I’m So Happy Lecithin Exists in Pill Form
If you’re diligent about reading the ingredients in food and other products, you’ve probably come across the word lecithin before, even if you weren’t exactly sure what it was or what it did. To make the definition short, when it’s used as an ingredient in food, it works as an emulsifier, breaks down and evenly disperses fats and oils, smoothing the texture of the food. I believe it’s also supposed to extend the shelf life of certain foods. However, when my great aunt gave my mom a huge bottle of lecithin soft gels, I was more interested in what it does to the human body.
Let me get all the science-y stuff out of the way before I tell you what those pills did for me. You can literally just Google this part: Lecithin is a fat that is essential to the cells of the body, and it can be found in many foods. What it does is it suspends fats, and even though that sounded a little weird to me when I first read it and I didn’t really understand how that could help someone, I became a believer after I popped a pill following a rather fatty meal.
See, lecithin pills (are supposed to) enhance bile secretion in your liver, so if you don’t have a gallbladder (or even if you do), lecithin pills can aid in your digestion when your body (namely your liver) is trying to break down fatty foods.
I know when you think of fatty foods you’re probably thinking about French fries and fried meats, but you have to realize that other majorly fatty foods are cheese, eggs (when the yolk is included), avocados, whole milk, pecans, and coconut oil. Therefore, if you’re trying out something along the lines of a keto diet, adding lecithin to your daily regimen could be beneficial.
Jeepers creepers, I sound like a frickin’ infomercial.
Well, thing is, I’m not on keto, but I do eat fatty foods like the aforementioned. I still didn’t think lecithin would actually do anything to me that I could feel though, but I did want to try it out anyway.
I was so wrong with that assumption, let me tell you…
I had a (laparoscopic) cholecystectomy about eleven years ago, and since then, I have to be careful about what I eat. When I’m not careful, I pay a certain price that’s usually not worth it. Full disclosure: I grew up eating fried foods that mom homecooked (hence, homecooked meals aren’t always a good thing), but on top of that, I have a strange intolerance to Russet potatoes. I can eat red potatoes and sweet potatoes with absolutely no problem when they’re baked, but if I try to eat a home-baked or microwaved Russet potato, I’ll have stomach pains so severe they can last anywhere from twelve-hours to two weeks. Back when my gallbladder was being clogged with stones and becoming infected, I’m pretty sure that whenever I ate potatoes and had one of those malicious abdominal attacks it certainly didn’t help my situation.
For a long time, I thought dairy was the culprit behind my severe, yet sporadic, stomach pains, but once I found out what was really behind it, I made the necessary changes to my diet. However, because I wasn’t in the right environment to completely change all of my previous habits, I still found myself in some trouble with my stomach every now and again. My solution in those cases were to drink some sort of carbonated beverage behind whatever greasy mess I was eating (those things to which I’m referring right now weren’t healthy, by the way), and hope that I didn’t end up with an upset stomach, indigestion, or worse.
That all changed when I started taking one lecithin before and one right after a meal high in fat, whether the fats were good or bad. I was totally blown away by the fact that the gastrointestinal discomforts that I typically had to prepare myself for were nonexistent. Although the aftereffects weren’t always severe and were actually pretty mild most of the time, rarely were they absent completely before I started taking lecithin.
My mom started taking it and her neuropathy symptoms lessened to the point where they were nonexistent as well. They only flared up again after she got her COVID vaccine.
One odd side effect that I had from taking lecithin is that it makes me drowsy. Then again, a lot of supplements make me drowsy that actually energize most other people, so as far as telling someone else it would make them drowsy, I wouldn’t do that just because my body has a different reaction to things than it does for most other people.
However, a rather wonderful side effect that both I, and my mother, had was that after the first time we took any of the lecithin in pill form, the next day we woke up, we just felt really…GREAT. I’m not joking in the least. The first morning I woke up after having taken lecithin the day before, I felt wide awake and positive. The way I’m describing it sounds cheesy, I know, but I don’t think I can explain it any better. I asked her how she felt, and she was shocked at how good she felt, too.
I’m not saying it’s a miracle supplement, but it is one supplement I take on a regular basis, and I’ve been taking it for the past few months. The bottle I get from CVS is massive; it’s by CVS Health and it contains 250 softgels (bovine gelatin). It says that it supports the nervous system in huge letters on the front of the bottle, which is why mom tried it in the first place. She’d had it sitting in her room for a little while and hadn’t opened it, but me being the nosy, curious daughter that I am at times, asked her if I could check it out and take one first, and therefore she decided to try it as well. It was her aunt that gave the bottle to her in the first place, and now, when any of us go to the store, we’ll buy two bottles and give the second bottle to whoever is about to run out.
I nearly gave up on eating most fats for a while there, but I’m glad I found these pills. Like the saying goes, most of what we need is right there in nature, and usually we can get in supplement form if we don’t know what the hell we’re searching for in the forest.