The key organ for fat metabolism is the liver. This is not surprising really considering how the liver is also the main organ for detoxifying pollutants and chemicals in the body, as well as glycogen storage, plasma protein synthesis, and bile production, which is important in digestion. Bile, by the way, is also key to metabolizing fats which are stored in the liver to convert them into energy for the body’s use.
Now, this connection between the liver and the role it plays in fat metabolism and eventually weight loss may seem remote at first. But when you mention lecithin and weight loss and liver in the same breath, you begin to see what it is that connects them all together.
The Role of Liver in Weight Loss
There are a lot of people who find themselves constantly struggling with weight gain for most of their lives. They go through yo-yo dieting, at the same time contending with sluggish metabolism and unbridled cravings, so that hardly anything ever works.
However, if you really want to lose some weight, you should be addressing the real cause of the problem instead of tackling the symptoms. If you think that congestion throughout the body and a sluggish liver contribute only to fatigue and malaise, then you need to think again. Weight gain is often due to poor liver function. With a liver that is in such poor health as to make it unable to perform its functions, there is a very likely chance that the condition will result in weight gain, especially around the abdomen, cellulite, and water retention.
The liver is responsible for secreting bile. A complex fluid, bile (or gall) is a bitter, greenish-yellow alkaline fluid containing water, electrolytes, and a batter of organic molecules which include bile acids, cholesterol, phospholipids (lecithin), and bilirubin. It is critical in digestion, particularly in the metabolism and absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins. Many of the body’s waste products are also excreted into the bile.
The role of lecithin is bile is that of an emulsifier and antioxidant. It helps disperse cholesterol in and breaks it down into essential fatty acids. The phosphate group in lecithin makes it hydrophobic so it will always move away from water (which the area surrounding molecules are mostly composed of) while its lipophilic (fat-loving) head will move towards where the fats are. As such, lecithin helps stabilize the fatty acid molecules by forming a semi-permeable, lipophilic/hydrophobic ring around them.
This emulsifying action of lecithin ensures that the bile is stable and the liver is able to perform its many functions, among which is fat metabolism and cholesterol breakdown.
Lecithin and Weight Loss
Ever since scientists first discovered the role that lecithin plays in fat and cholesterol metabolism in the liver, many researchers have focused their studies on the connection that exists between lecithin and weight loss. How does lecithin and weight loss work together? What evidence shows that there is indeed that connection between lecithin and weight loss?
While many of the studies conducted were unreported, one investigation has some bearing on lecithin and weight loss. In this study, an essential nutrient that the body needs, choline, is found to be a component of phosphatidylcholine, one of the many names that scientists use to refer to lecithin. Choline, they found, has the ability to break up cholesterol into small particles which can be easily handled by the system. With sufficient intake of lecithin, cholesterol cannot build up against the walls of the arteries and veins.