What Is Soy Lecithin, Is It Safe ?

              Little doubt exists on the benefits of lecithin.

Lecithin is typically found in the cell membrane or cell walls of every single living cell of an organism, whether plant or animal. Lecithin plays a crucial role in body function, as evidenced by the fact that approximately 30% of the brain's weight and 66% of the liver is made of this substance. In addition, it's an essential constituent of every human cell. The American Heart Association believes that lecithin is best obtained naturally through foodstuffs, rather than through supplements. We can consume lecithin in egg yolks, fish, grains, legumes, peanuts, soybeans, wheat germ, and yeast. Lecithin, or phosphatidylcholine, accounts for one kind of specialized fat molecule, called phospholipids. The choline in lecithin is an essential nutrient, responsible for vital biological functions. In your brain the production of acetylcholine, is facilitated by lecithin, that assists in the health of our nervous system. Lecithin is also used in commercial products, such as plastics, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, cosmetics, soap, and paints. For these applications, it's commonly extracted from soybeans. Lecithin contains several fatty acids. This fat content helps your body process fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K by facilitating both the breakdown and absorption of the nutrients. Lecithin is also a component of the myelin sheath, the thin covering that layers our brain cells and spinal chord to protect it from damage. Not only that but some studies have shown that one of the benefits of lecithin is to facilitate cell signaling, that is the process by which cells communicate with each other to improve bodily functions.

Maurice Gobley, a chemist and pharmacist from France discovered lecithin in egg yolk in 1805. In the early 1900's soy lecithin was a waste product which occurred during the degumming process of soybean oil. By 1908 the manufacturing of soy bean oil had flourished and they could not get rid of the waste product fast enough. By 1939 scientists had discovered over a 1,000 ways to use soy lecithin. Soy lecithin is made from soy oil, which is made by a chemical striping process, using hexane. A toxic, explosive chemical solvent. Since soybeans are one of the cheapest crops in the US (thanks to federal subsidies to growers), it makes sense to use a body at the cellular level and even though it's not an essential nutrient, it has an important role in cheap, soy emulsifier in food processing. The human supplement, and commercial animal feed supplement, forms of lecithin sold today comes from soybean, grape seeds, and sunflowers. Lecithin is sold as a food supplement and for medical uses. In cooking, it's used as an emulsifier to prevent sticking, for example in non-stick cooking spray. The most popular and widely used reason to supplement with lecithin, is to capitalize on it's role in breaking down fats in the body. Lecithin can be found in the regulating the flow of nutrients, as well as waste materials, in and out of a cell.
The liver synthesizes lecithin from food and disperses it throughout the body's circulatory system to protect cells from destruction by oxidation, and to help strengthen cellular structures. As a phospholipid, lecithin is a complex mixture of glycolipids, sterols, triglycerides, carbohydrates and fatty acids. The main component of lecithin, choline, aids in digestion of fats, and regulates the movement of fats, ions, wastes and nutrients in cells. Lecithin also aids the nervous system in the production of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter important for memory, learning and sleep. Lecithin can even eliminate the existing lumpy cellulite that your body has developed. Foods that are rich in lecithin help to eliminate cellulite. Lecithin has been proven to help rebuild damaged cells. These damaged cells cause cellulite. Lecithin will actually stimulate the repair of the cell walls, stopping the waste water from accumulating in your bodies. These foods are not a one time fix for cellulite, they must be incorporated into your regular diet.

If you read nutrition labels and ingredient lists, you've probably come across "soy lecithin" more than a few times. It's one of the top 10 most used ingredients in processed foods. Soy lecithin has emulsification and lubricant properties, can be totally metabolized by humans, and is non-toxic when ingested. It's often used commercially in processed foods, and in confectionery because it reduces viscosity, and replaces more expensive natural ingredients. Lecithin controls sugar crystallization, in the mixing and the flow properties when making chocolate. Lecithin improves shelf life for some products, and can be used as a coating. The main sources of lecithin in supplements are vegetables such as sunflowers, grape seeds and soybeans. However, the biggest problem associated with soy lecithin comes from soy itself because most of the soy in the market is genetically modified (GMO). Researchers have proven that GMO foods can damage our health. GMO soy contains high levels of pesticides and aflotoxins which have also exhibited toxic effects on animals, as well. Additionally, some claims have been made to suggest that phospholipids from soy, improve the metabolism of cholesterol, although the studies that supported this claim have had their methodology called into question. Some reasons for avoiding soy lecithin are:
    • In general, soy contains isoflavonesm which mimics your hormones and leads to disruption of your hormone systems in your body.
    • Additionally, it also acts as goitrogens, which suppress your thyroid function, and triggers many other health problems associated with thyroid suppression. Studies have shown that soy contains toxins and plant oestrogens that could disrupt women's menstrual cycles, damage the thyroid, lower testosterone levels, stimulate the progression of breast cancer.
    • Soybeans are high in phytic acid (a substance that can block the absorption of essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, zink in the intestinal tract)

      Medically, healthy forms of lecithin can assist in the prevention of gallstones and help promote healthy gallbladder functioning. Lecithin supplements are also prescribed often, to improve the memory of those that have brain-related medical problems or conditions like dementia, amnesia, or Alzheimer's. Also, lecithin has been used in endurance sports to boost the physical performance of athletes. Because choline in lecithin helps emulsify and remove fats from the liver, it may reduce the formation of deposits on our artery walls or in the gall bladder. That would help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. A 10-week study in 2003 found that a lecithin supplement lowered cholesterol absorption by as much as 38% and reduced LDL, the bad form of cholesterol, by 14% among the 45 participants. The conclusion, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. Further, lecithin may help prevent senile dementia, such as Alzheimer's disease, choline-rich lecithin is helpful when the cause is related to reduced oxygen to the brain or poor neurological function because choline prevents blockage of your arteries, and it improves the efficiency by which nerve signals are transmitted. Choline is a precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Lecithin is considered less toxic, and a safer means of choline supplementation than choline itself, and it's well-absorbed by your body.

      So lecithin helps us metabolize fats and lowers our cholesterol, and is a superb brain food. If you don't eat lecithin rich foods in your diet for whatever reason, like taste or maybe food allergy's, perhaps you might consider good non-soy organic lecithin supplement. Good Luck...

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