You’ve probably seen it on many a Nutrition Facts label. But, what exactly is Lecithin? Well, quite simply, it’s a fat that is required for the cells in your body to function properly. And, it’s actually in a variety of foods, though you most often see “soy lecithin” on your labels. It’s a popular ingredient that’s used in manufacturing medicines, but it can sometimes be a medicine in and of itself. And, of course, some people use it to try to lose weight. But, how do people use lecithin for weight loss, and does it actually work? That’s what we’re aiming to figure out in this article.
Understanding Your Food Labels
Soy lecithin shows up so universally that you may not even pay attention to it anymore when you’re reading the Nutrition Facts. However, many people have questions about soy and anything that comes from this little bean. A French chemist, Theodore Gobley, was the first person to separate out lecithin from the bean, in 1846. Before that, lecithin was isolated from egg yolks.
For the most part, lecithin has been important as a food additive because it’s an emulsifier. And, an emulsifier is basically a substance that stabilizes food that contains both oil and water. As you’ve probably noticed, oil and water separate from each other, and that could create problems for processed food that’s supposed to have a long shelf life. Although most food companies aren’t using lecithin for weight loss in this case, they’re using it to stabilize their food. But, that does beg the question, how DO you use lecithin for weight loss?
Lecithin for Weight Loss
People have been curious about how lecithin could affect the fat in your body for a long time. And, there have been studies on it. After all, if lecithin is a good emulsifier, shouldn’t you be able to use lecithin for weight loss? And, there are some studies that suggest it could help keep the cholesterol and fat in your body from attaching and accumulating on artery walls – which is great news for people attempting to stay heart-healthy.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of evidence that you can use lecithin for weight loss in the way that most people would expect. The reason? Well, lecithin doesn’t really do anything to subcutaneous fat (the fat under your skin, especially on the stomach area). And, while some websites may argue that you CAN use lecithin for weight loss because it should dissolve stored fat, that may not be the case. In other words, you could end up spending money on supplements that don’t really do what you intended. Plus, if you consume too much of it in an attempt to get the benefits of lecithin for weight loss, you may end up with some unfortunate side effects. Lecithin can cause stomach problems especially.
Why Use Lecithin?
So, why are there even foods with lecithin, or supplements that use lecithin? Well, even though you shouldn’t take lecithin in high doses, it’s not as though it’s not beneficial for you. In fact, lecithin could help treat liver problems, as well as high cholesterol. It may also be good for treating neurological disorders and dementia. Of course, these are all things that you would be discussing with your doctor, and not self-treating. So, as far as self-prescribing lecithin goes, it’s probably better to steer clear. After all, lecithin for weight loss doesn’t really work. You might have to stick to some quality diet and exercise. Check out the best diet of 2018 get to work!