Lecithin supplementation may help you metabolize lipids, but that doesn't mean it's a fat burner or it's going to help you lose weight. While lecithin granules offer some health benefits, weight loss is not one of them. If you're trying to lose weight, consult your doctor to help you make changes to your diet and exercise routine.
Lecithin is a type of fat composed of choline and inositol. As a major component of the cell membranes in your body, lecithin helps regulate what goes in and out of your cells. Your body makes some lecithin itself, and the rest comes from the food you eat. The fat is found in a variety of foods, including egg yolks, fish, soy and beans, and you should be able to get all you need from diet alone, according to Vanderbilt University. Lecithin supplements are available in a variety of forms, including granules, however.
Lecithin Supplement and Weight Loss
Manufacturers of lecithin supplements make many claims about the benefits of adding lecithin granules to your diet, including weight loss. But there's no evidence that the supplement can make you lose any weight, according to Vanderbilt University. The claims may stem from the fact that lecithin plays an important role in transporting fat in your blood. However, it does not seem to have any impact on the stationary fat that sits on your hips or around your belly, reports Vanderbilt.
Lecithin and Weight Gain
The supplement may not help you lose weight, but it might promote weight gain if you're not careful. As a source of fat, lecithin granules are also a source of calories. A 1 1/2-tablespoon amount of lecithin granules has 70 calories. If you take the supplement daily without decreasing your caloric intake or adding more activity to burn those extra calories, you may gain more than 7 pounds in a year.
Lecithin for Health
While it may not help you lose weight, there are some health benefits to taking lecithin granules. A 2008 study reports that lecithin supplementation helps lower blood lipid levels, including cholesterol and triglycerides, and plays a role in lipid metabolism. Improving cholesterol and triglyceride levels improves heart health and may lower your risk of heart disease. There's also some evidence that supplementing your diet with lecithin granules may help improve memory, cognition and mood in people with Alzheimer's and dementia. Consult your doctor before adding lecithin granules to your daily routine.
- Vanderbuilt University: Lecithin Supplements Effectiveness in Weight Loss
- Cell Biochemistry and Function: Soy Lecithin Supplementation Alters Macrophage Phagocytosis and Lymphocyte Response to Concanavalin A: A Study in Alloxan-Induced Diabetic Rats
- Drugstore.com: NOW Foods Lecithin Granules
- FamilyDoctor.org: What It Takes to Lose Weight
- American Heart Association: Hyperlipidemia
- Advances in Therapy: Positive Effects of Soy Lecithin-Derived Phosphatidylserine Plus Phosphatidic Acid on Memory, Cognition, Daily Functioning and Mood in Elderly Patients with Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia