Lecithin is a supplement used in the treatment of certain neurological disorders, including dementia and Alzheimer’s, states WebMD. Patients with liver disease may also benefit from lecithin because it reduces the accumulation of fat, but evidence is inconclusive.
Patients with neurological disorders benefit from a wide range of lecithin doses, from 1 to 35 grams a day. Lecithin naturally comes from beef products, eggs, peanuts and cauliflower, although most supplement companies derive their products from soybeans and egg yolk.
Lecithin may also be effective in treating liver disease, gallbladder disease, eczema and high cholesterol, notes WebMD. Some people believe that lecithin moisturizes the skin, and it may be added to some eye medicines to help with the proper placement of medicine in the cornea. There is not enough evidence to prove the health benefits of lecithin, as of 2015.
Research suggests that taking lecithin may help to reduce symptoms associated with manic-depressive disorder, including hallucinations, delusion and jumbled speech, states WebMD. Lecithin potentially helps people who are fed intravenously to reduce fat accumulation in the liver. It may be taken for head injuries or for memory impairment due to aging, although it is not proven to be effective.
While it is mostly safe, taking lecithin sometimes leads to diarrhea, nausea and abdominal pain, states WebMD. In addition to being a nutritional supplement, lecithin is also used in many eye medicines.
There is not enough information to determine if lecithin is safe for nursing or pregnant women. For this reason, pregnant or nursing women should not take lecithin.