Lecithin Powder to Lower Cholesterol

Powdered lecithin is a food supplement whose use is useful for health purposes but not for sports or physical culture.
Supplementation with lecithin powder was designed to reduce intestinal absorption of cholesterol (intervention necessary to combat lipid dysmetabolisms caused by this steroid molecule).

What is lecithin?

Lecithin is a phospholipid, that is, a molecule that has chemical affinity for both lipids and water; thanks to this characteristic, lecithin is a powerful EMULSIFYER which, inside the intestinal lumen, binds cholesterol and hinders its absorption.
In our body, lecithin performs two very important functions:

  • It is the main component of the cell membrane
  • It is a synthetic substrate for the liver enzyme Lecithin Cholesterol Acyl Transferase (LCAT)

NB. LCAT determines the esterification of cholesterol and therefore promotes its distribution to the tissues; furthermore, it facilitates its uptake by HDL which carries out the “reverse transport of cholesterol” promoting its elimination with the bile, therefore with the faeces.

Why – when – how to take lecithin powder

As can be seen from the previous paragraph, lecithin powder is a useful supplement for reducing cholesterolemia; this property derives both from its ability to bind dietary (and bile!!!) cholesterol in the intestinal lumen, reducing its absorption, and from the increased synthesis of hepatic LCAT, an enzyme essential to the “reverse metabolism of cholesterol”.
Taking lecithin powder is useful (therefore recommendable) if blood cholesterol levels deviate excessively from the norm; Let's briefly remember that for healthy people the normal limits are roughly:

  • Total cholesterol: 200-220mg/dl (values ​​lower than this threshold are desirable)
  • HDL: femminile 50mg/dl ; HDL maschile
  • LDL: 130mg/dl (values ​​lower than this threshold are desirable)

Please also remember that, especially in the presence of other risk factors for vascular disease (atherosclerosis with coronary infarction or cerebral stroke), the aforementioned limits can also be significantly corrected. Specifically, they are MODIFIABLE and aggravating risk factors for hypercholesterolemia: cigarette smoking, hypertension, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and Diabetes Mellitus.

Obviously, powdered lecithin is not the only dietary source of this phospholipid; it is naturally contained in foods of plant origin (soya and legumes, whole grains), but also in those of animal origin (egg yolk [dal quale è stato estratto per la prima volta nel 1850] and meat); however, its dietary intake results higher and more effective if legumes and cereals are preferred over animal food sources. This is due to the fact that, by binding fats and cholesterol, the lecithin contained in foods of animal origin could already be saturated or in any case not sufficient to significantly hinder the absorption of the majority of the steroid contained in them… furthermore, take lecithin to fight cholesterol by eating foods that are also rich in it… logically, it doesn't seem like a particularly brilliant strategy! On the other hand, by regularly eating legumes and whole grains, in addition to promoting the intake of fiber which in turn combats the absorption of fats, it is possible to obtain a rich and more “pure” source of lecithin (without cholesterol). It is true that lecithin has the ability to bind to all plant lipids and phytosterols, however, their concentration is absolutely lower than that of foods of animal origin while the quantities of lecithin are absolutely greater.


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