Lecithin for Your Brain, Your Arteries, and Your Liver


Lecithin is one of the supplements I recommend as mandatory to our overall health. And yet perhaps because it’s fairly cheap and there’s not a large profit margin in selling it, it’s probably the most ignored and the least talked about compound we can supplement our diets with.

But I assure you that lecithin’s value to our health far surpasses its reputation — no matter what the reason it’s downplayed by supplement companies and the natural health industry.

We do indeed get lecithin in our diet from eggs, red meat (lecithin is destroyed in overcooked or well-done meats), and soybeans; but nowadays we need to add to our diets with lecithin supplements, because of the environment we live in, and because, obviously, we don’t eat eggs, red meat, and soybeans everyday. Even if we did we still don’t get enough lecithin to overcome the plaque build up in our arteries from the lack of enzymes in our diets and the heavy amount of plaque-producing fats and sugars and other toxins we take in every day.

Lecithin is a fatty compound needed by every cell in our bodies. The protective sheathing around our brain is made of lecithin, and our muscles and nerve cells use lecithin to carry out their everyday duties. Our cell membranes are actually composed mainly of lecithin. These membranes handle the transflow of nutrients in and out of the cell, an action that supports our immune systems, our overall energy, our body’s cleansing process, and thus our overall health. Lecithin and one of its major components, phosphatidylcholine (PC), are essential for liver function.

Thus, it’s clear simply from these few physiological needs and uses of lecithin (and there are many more) how important it is to humans. Let’s take a look at a few of the other values in this amazing compound.

Several studies have shown that lecithin supplementation helps to improve visual memory in the elderly and actually reverses certain abnormal mental developments in children.

Lecithin is the only compound that has helped Alzheimer’s disease. In a working case study in California about twelve years ago, Lecithin helped over 80% of elderly people with symptoms of Alzheimer’s. In younger people with memory loss from plaque build up in the brain and arteries, it helps 100% of the time.

(This site provides some of the more technical studies on the benefits =
of lecithin: http://www.lef.org/prod_hp/abstracts/php_ab_lecithin.html)

Alzheimer’s disease was first delineated in 1907 by a German brain researcher named Alois Alzheimer. He noted the pathologic signs of the disease, including (but not restricted to) plaque build up.

At the turn of the 20th Century when Alzheimer first described the disease, it was very, very rare — not even on the list of major killers. As we move into the 21st Century Alzheimer’s is pervasive in Western nations. At this time it is the leading cause of dementia in the elderly and is the fourth leading cause of death (after cancer, heart disease, and stroke). Up to 70% of dementias are due to Alzheimer’s disease, with blood vessel disease (also from plaque build up) being the second most common cause.

According to the Life Extension Foundation, the annual costs to the United States from Alzheimer’s disease are over $60 billion!!

Obviously, this disease (like cancer) is one we want to keep from invading our lives, if possible, and it is possible.

As all of you know from prior studies, there are different forms of dementia and memory loss, even though medical practitioners most often call all of them Alzheimer’s disease, mainly because each one of these diseases brings about the same or similar symptoms. Dementia brought about by prescription (or street) drug abuse is one of these, and some consider this a form of Alzheimer’s. From my own experience (not professional studies) I have found that lecithin even helps this form of dementia — not as much as that brought on by plaque build up, but it does help.

Lecithin works in several different ways to protect and help heal our bodies. It works as a natural coating on the arteries, much like pam, and prevents plaque build up, thereby helping to prevent arterial congestion.

As noted above, phosphatidylcholine (PC) is a major component in lecithin. PC is one of the most important nutrients for the liver. More than twenty-five years of clinical tests have shown that PC helps to protect the liver against damage from alcoholism, processed sugar, prescription drugs, viruses, synthetic pollutants, and other toxins, most of which operate by impairing our cell membranes.

PC is a large molecule that is a fundamental building block for our cell membranes. The membranes in the cell are its heart, because they regulate the majority of the activities that control cell life. Lecithin’s high PC content makes it the most important substance you can use for treating liver damage or cirrhosis of the liver.

(Here is an excellent site on PC and its work within your liver: =
http://www.thorne.com/altmedrev/fulltext/phos1_4.html)

Lecithin also has as one of its amazing compounds, acetylcholine (AC), which is a powerful neurotransmitter (NT). Most NTs develop from amino acids, and thus have to compete with one another in a race to the brain. But not AC. All of you old supplement takers are familiar with choline, a member of the B-Complex family. Well, it’s the major builder in AC, which keeps it from having to compete to enter the brain. That makes AC one of our more powerful “brain vitamins.”

(Here is an excellent site for the study of NTs, including AC: =
http://www.fi.edu/brain/nutrition/proteins/neurotransmitters.html)

In short, a few other things lecithin does is to help distribute body weight, it increases immunity to viral infections, it cleans and helps heal the liver, and it purifies the kidneys.

Since Lecithin helps with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, I recommend that you take it along with Co-Enzyme Q10 and vitamin E and any other fat- or oil-based supplements that you take. I recommend the oil-based forms of lecithin, and for this reason don’t recommend the dry granule form.

If you are thirty or under or are a small person, I recommend the moderate dosage of 2000-4000 mg per day. If you are over thirty and normal size, I recommend the moderate dosage of 6000-8,000 mg per day. If you are a large person or are over sixty, I recommend 10,000-12,000 mg per day. And this dosage is really not much when you consider every cell in the body needs lecithin. Besides, it’s only a few capsules a day; and remember, besides all your cells, you have your brain and your liver to cover! And how important are they?

If you are having memory loss, or have had liver damage, or even high LDH levels (enzymes), or eat a lot of processed sugar, or take synthetic drugs, or drink a lot of alcohol, I recommend doubling the dosage to about 20,000 mg. a day. Lecithin is totally safe and non-toxic, so there’s no worry in the amount you take. Personally, if I had these problems, I’d take enough to suppress any symptoms I might have, and then after a while I’d ease down to a more normal amount. Symptoms can include liver spots on the hands, arms, forehead, and face. Also, memory loss, dry skin, and lots of unexplained headaches.

This information is the reason I place lecithin in the top five supplements: it’s fairly cheap and totally safe; the studies on its value are complete and absolute; and I’ve personally seen its value in action.

So although its reputation is less than stellar, and lower than many more popular supplements, lecithin ranks right up there with CO-Q10 (my favorite), various enzymes, a multiple mineral containing the essential minerals calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, chromium, and selenium, a B-complex, vitamin C (with bioflavonoids), plant enzymes, and vitamin E in complex form.

If you’re just starting out with supplements, probably the easiest way for you to get a good grade of lecithin is to ask the assistants at your health food store. There’s always someone around those places who’s knowledgeable about the products they carry. You want what’s called “natural soya lecithin.” Later, after you get to understand the type you need, you can probably find some over the Net.

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