When medical researchers use the term “lecithin,” they are referring to a
purified substance called phosphatidyl choline (PC) that belongs to a special category of
fat-soluble substances called phospholipids.
Where is it found?
Choline, the major constituent of PC, is found in soybeans, liver, oatmeal, cabbage, and
cauliflower. Soybeans, egg yolks, meat, and some vegetables contain PC. Lecithin (containing
10–20% PC) is added to many processed foods in small amounts for the purpose of
maintaining texture consistency.
Phosphatidyl choline has
been used in connection with the following conditions (refer to the
individual health concern for complete information):
Who is likely to be deficient?
Although choline deficiencies have been artificially induced in people, little is known
about human deficiency in the real world.
How much is usually taken?
Small amounts of choline are present in many
B-complex and multivitamin
Are there any side effects or interactions?
With several grams of choline per day, some people will experience abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, or nausea. Supplementing choline in
large amounts (over 1,000 mg per day) can lead to a fishy body odor. PC does not have this
effect. Depression has been reported as a side
effect in people taking large amounts of choline, such as 9 grams per day.
The body uses both PC and pantothenic acid
to form acetylcholine.
At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions
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It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience,
or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur
in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over
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