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TOPIC: Question about Lecithin from Nathalie

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 10 Mar 2006 14:47 #3295

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[color=blue:fbec9548a6]I received an excellent question about whether or not Lecithin is an essential fatty acid via e-mail from Nathalie in Montreal Canada. [/color:fbec9548a6]

[b:fbec9548a6]Hi !! I have read that lecithin suppl. can be good for memory and learning. Is lecithin an EPA source like fish oil ( I already take 1 capsule of fish oil 3 times a day ) ? Can I take the 2 at the same time ? What would be the dosage of lecithin ?
Thanks Nathalie[/b:fbec9548a6]


Many women with PMDD are misdiagnosed as bi-polar. Many people who are bi-polar take lecithin regularly. If you are following the Cycle Diet and taking Lecithin please note-[color=darkblue:fbec9548a6]It is NOT an essential fatty acid. [/color:fbec9548a6]. You need to also include additional fatty fish like salmon, halibut or mackerel. Flax seed or fish oil supplements are also suggested in order to supply your body with Omega 3's.

You can take both lecithin and fish oil at the same time but you may want to take 2 fish oils instead of 3 if the amount in 1 capsule is 1,000mg. There isn't a recommended amount of lecithin but amounts of 400-500mgs are ok. Since Lecithin is used in many products and available in eggs you don't really need to take it unless you want to.

The reason why lecithin is not essential is because the body can make it and use it as choline. Want to know a little more about Lecithin and choline read on.

From WebMD/
[b:fbec9548a6]What Is Lecithin? [/b:fbec9548a6]

Lecithin is a fatty substance manufactured in the body and widely found in many animal- and plant-based foods, including eggs, liver, peanuts, soybeans, and wheat germ. Lecithin is often used as an additive in such processed foods as ice cream, margarine, and salad dressings, because it helps blend (or emulsify) fats with water. Lecithin is also available in supplement form.

Lecithin is considered an excellent source of choline, one of the B vitamins. Once in the body, a key component of lecithin--phosphatidylcholine--breaks down into choline. Now available in dietary supplement form, phosphatidylcholine (PC) might be thought of as a purified extract of lecithin. It is commonly recommended for treating liver, nerve, and a variety of other conditions, including multiple sclerosis and memory loss.

Although dietary lecithin is the primary source of choline, this nutrient is also available through food; it appears in high concentrations in liver, egg yolks, peanuts, cauliflower, soybeans, grape juice, and cabbage. Choline is also present in concentrated form in various B-complex vitamins.

Most North Americans get enough lecithin and choline in their daily diets, and deficiencies are rare. That's fortunate because every cell in the human body needs these nutrients to function properly.

[b:fbec9548a6]Health Benefits [/b:fbec9548a6]

Lecithin and choline help form cell membranes and transport fats and nutrients into and out of cells. They are also involved in human reproduction and fetal and infant development. In fact, choline must be included in all FDA-approved infant formulas.

These nutrients also play a vital role in keeping the nervous system healthy.

Specifically, phosphatidylcholine, and in some cases lecithin or choline alone, may help to:


Treat memory loss or impairment. Many nutritionally oriented doctors consider phosphatidylcholine a valuable nerve-building nutrient that might be able to help slow or reverse memory loss. As a phospholipid--a fat-soluble substance--this nutrient serves as a major structural component of brain cells.
Perhaps even more important, phosphatidylcholine plays a key role in supplying sufficient choline to the brain, where it's used to manufacture the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Levels of acetylcholine are known to dwindle with age and this decline is associated with age-related memory impairment.

In one study involving rats, mothers given extra choline produced offspring with memory and learning skills superior to the offspring of those rats on a regular diet. And the offspring of mothers whose diet was deficient in choline performed poorly on memory tests. There have been no human trials to test phosphatidylcholine's effectiveness for memory or nerve problems in humans, however.


Protect the liver from alcohol abuse and hepatitis. Phosphatidylcholine is believed to speed the flow of fats and cholesterol through the liver, prevent the buildup of fats within the liver, and assist the liver in eliminating dangerous toxins from the body.
A 10-year study of baboons found that lecithin prevents two serious side effects of alcohol abuse: severe liver scarring and cirrhosis. Other research suggests that it may also be suitable for liver problems caused by hepatitis. There are no human studies so far, however.

Choline is frequently found in combination with such liver-strengthening ingredients as the B vitamin inositol, the amino acid methionine, and the herbs dandelion and milk thistle in preparations called lipotropic combinations.


Prevent gallstones. Low levels of lecithin, an important constituent of the fat-digesting substance known as bile, may promote gallstones. That's why taking lecithin supplements (or its purified extract, phosphatidylcholine) may help to avert often painful gallstones.
Be sure to check out our Dosage Recommendations Chart for lecithin and choline, which lists therapeutic dosages for specific ailments at a glance.

[b:fbec9548a6]Recommended Intake[/b:fbec9548a6]

There are no RDAs for these nutrients, but scientists have established an Adequate Intake for choline: 550 mg a day for men and 425 mg for women.

If You Get Too Little

Lecithin and choline deficiencies are rare.

If You Get Too Much

High doses of lecithin and choline can produce such side effects as sweating, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea. Extremely large doses of choline (10 grams a day) can cause a fishy body odor or a heart-rhythm abnormality.

[b:fbec9548a6]General Dosage Information[/b:fbec9548a6]

Most Americans get enough of these nutrients in their daily diet--about 6 grams of lecithin and up to 1 gram of choline.

[b:fbec9548a6]Guidelines for Use [/b:fbec9548a6]


Although both lecithin and choline are available as individual supplements, the most effective way to elevate choline levels in the body is to take phosphatidylcholine. (Another reason not to take individual choline supplements is that large amounts have been known to produce a fishlike smell in the user.)

To enhance absorption, take phosphatidylcholine with meals.

Consider sprinkling granular lecithin over foods or adding it to drinks. It has a nutty flavor.

[b:fbec9548a6]General Interaction[/b:fbec9548a6]

There are no known drug or nutrient interactions associated with lecithin, choline, or phosphatidylcholine taken in commonly recommended dosages.

[b:fbec9548a6]Cautions[/b:fbec9548a6]


Because individual phosphatidylcholine, lecithin, or choline supplements can increase levels of acetylcholine, they should not be used by individuals who are suffering from bipolar disorder. High levels of acetylcholine can worsen the "depressive" phase of this condition.

Consult your doctor before taking phosphatidylcholine if you suffer from depression; it may worsen your condition.

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 10 Mar 2006 22:24 #3296

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Thank you so much Debra for your complete information about lecithine.
I was taking to much and started to have all the digestive symptoms. I did suffer from a bad depression and from a bad weaning off psychiatric medications ( I was over medicated and couldn't function ) so I don't want anything that will take me there again !!!
I am still very tired and having pmdd very severe, to the point that I can't work for 5 days. I'm doing the exercise, calcium, magnesium, omega-3, vit. D3, and trying very hard to follow your diet. But still I'm having very strong symptoms. I've been doing all this for 3 months and I know it takes time.
I'm trying to get the l-tryptophan, but here in Canada, you have to have it prescribed and my doctor refused to this week...
Would you know a way for me to get it otherwise in Canada, or via the internet without problems at the customs ??
Thanks again for the lecithine answers, they really helped !!!
Nathalie

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 10 Mar 2006 22:46 #3297

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Hi Nat,

I don't really recommend L-Tryptophan in supplemental form, especially if you're considering going back on SSRI's there have been known interactions. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that humans cannot live without consuming. Amino acids function as building blocks in protein biosynthesis.

Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin (a neurotransmitter), melatonin (a neurohormone), and niacin. The functional group of tryptophan is indole.

Tryptophan has been implicated as a possible cause of schizophrenia in people who cannot metabolize it properly. When improperly metabolized, it creates a waste product in the brain that is toxic, causing hallucinations and delusions. Tryptophan has also been indicated as an aid for schizophrenic patients

If you're following the Cycle Diet as it is, you should be getting plenty of tryptophan sources in turkey, chicken, eggs, yogurt and oats.

A couple questions for you, since you live in Canada how much time do you spend outdoors? If I were you I would have my vitamin D levels checked. How much vitamin D are you taking?

If you are having digestive problems you need to check on food allergies or intolerances that may cause malabsorption problems.

Yes it takes a while for the diet to work, but you should be seeing results by now, which tells me there may be something more going on then meets the eye.

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 13 Mar 2006 23:29 #3298

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Hi Debra !

I don't go out as much as I should, except for walking my dog 20-30 min. per day. So I take 800 UI of vit. D per day, along with 700mg calcium ( but with the food and milk it goes up to at least 1200 mg per day ) and magnesium 330mg.
I do not plan to go back on the SSRI drugs for I have tried many and they only gave me bad ( very bad ... ) reactions and never took care of my pmdd... so that's why I would like to try the l-tryptophan.
My present doctor does not want to do more than the basic blood tests but I'm moving in 3 weeks to another city and hope to find a better one there... wich is hard...
I follow the diet but don't want to give up the dairy products... I will try to find bio products, would that be ok ?
thanks
Nathalie

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 13 Mar 2006 23:55 #3299

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Thanks for your honesty Nat,

When you say bio products, do you mean organic? Organic dairy is better for many reasons. How much dairy do you intake? Do you get gas from milk? Now I'm going to ask you a politically incorrect question, are you possibly from any of the following Races?

-Asian
-Indian
-African
-Hispanic
-East Indian
-Inuit
-Pacific Islander

If you are genetically related to any of these, lactose could be a problem in large amounts. How much dairy do you do a day? Is is skim, 2%. whole? Do you eat full fat cheese? I'm wondering if the saturated fats from dairy along with the lactose could be interfering with your progress.

If you do want to stick with dairy, make sure it's skim, non-fat organic.

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 14 Mar 2006 14:33 #3300

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Hi Debra,

I drink 1% milk, at least 2 portions per day along with a small non-fat yogurt and/or low-fat cheese. I will try to find organic milk products. I do get gas but I thought it was from all the fiber !!! It could be the milk ?
I am a plain Caucasian ( I'm not sure I'm spelling it correctly ! ) but thanks for asking !
Am I getting enough vit. D ?
I'm getting my period next Monday so we'll see how the symptoms are this week, especially starting Thursday...
Nathalie

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 14 Mar 2006 15:15 #3301

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Hi Nat,

You might want to try soy milk just during the luteal phase, yogurt contains less lactose due to the active cultures so no problem eating the yogurt during the luteal phase. BUT the cheese daily is a NO NO during the luteal phase.

So unfortunately you really are NOT following the recommendations of the plan. :cry:

As we age we produce less lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose in the intestines. Studies have show this undigested lactose may possibly interfere with ovarian function. You can read one study (abstract) posted in the research or fertility and nutrition board.

You're getting plenty of calcium in your foods and supplements, I calculate that it's closer to 1,700 mg. You can take up to 2,000 IU of vitamin D if you're not getting outdoors and you absolutely live to far north to make it. Please read more about vitamin D in the research board. There is one other thing you can do to help produce the prehormone vitamin D and that's to visit a tanning salon for 10 minutes 3 times a week until spring- this may be late spring in your case.

When you find a new doctor ask to have your vitamin D levels checked.

Hope this gives you a little more insight into your quest. Good luck and please keep me informed on your progress and please don't hesitate to post anytime. :)

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 15 Mar 2006 17:34 #3302

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Hi Nat,
I used to have a lot of abdominal cramping during my luteal phase. I've been through one cycle since switching to soy milk and found my cramping and diarrhea decreased significantly. I wish I could remember where I heard that Caucasians of Scandinavian descent tend to be lactose intolerant. (NPR possibly) I definitely fall in that category. I still have yogurt and try to limit my cheese.

There's a lot of information on this site, too much for me to do at one time. So I try to do one thing each month. It seems more manageable when I'm only changing one thing at a time. This month I'm focusing on increasing my vegetables. And I definitely need to take Beano when I eat veggies, especially when I eat broccoli, otherwise it can be quite embarassing.

Don't give up!!

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 21 Mar 2006 20:07 #3303

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It is hard to give up a food you like ( milk for me ) and switch to something else ! I tried the soy milk last week and found it not so bad. I think it helped for the fatigue, as it gives the body more oestrogens to counter the calming effects of progesterone. I was actually able to take walks the 3 days before my period.
It is a good thing to change one thing at a time, this way it seems less of a big sacrifice !!!
I stopped the soy milk on the 1st day of my period to go back to milk and the big fatigue came back... so I'm thinking of switching to soy milk completly wich is big for me. But if it means getting better it is worth the sacrifice !!
Thanks for your post !
Nat

Question about Lecithin from Nathalie 21 Mar 2006 21:58 #3304

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Excellent News,

Nat,

I'm really thinking you're somewhat lactose intolerant. How's the stomach bloat and gas?

One good change at a time may be just what you need. I understand that making sweeping changes can take much effort so don't worry. Everyone has their own path. Sometimes you have to go down different paths in order to find your own direction or what works for YOU.

Please keep us informed on your progress even if it's only a little here and there. OK

Thanks for your post TOO!
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