Lecithin is a type of lipid/fat that is needed by all body cells. Cell membranes, which regulate the transport nutrients in and out of the cells, are largely made of lecithin.
Lecithin consists mostly of the B vitamin choline. Lecitihin is part water and part fat soluble. Thus it acts as an emulsifying agent in most food products.
Benefits of lecithin in the diet or as a supplement helps in cholesterol management by increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol in blood. In turns, it improves cardiovascular health and manage the risk of having high blood pressure or heart dieseases.
Another benefit of lecithin is as breastfeeding aid. Some recommends lecithin to prevent clog milk ducts that leads to sore, inflammed and engorged breasts (also known as masititis). Lecithin may reduce the thickness of breast milk, making it easier to flow and less likely to clog milk ducts in breast. However, lecithin could not treat already clogged ducts or relieve the discomfort related to masititis.
Most lecithin is derived from soybeans and some from egg yolks. Other sources of lecithin inclde brewer's yeast, grains, legumes, fish and wheat germ.