Lecithin is a substance that is naturally present in the brain cells. Taking lecithin dietary supplements helps to improve the concentration, stimulating the intellectual activity.The word lecithin comes from ancient Greek and it means “egg yolk”. In fact, this vital substance was first obtained from egg yolk in 1846.Later on, the scientists found out that it was also present in many plants and living organisms. Currently, most lecithin comes from soy, which has up to a 2% of this natural substance. What is Lecithin? It makes up part of the brain cells, but it is also involved in other organs and the nerve cells. Moreover, it is in charge of the transmission of nerve impulses and, therefore, it is crucial for learning and for our response capacity. Lecithin is a fundamental substance that makes up part of the brain neurotransmitters Properties and Benefits
Lecithin has several beneficial properties for the organism. Actually, it is deposited in the stomach mucosa and intestines directly during the digestion, strengthening the mucosa. Thanks to it, the stomach and intestines are more protected.
One of its main properties is protecting the stomach against acids and medicines, which tend to damage the stomach lining. Moreover, lecithin also protects the tissues and organs against harmful substances from the diet itself.
In addition, it can prevent dangerous changes on the cells and helps to repair those that are already damaged.
Another property consists of inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol. Consequently, it helps to lower the fats and the so called “bad cholesterol”. Lecithin food supplement also have beneficial properties for the treatment of embolism after a accident. Or it can improve the state of bone fractures.
Soy lecithin is one of those dietary supplements that enjoys the support of the scientific community. Almost everyone agrees that it
regulates the blood cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of its deposit in the arterial walls. It is obtained from the beans of this leguminous plant that is widely cultivated in Europe and America. The procedure can be either mechanical or chemical, the latter uses an organic solvent called hexane. Lecithin also has other interesting properties, since it is a basic component of the brain cells. This is due to acetylcholine, a substance involved in the intellectual performance that improves the response capacity and learning. Composition of Soy Lecithin
Chemically, it is made up by a phospholipid complex among which phosphatidylcholine stands out. Said phospholipid constitutes many enzymes and other substances with biological value. It supplies nutrients from which
our body can synthesize acetylcholine, basic for the transmission of nerve impulses.
Some of its most valuable components are group B vitamins like choline and inositol, vitamin E and phosphorus. All of them are renowned elements due to their beneficial effects for the body. To put it briefly, they improve the blood lipid profile, helping to prevent a disorder known as fatty liver. In fact, this problem is directly connected to cardiovascular risk. When it comes to inositol, which belongs to the group B vitamins, it is extremely important when it comes to regenerating the skin cells and protecting the hair follicle. On the other hand, vitamin E counters the harmful effects of the free radicals in all the cell membranes. These elements are a direct consequence of the passing of time and some chemical aggressions.
Why do we need phospholipids? Cholesterol Having cholesterol levels over 200mg/dl can lead to arteriosclerosis and coronary disease. This is a serious public health problem since more than half the people between the age of 35 and 64 exceed said level in Spain. That is why it is advisable to provide phospholipids that will keep the cholesterol suspended in the blood, avoiding its deposit in the arterial walls.
Therefore, we can say that they help to prevent cardiovascular pathologies related to cholesterol. For instance, myocardial infarction, ictus or thromboembolism. In addition, it can lower the plasma homocysteine, which is an
amino acid which has proven to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. For example, myocardial infarction to the point that it can be used as a heart marker. Brain The brain is another organ that benefits from phospholipids. This is due to the fact that the breakdown of lecithin releases choline, the main neurotransmitter for the synapses. Therefore, it plays an important role in the electric impulses. In fact, some scientists think that it could possibly prevent some disorders like Alzheimer or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, we need to take this with a grain of salt, since the European Food Safety Authority has stated that this cannot be proven. Up until now, there is no way to show a cause-effect between lecithin and its ability to regulate the cholesterol. Therefore, we can say that it can help to prevent, but it does not have a therapeutic effect against cholesterol. So, if we are diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia, the doctor will be the one to determine the treatment. Kidneys A soy lecithin supplement has the potential to prevent the formation of kidney stones. Specially when the bile is saturated with cholesterol. In addition, it is a effective liver cleanser, playing an important role in cirrhosis or liver steatosis. Endocrine glands
It is also known for contributing to the
proper functioning of the endocrine glands, specially the thyroid. Apart from the synthesis of prostaglandins, substances that support the immune system. In fact, they inhibit the platelet aggregation, producing brochodilation and stimulating the endocrine glands. Sport performance When we do physical exercise, the plasma choline levels drop considerably. Therefore, we could consider taking it before a long and intense effort in order to support the effect of acetylcholine on the muscle fibers. Consequently, it would improve our performance. Soy Lecithin is Advised for: Relieving and treating liver problems such as fatty liver, cirrhosis or hepatitis. Treating anorexia Preventing and treating digestive tract inflammatory diseases, gluten intolerance and Crohn’s disease. Protecting our body against atherosclerosis. Lowering a high cholesterol. Relieving lipid metabolic disorders. Preventing the onset of kidneys stones. Decreasing the feeling of weakness and fatigue. Increasing both the physical and mental performance. Helping to lose weight and reduce the fat percentage Reducing the bile production. Avoiding the damage caused by medicines and drugs Treating constipation problems. Completing the diet of athletes Supporting those who suffer Alzheimer’s diease Helping those who are overweight or obese Sources of Lecithin
It is present in many foods such as walnuts, eggs, lupins, soy, corn, peas and whey, as well as oils. Bakers use this ingredient to cook bread, since it improves its aspect and delays its expiration. Soy beans and soy products have a particularly high lecithin content.
However, the best thing is to take a dietary supplement since food sources have different amounts of lecithin. Symptoms of a Deficiency Difficulty to focus Fatty liver Fat accumulation and overweight Higher cholesterol levels Intake and administration
Soy lecithin supplements are available in granules and capsules. Although lecithin is available in many foods, it can still be difficult to meet its requirements. In these circumstances, taking a soy lecithin dietary supplement will be the best choice.
Soy Lecithin Dose
Its efficacy will depend on the
phospholipid complex, which has to be around a 98% or 99% as phosphatidylcholine. Take it with moderation, 1 or 2 spoonfuls before lunch. In fact, a single teaspoon has 34 kilocalories from its polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, mainly linoleic and linolenic acids. 100 grams of soy lecithin have 53 grams of fat, of which 35 grams are polyunsaturated and only 13 are saturated. The remaining 13 grams correspond to monounsaturated components like oleic acid. Moreover, it is practically atoxic, since people have only reported mild cases of diarrhea, vomits and profuse sweating with high doses. Who can specially benefit from Lecithin? Children, since it stimulates the development of the brain and the learning capacity. Adolescents in growth phase and to cope better with the stress from studying and exams. Adults, since it enhances the attention and response capacity, apart from providing many positive benefits for the organism. Pregnant women Athletes, since it shortens the muscle recovery . The elderly, since it stimulates the brain performance, protects against the hardening of the arteries and lower the fat in the liver. Side effects and Interactions Soy lecithin is a completely safe dietary supplement, since it does not have side effects. If you are taking medication, you should consult your doctor before starting to take a lecithin supplement. Otherwise it could hinder the absorption of the active ingredients from the medication. What do the experts think about Soy Lecithin?
The professionals have reported that it provides good results against liver diseases. Specially for pathologies like
fatty liver, hepatitis or cirrhosis.
Lecithin can also support patients who suffer
anemia, hypercholesterolemia and disorders that affect the lipid metabolism. In these cases, lecithin provides results when other therapies were not effective at all. Related Entries: