To combat cholesterol levels in the body, most of us will try the best of diets and foods that will help lower the cholesterol. Lecithin is one substance that has been discussed for the same. But does lecithin lower cholesterol? Read on for the facts and answers…
With love handles and a bulging tummy, life just does not seem pleasant enough. Well, it is not just the physical appearance, but there are many more concerns, that weigh more than just the fats spoiling your looks. It is the list of diseases and disorders that emerge as a result of high cholesterol levels in the body. The sooner one realizes the alarming levels of cholesterol, it gets easier to tackle it. Basics begin with diet and exercise. Of which, I must say, diet still forms a primary part and needs to be taken care of.
Out of the many foods that help in lowering cholesterol, there is one name that is more on the discussions and research, that is lecithin. Most of the people believe that lecithin helps to lower the cholesterol in the body. Some even have contradicting views about the same. So does lecithin lower cholesterol? On a coin of yes and no, where would your opinion weigh? To find out more on this question, we have compiled some facts and studies that can help with the answer.
First of all, let us understand what is lecithin. It is known as a natural substance, that is a mixture of phospholipid compounds. It also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, phosphorous, choline and carbohydrates. It is found in the human body in nerve cells, and is a major element of the cell membranes. It is found in high concentrations in the brain and prostate gland. It is naturally found in foods like peanuts, eggs, beef, steak, soybeans and certain vegetables. It is also used as an emulsifying agent for processing food in the food industry.
The functions of lecithin are lowering the cholesterol by helping to flush out the cholesterol through water. It is one of the important element responsible for liver synthesis. It prevents the cell membranes from hardening, it also contains certain compounds that help synthesis of the cells in the body. These were some of the common functions of lecithin. We have more facts based on study and research on lecithin, and the role of this compound in lowering fat and cholesterol.
Lecithin to Lower Cholesterol
Certain compounds found in lecithin like choline, accumulate and carry all the bad cholesterol, called LDL cholesterol. It works similar to HDL cholesterol, that is the good cholesterol which also helps in transporting LDL in the blood. Lecithin actually works as a solvent that prevents the cholesterol from sticking and accumulating on the artery walls and keeps it dissolved in the blood stream. It has also been found that lecithin triggers the function of esterases, which are enzymes that help in breaking down fats or metabolizing fats, thus helping in more consumption of fats, that helps in lowering cholesterol.
Some studies observed that lecithin could lower the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines. It was also found to be a vital element in the processing of fats in the liver to the bile, from there it gets excreted from the body. Apart from lowering cholesterol, lecithin compounds were found to be very effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease, and it was also found that lecithin works with vitamin B and folic acid in the body, to tackle cardiovascular disease. It was observed that the use of lecithin granules to lower cholesterol was effective in most of the cases.
On the contrary, considering the many benefits and functions of lecithin, some studies were carried out to specifically see the effect of lecithin. But most of them failed to prove that lecithin helps lower cholesterol. Some of the studies suggest, there may be a possibility of lecithin helping to lower cholesterol, but there is not enough scientific proof to support this fact. HDL or good cholesterol that aids in transporting fat out of the blood stream to the liver can be the link to lecithin and lowering cholesterol.
Fats are transported to the liver, and lecithin contains certain compounds that help in transporting triglycerides. Hence, it is believed that lecithin helps in lowering cholesterol, whereas it is observed to be a solvent and helpful to transport the fat in the blood. Lecithin plays an important role in keeping the fats dissolved, and preventing them from sticking to the arteries. This fact cannot be considered to prove that, the fat that is stored in the body is flushed out by lecithin. It was also observed that lecithin supplements were successful in most cases and studies conducted to check the effects on blood lipids and fats. But they also had moderate side effects in most cases.
Research is still on for a concrete answer to – does lecithin lower cholesterol. However, with a healthy balance of both the scales, supporting the fact and denying the same, it is not yet evident if or not does lecithin really help in lowering cholesterol. In some cases it has proved its efficiency, while some studies could not find its benefits on lowering cholesterol. But with more studies and research, there lies a hope for definite facts.