Lecithin is a fatty substance rich in phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylinositol. In cooking, its most common purpose is to serve as a sticking repellent. However, sunflower lecithin powder may provide a number of benefits when taken as a dietary supplement.
What is the Best Source of Lecithin in Food?
It’s possible to obtain lecithin from dietary sources. Lecithin is present in a variety of vegetarian sources, including:
- Brussel sprouts
- Vegetable oil
Some animal sources also contain lecithin:
- Beef liver
- Chicken kidney and liver
However, it’s almost impossible to know how much lecithin any given food source contains. By supplementing with sunflower lecithin powder, individuals know their precise dosage for more reliable benefits.
Potential Benefits of Sunflower Lecithin Powder
Lecithin powder may be able to provide a wide array of benefits. The most sought-after include:
Potential to reduce cholesterol. Individuals with chronic high cholesterol may experience serious heart health concerns, up to and including heart attacks. In one study, participants experiencing high cholesterol took lecithin on a daily basis over a two-month period. By the end of the study, the participants experienced a 42% decrease in total cholesterol levels with a 56% decrease in bad cholesterol levels.
May help balance moods. Lecithin contains phosphatidylinositol, which may be able to prevent episodes of panic. In addition, in a small study of individuals, nearly every participant reported experiencing better mental health after supplementing with pure lecithin. As a result, there is growing support among the scientific community for further research into lecithin’s potential mood-boosting properties.
May improve liver health. Lecithin may be able to reduce liver damage due to inflamed bile ducts. Lecithin also helps boost choline’s efficiency in the liver, helping it absorb fats.
Potential to reduce stress. One study of healthy adults found that lecithin supplementation reduced the effects of stress by boosting the body’s resilience to stressful stimuli.
May improve digestion. Lecithin supplementation may improve digestion in individuals struggling with gastrointestinal issues. Because it is an emulsifier, sunflower lecithin powder may also improve the mucus lining in the intestines, reduce inflammation, and fight off unwanted bacteria.
Potential to improve the absorption of other nutrients. The gut has a hard time absorbing certain nutrients and supplements. Several studies have shown lecithin may be effective at improving the absorption of hydrophobic or fat-soluble nutrients and supplements.
May help breastfeeding mothers. The relationship between sunflower lecithin and breastfeeding has shown a lot of promise. While sunflower lecithin can’t stop mastitis in its tracks, many breastfeeding experts recommend it for its potential to keep ducts clear. The belief is that sunflower lecithin powder reduces the likelihood of clogged ducts by decreasing the stickiness of breastmilk.
Potential Side Effects of Sunflower Lecithin Powder
Other sources of lecithin, such as soy or eggs, can trigger an allergy response in individuals sensitive to those substances. Sunflower lecithin powder doesn’t have this issue. Most individuals tolerate lecithin powder well. Some may experience mild side effects, such as nausea, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
How to Take Sunflower Lecithin Powder
Individuals should take 1200mg (level unpacked ½ tsp) of sunflower lecithin powder once or twice a day with meals for best results. Use a milligram scale for accurate measurements.