Lecithin Aging

Lecithin Aging. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is in lecithin and some people say that lecithin is the 'thrifty person's choice for getting phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylinostitol.

It is an important nutrient in the human body - especially for those of us who are aging. It can be derived from egg yolks or from soy beans and you can purchase commercial forms that have high purity. (see: Reading the label suggestions at the end of this page)

Lecithin has been widely studied. There are over 9,000 scientific articles listed in Pub Med, an online resource from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Naturally you do not want to read all that. You want to know what articles say that are specifically geared towards Lecithin Aging topics.

Here are som eknown benefits

  • Cardiovascular health It is so important that not having enough lecithin or phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylinostitol in your system can have a negative effect on cardio health. In 2002 scientists at Wake Forest University School of medicine showed that a lack of lecithin could increase atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries'. There have been a number of studies showing that lecithin can lower LDL (sometimes labeled 'bad cholesterol") and increase HDL ( or good cholesterol) and so it has a positive effect on cardiovascular health. Knowing that it lowers LDL and raises HDL has me wondering if using more lecithin in our diet would mean fewer people would need pharmaceutical drugs such as statins to lower their LDL cholesterol. Imaging using smooth tasting lecithin in salads or on your vegetables normalizing your cholesterol numbers.
  • Brain and Cognition As early as 2004, researchers in Germany published. "Improvement in quality of life in the elderly. Results of a placebo-controlled study on the efficacy and tolerability of lecithin fluid in patients with impaired cognitive functions" in which they said that in comparison with a placebo, there was statistically relevant improvement in cognitive skills with the addition of lecithin to the diet of cognitively impaired members of their study. [MMW Fortschr Med 2004 Dec 9;146(Suppl 3-4):99-106.) This study and others made some researchers wonder if it could be effective in reversion Alzheimer's disease. Even though most Alzheimer's patients do have a shortage in acetylcholine (found in lecithin), they found that adding lecithin to their diet was not an effective treatment for reversing Alzheimer's. (Dharma Singh Khalsa, M.D. Brain Longevity p.255.) However not all persons suffering from cognitive decline have Alzheimers disease. There are studies showing that lecithin or acetylcholine has been effective for improving cognitive function in older adults so including some Lecithin Aging Brain program supplementation may be useful for those who are not suffering from Alzheirmer's disease. An increasing number of neurologists are saying, "What is good for the heart is good for the brain". Since it is known that lecithin IS good for the heart (cardiovascular system), many have decided to create their own Lecithin Aging brain program by including it in their diet.
  • Age related hearing loss. A slow but progressive decline in hearing is common among those over age 60. By the time many people reach age 80, their decline in hearing is so great that they need the assistance of a hearing aid. Researches at the Henry Ford Health System in Michigan published a study in 2002, "Influence of lecithin on mitochondrial DNA and age-related hearing loss." that concluded "lecithin may preserve cochlear mitochondrial function and protect hearing loss associated with aging." Now that is good news....especially since the cost of really good hearing aids is not always covered by insurance. Adding lecithin to your diet may help you avoid age related hearing loss.
  • Parkinson's disease PUB MED, a data base of health related studies, includes the abstract of a single study about lecithin supplementation in Parkinson's disease, The study was published in the Journal Neural Transmission Supplement . It said: " ...we have given 10 levodopa-treated parkinsonian patients with dementia, a regimen of lecithin (average 20 gms/day). A clear improvement in Kohs block design test of constructive ability was noted with a decrease in the toxic symptoms of confusion, hallucinations and nightmares. In another study lecithin produced a decrease in levodopa-induced abnormal movements, but at the expense of motor performance. These preliminary investigations indicate that the progressive dementia of Parkinson's disease may not be irreversible." I have found no follow up studies of Lecithin Aging and Parkinson's but if I were diagnosed, I would certainly add more of this supplement to my diet.

So there you have it. The positive effects of lecithin (acetylcholine ) on cholesterol and cardiovascular health is clear. Some neurologists suggest it as part of an overall brain and cognitive preservation program. It appears to have benefit in preventing age related hearing loss. And it might have some benefit in other conditions such as Parkinson's disease.

As to whether you need to add it to your overall health promotion program, that is some thing for you to decide....preferably in consultation with your health care provider.

If you decided to follow a Lecithin Aging improvement program please read the details on any supplement carefully.

Most lecithin supplements sold in health food stores are made from soy beans. You want to purchase a NON GENETICALLY ENGINEERED vegetarian (vegan) product that contains phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylinostitol. Read the label. Every reputable manufacturer will state if their product is made from non genetically engineered plants. If you are taking this for your health, you want the most natural form.

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