What are some benefits and side effects of Lecithin?


Quick Answer

Pharmacological benefits of lecithin use include lowering cholesterol levels, treating liver illnesses and possibly treating neurological disorders or triggering the body's defense system, while its side effects include nausea, diarrhea, fullness, hypersalivation and gastrointestinal troubles, according to Drugs.com. There are generally no safety concerns regarding taking lecithin in oral capsule and compounding granule, liquid and paste forms as it is well tolerated with usually no adverse side effects, even with widespread use.

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Full Answer

Research has not identified all of lecithin's side effects, cautions Drugs.com. A person should consult his doctor if he intends to use lecithin and report any side effects to the Food and Drug Administration. If signs of an allergic reaction occur, such as hives, and swelling on his face, throat and tongue, he should seek immediate medical attention.

Lecithin is an umbrella name for a group of compounds known as phosphatidylcholines that are present naturally in vegetables, such as cauliflower, and animal products, such as beef liver, explains Drugs.com. Lecithin supplements rely on egg yolks, soybeans or brain tissue as sources. Apart from its pharmacological use, lecithin is also a stabilizing and emulsifying agent in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. Other common names for lecithin include kelecin, vitellin and lecithol.

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