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The Importance Of Lecithin

Lethicin was first described in 1847 by the French chemist and pharmacist Theodore Nicolas Gobley when he examined pure phosphatidylcholine from egg yoke. The term is used as a generic description of a group of yellow-brown fatty substances found in plant and animal tissues.

The substance is used as an extremely useful food additive and is recognized as safe by the United States Food And Drug Administration and the European Union (as E number E322). It is used for example to break down and reduce fats such as a non-stick cooking spray, to control sugar crystallization, help the flow of chocolate, stabilize fermentation and break down and disperse the fat in ice cream to give a creamier texture.

It also has many non-food uses too. Lecithin is used widely in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries as an aid to emulsification and an antioxidant. It enriches the fat and protein in animal feed and works as an anti-sludge additive for motor oils. It also has many uses in the paint industry forming a protective surface, intensifying colours, helping spreading and mixing and eliminating foam in water-based paints.

Benefits To The Human Body

Lecithin helps the body’s cholesterol levels, increasing the HDL (good) cholesterol and reducing the LDL (bad) cholesterol. The reason for this has not been established but the effects are clear and further benefits have been found in studies of one of the constituents of lecithin – choline.

In 1949 CH Best and his British team found where choline was deficient in the body there was an increase in hypertension and arterial damage with droplets of fat forming on arterial walls. A later three-year study discovered that a supplement of choline reduced fatalities amongst patients who had already suffered a coronary thrombosis.

There is a false belief that lecithin can enter and breakdown the body’s fat cells (adipose tissue). What the substance does is break down dietary and blood fats into smaller molecules, which form fatty acids. These are more likely to be used as energy by the body than be stored in the adipose tissue.

Lecithin is particularly useful in the liver. Best and his team discovered that cirrhosis of the liver normally associated with chronic alcoholism is frequently a secondary effect of nutritional deficiency. Experiments showed that the condition occurred where excess alcohol and a dietary deficiency were present. When the subject consumed large amounts of alcohol but also choline the abnormality did not appear. Choline clearly removed the presence of the fat.

Gallstones may be treated with a supplement of choline. The gall bladder secrets bile, which helps to emulsify fats and contains bile acids, cholesterol and lecithin. Lecithin is the agent that emulsifies the fats and may protect against the negative effects of the acids. Sufferers from gallstones have been noted to have reduced levels of lethicin.

There has also been some evidence to suggest lecithin may improve both the brains operation (and so treat dementia) and improve male sexual performance (lecithin is one of the constituents of the male ejaculate).


Some concerns have been expressed that lecithin may have side effects such as low blood pressure leading to dizziness and fainting but this tends to be from excessive use (more than 3.5 grams of choline a day). As with all substances, moderation is key.

Lecithin is a key bodily substance and it is worth ensuring you have sufficient. Should you not eat enough eggs, for example, it may be worth taking an appropriate natural dietary supplement to improve your level of this useful constituent.

To discover about Green Magic (containing lecithin), other natural dietary supplements and high quality natural health and beauty products, please visit

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One Response to “The Importance Of Lecithin”

  1. August 30th, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    Jesscia says:

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