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Lecithin
(NOW Non-GMO Lecithin Granules)

Supplements Descriptions

By Gary F. Zeolla

I suffer from a condition called neurological “tics.” I have been able to get them mostly under control by taking Twinlab’s Calcium Citrate Caps, but I also tried Twinlab’s Choline & Inositol Caps to see if they would help even further as these two substances are involved in nerve transmission. That supplement did not help. But about that time, I contacted Twinlab in regards to their Food-Based Ultra Daily.

One question I asked was why it did not contain any choline or inositol like their other multiple vitamin/ mineral formulas did. I was told that it was because their choline and inositol were synthetic, not food based, so they were not appropriate for that product. So I did some research and found that lecithin was a natural, food based source for choline and inositol.

Lecithin Information and Personal Experiment

Lecithin is found in many foods, but soybeans, eggs, and legumes are the best source. Most supplements of lecithin are derived from soy. An average daily intake is 10 grams. “Lecithins are sticky waxy substance found in cells throughout the body. Lecithin is particularly important in the structure of nerve tissue and its coverings” (Parsonnet, pp.34,35). 10 grams of lecithin contains about 350 mg of choline and 200 mg of inositol. But they are in the form of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylinositol.

Before trying it, I did a little research to see if there was any evidence that lecithin would help with my tics. Interestingly, I came across a Web site about Prozac. It would seem that a possible side effect of this drug is the development of tics. However, the company found that lecithin could help abate this side effect. “In one clinical trial, there was a significant improvement of tics in 14 days with lecithin administration, even while the patients still used the neuroleptic medication that caused the tics” (Prozac Truth).

So it looked like lecithin would be helpful, and it would be a natural way to attain choline and inositol. But I had a couple of concerns since supplemental lecithin is derived from soy. I discuss in my God-given Foods Eating Plan book that soy might lower testosterone levels. But I believe that is due to the phyto-estrogens, which are only found in the protein, while lecithin contains mostly fat and a little carbohydrate, but no protein.

Second, most soybeans produced in the USA are genetically modified. I would prefer to avoid all such unnatural food stuffs. But I was able to find one product that used only non-GMO soy, NOW’s Non-GMO Lecithin Granules.

Third and most importantly, I’m not sure if I am allergic to soy or not. Sometimes it seems to bother me and sometimes it does not. But since the lecithin is not too expensive, I figured it was worth a try. So I purchased a two pound container of the NOW Non-GMO Lecithin Granules.

The best way to take lecithin is by mixing it into or sprinkling it on foods. Lecithin is basically tasteless, so it does not hurt the taste of the foods it is added to. So I tried mixing one tablespoon (about 5 grams) into my morning oatmeal, and sprinkling another tablespoon onto my dinner salad.

But after just two days, I ran into problems. First, I couldn’t sleep. Second, I got constipated. These are problems I often have when I consume something I am allergic to. So I had to stop the lecithin. As such, I really cannot say if the lecithin would have helped or not with my tics. But if you are allergic to soy, then definitely avoid this supplement.

If you are not allergic to soy, I cannot really say if this would be a worthwhile supplement or not. The above info about tics makes it sound promising, as does the label information seen below. But the following is not so encouraging:

As a nutritional supplement, lecithin has been advocated in the treatment of memory loss, as well as for several specific neurologic and psychiatric illnesses. It has also been recommended for the prevention of hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure, and particularly for lowering blood cholesterol. None of the claims has ever been substantiated in controlled studies (Parsonnet, p. 34).

Label Information

Below is the label information from the two pound container of NOW’s Non-GMO Lecithin Granules.

Amount Per Serving % Daily Value
Serving Size – 2 TBSP – (10 g)
Servings per container – 90
Calories – 70
Calories from Fat – 50
Total Fat – 5.5 g – 8%*
Saturated Fat – 1 g – 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat – 3 g
Total Carbohydrate – 1 g – <1%
Potassium – 120 mg – 3%
Non-GE Lecithin – 10 g (10,000 mg)
Phosphorus – 300 mg – 30%

Serving Size: 2 TBSP

Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement, take 2 tablespoons daily, preferably with meals. Mix in juice or shakes, or sprinkle on food.

Free of: sugar, salt, starch, yeast, wheat, gluten, corn, milk, egg or preservatives.

Other Ingredients: None. Contains 2.3 g (2,300 mg) of Phosphatidylcholine and 1.4 g (1,400 mg) of Phosphatidylinositol per serving. Vegetarian Product.

Lecithin is a naturally occurring compound found in all cells in nature, plant and animal. It plays a major role in almost all biological processes - including nerve transmission, breathing and energy production. The word lecithin is taken from the Greek Lekithos, which means "egg yolk". A fitting name for this essential nutrient, for the egg is considered a symbol of life, strength and fertility. Lecithin is important for all of these biological functions and more. Our brain is approximately 30% Lecithin. The insulating myelin sheaths that protect the brain, spine and thousands of miles of nerves in in your body are almost two-thirds Lecithin. Lecithin is composed of many different components, including Choline, Inositol, Linoleic Acid, Phosphatidylserine, beneficial fatty acids and triglycerides. These valuable constituents of Lecithin are vital for the proper functioning of many metabolic processes.* NOW® Lecithin Granules are derived entirely from Non-Genetically Engineered (Non-GE) soybeans that have been Identity Preserved (IP). This guarantees that the soybeans are from seedstock that has been certified as Non-GE.

References:

Parsonnet, Mia. M.D. What’s in Our Food? Madison books: New York, 1996.

Prozac Truth. Tardive Dyskinesia (Tics) – http://www.prozactruth.com/tics.htm

Lecithin (NOW Non-GMO Lecithin Granules). Copyright © 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla.


NOW's Non-GMO Lecithin Granules is available at iHerb and Bodybuilding.com.
For iHerb, when checking out, use referral code HOP815 to receive $5.00 off your first order.

The above article was posted on this site May 3, 2008.

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