What Does Lipotropic Mean?

Lipotropic means fat-loving.  Basically lipotrophics are substances which can liquify or homogenize fats.  Americans eat 100 pounds of saturated fats per person per year — that’s 42 percent of our caloric intake in fat.

What are the Main Functions of Lipotropics?

They increase the production of lecithin by the liver.  This helps to solubilize cholesterol, thus lessening cholesterol deposits in blood vessels and decreasing the chances of some gallstone formation.  (Most gallstones are made of cholesterol.)

They prevent the accumulation of fats in the liver.  A fatty liver can cause sluggish liver functioning.

They detoxify amines (byproducts of protein metabolism).  This is important for people on high-protein diets.

They increase resistance to disease.  They bolster the thymus gland to carry out its anti-disease function by:

  • stimulating the production of antibodies,

  • stimulating the growth of phagocytes, which surround and gobble up invading viruses and microbes, and

  • recognizing and destroying foreign and abnormal tissue.

What Are Some of the Important Functions of the Individual Lipotropics?

Choline metabolizes fats.  A deficiency can lead to cirrhosis and fatty degeneration of the liver and hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis and artherosclerosis).

Choline is being used today for ailments such as gall bladder trouble, diabetes, Muscular Dystrophy, glaucoma, arteriosclerosis, senility, and memory problems such as forgetfulness.  It detoxifies amines, which are byproducts of protein metabolism.  The best source of choline is lecithin.


Inositol deficiency can lead to hair loss.  It works with Vitamin E to facilitate actions in the treatment of Muscular Dystrophy.  It is also used in nerve and muscle disorders such as Multiple Sclerosis and Cerebral Palsy.  Caffeine can cause depletion of inositol.


Methionine works with choline to detoxify amines, which are the byproducts of protein metabolism.  It acts as a catalyst for choline and inositol, opening up their functions.  Along with choline, methionine aids in reducing liver fat and protects the kidneys.

© 1982 Earl L. Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D.