Lecithin is a fat-like substance produced by the liver and can be found in the heart, liver and the kidneys.
Foods such as cabbage, soy beans, chick peas, split peas, cauliflower, organic meat, seeds, nuts and eggs are some rich sources of this fatty substance. We source our lecithin from soy beans.
The most popular and established health benefit of lecithin is its role in the breakdown of fats in the body. Lecithin is present in the body at the cellular level and though it is not considered as an essential nutrient, it has an indispensable role in regulating the flow of nutrients and waste materials in and out of the cell. For decades now, lecithin has been popular for treating patients with high cholesterol. It has been seen to prevent the build-up of fats and bad cholesterol in the walls of the heart, the arteries and the veins, thereby promoting food cardiovascular health.
It is for this same reason that lecithin is added as a dietary supplement for preventing liver cirrhosis. It disperses fat and help in its breakdown so that they do not accumulate in the liver. Also, since lecithin hastens the breakdown of fats and their metabolism, soy lecithin has been used for promoting weight loss.
Lecithin contains phosphatidylcholine (PC) which is the main ingredient assumed to be responsible for its medicinal effect. The truth is, PC is part of the actual membrane that surrounds the cell. Once PC is ingested in the body through lecithin-containing foods or supplements, it is broken down by the body into choline which is vital for the proper functioning of the brain.
Lecithin has also been discovered to prevent gallstones and promote gallbladder health. They are also often used to improve memory to those who have brain function-related problems such as Alzheimer’s, amnesia or dementia. It has also been used to boost physical performance in endurance sports. It has also been proposed as possible remedies for psychosis, heart ailments and even cancer. However, to prove these claims, more research and scientific studies would need to be done to determine their exact role in the control of these diseases.
Many studies have been conducted to relate the function of lecithin to the reproductive health of women. Some research has shown that during pregnancy, lecithin (and its main component, choline) can help maintain a healthy pregnancy and ideal infant development. Also, there is a claim that lecithin also helps support healthy breast cells and glandular functioning so that it has been incorporated into breast enhancement supplements.
The male semen actually contains large amounts of lecithin. Supplementing the diet with soy lecithin has been found to increase the volume and amount of prostate secretions so that the volume of the ejaculate is increased consequently.
Lecithin plays a major role regarding the fat in our body. Because it is an emulsifier it’s sole purpose is to interact with fats and liquids in a positive way. Many doctors believe that the health benefits of lecithin are tightly bonded with cholesterol levels and excess fat storage. Although there is no concrete evidence showing a link, many believe that having healthy levels of lecithin can improve one’s chances of losing weight and having a healthier circulation system. In addition to fat levels, the enzymes that require lecithin play a huge role in the health benefits of lecithin. Enzymes such as bile, which are produced in the liver, help with digestion and the breakdown of various chemicals inside the body. Without lecithin these enzymes would cease to be effective.
In addition to simply being a healthy person, lecithin also is said to be the cure for many common ailments. Illnesses such as arthritis are aided by the emulsifying power of lecithin. In addition to general pain relief many conditions such as difficult conception of a child and even gallstones are all helped by the intake of lecithin. Because lecithin has much to do with oils it’s no surprise that the cosmetic industry is in love with it. Much of what is produce contains lecithin. It will make hair shiny much like vitamin E but it will also make skin clearer which is something most other vitamins can’t do. Because it is so versatile and can treat so many different conditions at once, it’s extremely popular. The health benefits of lecithin seem to be unmatchable by any other nutrient.
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