Lecithin, a substance that occurs naturally in plants and animals, is a mixture of phosphates and fatty acids. This type of blend, which makes lecithin soluble in both water and fat, is known as a phospholipid. Food manufacturers add lecithin to salad dressings to break down the oils, creating a uniform solution. Lecithin granules also appear as health supplements. Verify with your doctor the substance is appropriate for you before taking it.
Lecithin Granules Dosage
Ask your doctor how much lecithin to take daily when you discuss adding it to your diet. If she says to follow the manufacturer's suggested dose, read the instructions on the product label. The general recommendation is one to two tablespoons of the supplement daily.
How to Take It
You can take lecithin granules in several different ways. The most practical one is to put them in your mouth and chew until they dissolve. Or, you can add the little pellets to the blender as you prepare a smoothie. Try sprinkling lecithin on cereals and soups. Cooking the supplement in dishes is another alternative. You can mix lecithin with hot or cold foods. Temperature does not affect its properties.
Minimizing Side Effects
Adverse reactions from taking lecithin are uncommon. When they occur, they manifest as gastrointestinal illnesses, liver inflammation, decreased appetite, nausea or excessive salivation. Do not take more than the dose your doctor recommends or that is suggested on the product label to lower the chance of side effects. If you feel sick while on lecithin granules, stop taking them and report the problem to your doctor.
Lecithin and Science
Vanderbilt University posted on the school's website a paper Christine Lawhon wrote on the benefits of taking lecithin. Lawhon's report is a review of published studies on the health advantages lecithin supplements may offer. She concluded that the granules are not an effective weight-loss aid, which contradicts a claim that accompanies the product. Regarding lecithin and its ability to improve neurological function, preventing dementia, Drugs.com reports that the studies on the subject are inconclusive. Likewise, the pharmaceutical website says that there is no firm proof that lecithin alleviates liver problems. Lawhon believes that lecithin is only helpful if you need to replenish your body's supply of choline. This substance is the precursor of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that allows nerve cells to exchange information. Acetylcholine is also responsible for memory integrity. Vitamin B-3, also known as niacin, sometimes is prescribed in the treatment of high cholesterol. The vitamin supplement can deplete your stock of choline. When that happens, your doctor may recommend lecithin, which is a choline source.