Does Lecithin Help You Lose Weight?

Lecithin is a type of fat molecule composed of inositol and choline found in living cells. It is touted as beneficial for many disease, including gallbladder problems, memory decline related to Alzheimer's and relief of arthritis, according to Vanderbilt University. Because lecithin is an emulsifier -- a substance that breaks down and disperses fat in water -- some manufacturers of lecithin also claim it is effective for helping consumers shed unwanted pounds.

Most lecithin supplements are derived from soybean oil. (Image: fotokostic/iStock/Getty Images)

Science Weighs In

According to Vanderbilt University, there isn't enough scientific evidence to support the use of lecithin as a weight loss aid. While it keeps cholesterol and fat in the cardiovascular system from attaching to artery walls, it might have no effect on subcutaneous fat. Lecithin could actually add pounds, because it is a fatty acid and a source of calories, advises the university.

Side Effects

Most people ingest around 50 milligrams daily, which is enough to fulfill your body's needs and is easily obtained from foods such as egg yolks or legumes. Supplements are typically derived from soybean oil and could pose an allergen risk for some users. Doses of more than 30 milligrams daily could cause side effects that include gastrointestinal upset, weight gain or dizziness.

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