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Sources of Lecithin

If you keep yourself in touch with the latest news on health and diet, then you probably heard: lecithin is good for you. But how good? Well, it’s been said that lecithin contains various components that are all beneficial to your health. Each tablespoon (roughly worth 7.5 grams) of lecithin granules contains about 1700 mg of phosphatidylcholine, 2,200 mg of essential fatty acids like linoleic acid and 1000 mg of phosphatidylinositol, all of which contribute to just how good lecithin is.

And yet as good as lecithin is made out to be, a lot of people do not consume adequate amounts of the compound. While a deficiency in lecithin does not seem to have any adverse effects on people, a deficiency in choline, a component of lecithin, however, can lead to serious illnesses such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

The reason for the reduced consumption of lecithin may have something to do with the lecithin sources themselves. Before World War II, people were in the habit of eating large amounts of organ meats, red meats, whole eggs, whole milk with cream, dairy cream, and liver, all of which are excellent lecithin sources. But what makes these foods such excellent lecithin sources also make people turn away from them. That’s because these foods are often very rich in fats and calories, which in today’s diet-conscious community may pose several negative health effects.

If eating these lecithin sources is a concern for most people, then getting alternative sources, such as supplements may be the solution to look for. According to the USDA, particularly its Economic Research Service, the average American consumed 12 fewer pounds of red meat in 1996 than 20 years ago. In addition to that, it was also found that the average American, even with all the varied uses of lecithin, consume only about 3 g/day of the compound. To maintain adequate supply of lecithin in the body, we need to turn to other lecithin sources, over and above the normal diet.

Soy Foods

One of the most popular lecithin sources is soy. In fact, most lecithin sources sold commercially today are derived from soybean oil. In the United States, soy food consumption is increasing annually. This may help to increase the level of lecithin consumption.

Soy food is one of the most versatile of lecithin sources. The soybean can be eaten whole after it has been boiled or roasted. It can also be transformed into a great variety of foods, the more popular of which are tofu, meat alternatives, soy sauce, soy flour, and soybean oil (usually called vegetable oil).


Another alternative to getting adequate supply of lecithin is supplementation. Supplements are excellent lecithin sources; one tablespoon of lecithin granules contains as much as a 1, 725 mg/serving. A soft gel capsule of lecithin supplement may contain less at 180 mg/serving. The concentration of lecithin in supplements varies according to its form. According to many sources, one of the best lecithin sources is lecithin granules, which contain a high percentage of phosphatidylcholine, which when synthesized by the body turns into a choline, an essential nutrient.

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