Discovered in 1985 by a French chemist Theodore Gobley, lecithin is a substance originally extracted from egg yolk. Gobley found out similarities between egg yolk and human brain cells, and the common substance was a liquid called lecithin. Lecithin is a phospholipid that possesses strong emulsifying properties. It is a very crucial part of the cell membrane of all the living creatures. Lecithin is also found in soy beans. It is present in the blood, and serves as a carrier of essential fatty acids, lipid vitamins and cholesterol. The highest concentration of lecithin is found in the vital organs. Nowadays, soy lecithin is widely used in the confectionary, bakery, chocolate and pharmaceutical industries.
Use of soy lecithin is also extended to medicinal preparations for maintaining healthy blood cholesterol level. Lecithin benefits by maintaining the health of nervous, circulatory and cardiovascular systems. Although lecithin is produced in small amount in the body’s major organs, such as heart, kidneys and liver, it can be further supplemented to enhance its health benefits.
Health Benefits of Lecithin
Lecithin is a very important component of cellular structure. Present in the cell membrane of every cell in the living creatures, Lecithin is also responsible for the hardening of cell membranes. If the body’s cells are healthy, the body remains in good mode. Lecithin helps in keeping a check on the input and output of the cells.
Lecithin is used in several neurological disorders and dementias. It is a source of choline, which is helpful in dementias. The presence of choline also increases the synthesis of brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is helpful in the prevention and reduction of memory loss problem. The body uses choline to produce acetylcholine, which improves the brain’s functioning. It is also useful in muscle function, and hormone secretion and circulation. Studies suggest that lecithin improves the way nerve cells send impulse signals. It is also beneficial in reducing age-related memory problems.
Lecithin is a rich source of vitamin B like substance, called inositol, which is highly beneficial for your cardiovascular health. Lecithin takes care of the blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and keeps them within the normal range. It keeps your hair and skin healthy, and helps in breaking down body fat. Lecithin provides all the raw materials required for keeping the heart in good shape. It is also helpful in reducing the chances of atherosclerosis, an artery disorder, and prevents future heart issues.
Lecithin has increased in demand due to its potent benefits in health issues related to the heart and brain. People suffering from any cardiovascular or neurological condition can use lecithin supplements. Lecithin supplements can also be consumed as a preventive measure. People who are at the risk of getting some genetic disorders may consume lecithin supplements. These supplements are available in the market in the form of lecithin powder, granules, tablets, capsules, etc. However, lecithin supplements should always be consumed after consulting a physician.