Lecithin is a useful additive for anyone who is severely trying to restrict fat in their food and also who is doing a lot of sport.
The reason is the importance of the substance, contained in lecithin. Without choline, our body would have serious metabolic problems that can permanently impair our health.
This makes lecithin more important for people who want to gain weight (on a high carb diet) than to people who want to lose weight (on a low carb diet). The latter can get lecithin through the food they eat.
Egg yolks, soybeans, phosphatidylserine are used as a major primary resource for the industrial production of lecithin. Phosphatidylserine is the most important of the above-mentioned substances.
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What Is Lecithin
In the field of sports and healthy eating, lecithin is considered the natural substance made up of phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine) and triglycerides, or can be directly considered just phosphatidylcholine.
What Do We Need to Know About the Active Ingredients of Lecithin
The main ingredient in the composition of packaged supplements containing processed lecithin is the natural phospholipid, called phosphatidylcholine.
Other phospholipids in smaller quantities can also be phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidic acid (an acid form of phosphatides).
Health Benefits of Phosphatidylcholine
Phosphatidylcholine is the source of phosphatidic acid and choline in our body. It is one of the most widely represented components of cell membranes in the molecule. Its importance for the different types of cells depends on their exchange activity (there are exceptions).
For example, for the liver cells, the serious chronic shortage or deficiency of choline leads to a number of metabolic problems most often associated with violated functions of the liver, pancreas, memory impairment and others.
Phosphatidylcholine participates in the composition of lipoproteins, including LDL and HDL cholesterol. Choline and its metabolites are needed by the cells and the body, because choline:
- helps preserve the structural integrity of the cells (in the composition of phosphatidylcholine);
- participates in cell communication (signal functions);
- participates in the process of acetylcholine synthesis - a substance supporting the nerves to transmit encrypted information into nerve impulses at high speed;
- is a donor of methyl groups, necessary for a number of vital processes (reading DNA, protein synthesis, etc).
Proven Benefits of Taking Phosphatidylcholine (Lecithin):
- Provides building blocks for cell membranes and thus optimizes the metabolic processes;
- Improves recovery after training and physical activities with high intensity and duration;
- Improves liver function in people with hepatitis and other liver diseases;
- Improves hepatic metabolism in people consuming alcohol;
- Improves the nervous system, including both the CNS and PNS, optimizes memory.
Are There Side Effects and Contraindications When Taking Lecithin
Taken in normal doses, lecithin does not cause side effects. An overdose of more than 30 g/day, however, may cause gastrointestinal problems, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
What Combinations with Lecithin Should We Avoid
There are no known interactions between lecithin and other drug supplements.
The daily dose of phosphatidylcholine is determined according to the percentage of the content of the active substance in the product.
It is best to follow the instructions on the packaging since the percentage of phosphatidylcholine may vary from 10 to 35%.
In Which Sports and Health Supplements Can We Find Lecithin
Lecithin is sold as a separate food additive in the forms of granules, capsules or as a liquid gel.