This article will center around how the consumption of Lecithin can be connected to depression. For that, the article will explain what Lecithin is, where it can be found naturally, industrially, how much a person should take of it, and what are matters to be careful about.
Can Lecithin cause depression?
Although there are still not enough studies about it, there has been some evidence that the excessive consumption of Lecithin, or taking it for a prolonged period can be related to feeling depression. This can be because it can impact the dopamine receptors, and changes in this neurotransmitter are often related to depression.
That is because dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is related to the person’s motivation and reward system. And even though only low levels of dopamine won’t be responsible for leading to depression, it will most certainly impact and relate to some symptoms of it such as low motivation.
And even though there is still a need for more studies to understand better how this happens, this shows how one should be careful of how they take Lecithin. So let’s understand a little more about what it is.
What is Lecithin?
Lecithin refers to a group of chemicals that are nutrients commonly found in food. But it can be seen nowadays also as a part of dietary supplements. They are types of fat that can help in the functioning of the person’s brain, never, liver, and many other organs.
How does Lecithin work?
When you ingest something with Lecithin, your body breaks it into something called choline. Those are often used to regulate your metabolism, transport fat, maintain your body cells, and help your nerves transmit the information.
Even though it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for some of these uses, the dietary supplement and lecithin have been often used to treat many health conditions.
It is used by people dealing with high cholesterol, and through studies, it has been discovered that 500mg of it taken daily, for two months, can reduce a person’s cholesterol levels to almost half, at the same time, also reduces the bad LDL cholesterol. But some studies relate its use to a higher risk of heart disease.
Lecithin is also often used to treat some inflammatory conditions such as ulcerative colitis because it seems to protect the colon, and mastitis which can be caused by the clogging of the woman’s milk ducts. Lecithin seems to prevent those clogs from happening.
The chemicals are also often used to treat some forms of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Choline seems to improve the symptoms of the conditions because it increases nerve transmission in the brain. Although there is still a need for further studies.
Lecithin is also taken by people that want to improve their sleep or enhance their athletic performance. It seems people use it as a way to alleviate stress, deal with anxiety, and improve liver function.
Where can I find Lecithin?
As previously said, Lecithin can be found as a dietary supplement, and to take it, you should find a trustworthy one. You should look for one that has been tested by one of these: U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab.
The supplements can come in many forms. They can be pills, tablets, capsules, soft gels, granules, powder, liquid, or paste. It is usually recommended to take a daily dose of 2400mg, and one should be careful to not overdo it, as it can lead to depression.
But if you prefer, Lecithin can often be found in food. It is present in organ meat, such as liver, and regular red meat. Seafood, eggs, peanuts, and wheat germ are also great sources of Lecithin. The same way as canola oil, sunflower oil, green vegetables, such as broccoli and brussel sprouts, and legumes like black beans, and soybeans.
What to take under consideration when taking Lecithin?
Although it is a natural compound, one should care about how much Lecithin they ingest, be it in their food, or as a form of dietary supplement. Some research shows it affects the dopamine in the person’s brain, which can lead to depression.
Aside from that, Lecithin can have some other side effects, it can lead the person to have increased salivation, and they can also lose their appetite, experience diarrhea, and nausea. Some people may experience abdominal pain, and abdominal bloating as a result of Lecithin.
People may also have allergic reactions to it, even though that is not common, in which case they should just stop taking it. And when someone is pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or even breastfeeding, they should only take Lecithin under the direction of their doctors.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Can Lecithin cause depression?
How does Lecithin work on weight loss?
There is still a need for further studies on how Lecithin works for weight loss. It is believed that choline, one of the components of Lecithin can help in weight loss, but its presence is so low in Lecithin, being only 3% of it.
Research has shown that choline supplementation reduces body mass in female athletes. But this result wasn’t duplicated in other research. What is thought is that Lecithin breaks down and disperses the fat and oil a person consumes.
This may make it easier for the person’s metabolism to deal with lipid and fat faster. The substance seems to break the fat into small molecules, which can make it easier for the body to burn it, and turn it into energy.
When is the best time to take Soy Lecithin?
You should take Soy Lecithin before meals. So you can try and take it before breakfast and dinner. This is particularly true for young people that want to strengthen their brains. As for older people that are using it to prevent any problems with their blood pressure, they can take it after dinner.
But if you already have issues with your blood pressure or hyperlipidemia, you can take Soy Lecithin before breakfast, and you should take it after dinner if you are using Soy Lecithin to treat a severe heart problem or cerebrovascular condition.
Be sure to always talk to your doctor about what you have been taking to treat your condition, and what is their orientation at the best time and dosage of each medication.
What is the best form of Lecithin supplement to take?
You can take Lecithin supplements in different forms. You can decide to have it by the food you are eating. Or as a dietary supplement, it can come in many forms: pills, tablets, capsules, soft gels, granules, powder, liquid, or paste.
It is usually thought that the dietary supplement in the form of granules tends to be the best. That is because they have a higher concentration of Lecithin, which can be found in any form of supplement. And because of how they are, the granular way, they can be absorbed quite quickly by the organism.
There is another benefit to them, that they are already oil-free since the oil has already been removed.
Is choline good for brain fog?
Choline is usually amazing to help you when you are experiencing brain fog. It affects the brain functions by helping the brain create acetylcholine. This is a protein that has a huge role in memory, and the person’s overall cognitive abilities. Research has shown that having choline as part of your diet makes your brain tissue healthier.
This allows for your brain to fight the most common symptoms of brain fog which usually are difficulty in memory and your ability to focus. The person can also feel sluggish, and extremely tired. Brain fog can usually happen when you are going through a stressful period, or when you don’t sleep well.
Too much screen time and hormonal changes can also help a person develop brain fog. So to experience the benefits of choline, one should take between 425 and 550 milligrams of choline each day.
What are foods that make my brain stay awake?
Foods are often related to how you may feel, and how you spend your day. So if you want your brain to be more awake, know that there are some things you can eat, or drink to help you. The first one is coffee. It will help you stay awake, and improve your ability to focus.
But you should be aware to not take too much of it, otherwise, it can lead you to feel jittery, and you may even become ill. Having a fruit shake can also improve your brain function.
Try to add blueberries to it, which can improve your short-term memory skills. But again, moderation is key. If you have too much of it, you can begin to feel tired soon.
A little dark chocolate and some nuts can also help you a lot. Dark chocolate even has a little caffeine in it and will improve your energy. You can also have fish or baked potatoes for lunch. Salmon is rich in Omega 3 fats, and this can improve your memory. And the potatoes will give you all the energy your brain needs to work.
Pumpkin seeds are full of zinc, iron, and minerals. Those will help in the oxygen transport in the brain, which will be a quick way to improve your brainpower. You can have them as a snack before you start studying or working.
How can I manage a fuzzy brain?
If you are experiencing a fuzzy brain, it most likely may be related to stress, lack of sleep, and even too much screen time. What you should do is try to live a more balanced life. Eat well, and practice good sleep hygiene. You should sleep around 7 to 8 hours each night.
Exercising will also help you deal with your stress level. And not drinking too much alcohol, or coffee will help you to feel less worn out. Try to control your screen time, and have a routine to do things away from those, and especially doing things you like, so you can feel an overall improvement in your well-being.
This article centered around Lecithin and depression. It explained that, although still under study, it seems a high dose and prolonged exposure to Lecithin can lead people to experience depressive symptoms.
Aside from that, the article showed what Lecithin is, where to find it, its benefits, and what should be taken under consideration when using it.
If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.
Wood JL, Allison RG. Effects of consumption of choline and lecithin on neurological and cardiovascular systems. Fed Proc. 1982 Dec;41(14):3015-21. PMID: 6754453.