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Lecithin is a type of fatty substance that is often used to maintain the taste of food, for example in bread and cakes. In addition, lecithin can also be taken as a supplement that can provide several benefits, such as improving memory and lowering cholesterol
Lecithin can generally be found in certain plants or animals, such as soybeans, sunflower seeds, meat, fish, seafood, mayonnaise, and eggs. In addition, lecithin is also found in breast milk.
This fatty substance is usually consumed as an additional nutritional supplement which is available in the form of capsules, tablets, and syrups.
The Benefits of Lecithin for Body He alth
The following are some of the benefits that can be obtained from lecithin:
1. Lowering cholesterol levels
The amount of cholesterol, especially bad cholesterol or LDL, which is too high can cause blockages in blood vessels and disrupt blood flow in certain organs.
Several studies have revealed that regular consumption of lecithin supplements can reduce bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels in the body.
This effect makes lecithin good for consumption as a supplement to reduce cholesterol and prevent blockages in blood vessels due to cholesterol buildup or atherosclerosis. However, the effectiveness of lecithin as a cholesterol-lowering drug still needs to be studied further.
2. Maintain heart he alth
Not only lowers cholesterol, lecithin is also known to lower blood pressure. This makes lecithin good for consumption to maintain heart he alth and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, such as stroke and heart disease.
3. Prevent blockage of milk ducts
Clogged milk ducts can interfere with the smooth breastfeeding process. Not only that, blockages in the milk ducts can also trigger mastitis or inflammation of the breast tissue due to infection.
There are several ways that can be done to prevent and overcome the problem of blockages in the milk ducts and one of them is by taking lecithin supplements.
Several research shows that taking lecithin supplements for breastfeeding mothers can improve breast milk and improve the quality of the milk produced, so it is good for supporting baby growth and development.
4. Reducing intestinal inflammation
Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, bloody stools, abdominal pain, bloating and weight loss.
Until now, inflammatory bowel disease cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be controlled so that they do not get worse or recur frequently. Several studies have shown that lecithin supplements can relieve symptoms of inflammation in the gut, making it good for preventing inflammatory bowel disease from recurring.
However, there is no research showing that lecithin is useful for treating inflammatory bowel disease. To treat this condition, you still need to undergo treatment from a doctor.
5. Improve memory
Lecithin contains choline and various types of fatty acids, such as phospholipids, triglycerides, glycerol, and phosphoric acid. The content of choline in lecithin has an important role in maintaining brain function and improving memory and concentration.
There is research that says that adequate nutritional intake and lecithin supplementation can prevent senile dementia and reduce the risk of dementia, especially in the elderly.
However, this research has not been able to confirm whether lecithin can be used as a drug for dementia.
6. Maintaining he althy skin
Not only for consumption, lecithin is also often used as an emollient or moisturizer in skin care products, especially to treat dry skin. In addition, lecithin is also believed to be useful for treating acne and eczema.
However, unfortunately, the claims of lecithin benefits for treating these skin problems do not yet have sufficient evidence to confirm its effectiveness.
Foods Containing Lecithin
Apart from supplements, lecithin is also naturally found in several types of food, such as:
- Red meat
- Innards, like hearts
- Beans, including soybeans and black beans
- Green vegetables, such as broccoli
- Sunflower oil and canola oil
Lecithin, whether it comes from supplements or food, you can consume to maintain a he althy body. However, the claims of various benefits of lecithin, especially those related to the treatment of certain diseases, still need further research.
Therefore, if you want to use lecithin supplements to treat or prevent a disease, you should first consult with your doctor. This is important so that the doctor can determine the dosage of lecithin supplements that suit your he alth conditions and needs.