Some fats are good for your body, and you should think about adding them to your diet. One such fat is known as lecithin. This healthy fat occurs naturally, and it has a wide range of benefits for your body. If you have ever wondered about lecithin and where to get your fill of it, here is a brief overview of its benefits.
What’s Soy Lecithin?
Soy lecithin is essential to the health of your body’s cells. You can find it in many types of foods ranging from egg yolks to soybeans. Yellow-pigment fatty substances are often referred to as lecithin. This fat contains phospholipids, which are mainly found in the cell membranes of plants and animals.
In many cases, lecithin is the main ingredient in food additives that stabilize and maintain fat in food products. Lecithin adds more texture to food and increases the shelf life of many products. This product is responsible for binding both fat and water. You can find it in salad dressings, cooking oils, and chocolates.
Soy lecithin works in the same way as lecithin. However, this product is extracted from soybeans. It is also composed of fatty acids with small amounts of carbohydrates and proteins. Phosphatidylcholine is the main ingredient in soy lecithin, and it makes about 20 percent to 80 percent of its total fat.
You can find soy lecithin used in both conventional and health food products. While lecithin is primarily used as a binding agent, soy lecithin is sold in a supplemental form to boost your health.
Benefits of Soy Lecithin
Soy lecithin is used to treat a variety of diseases, from dementia to high cholesterol. Some moisturizers even use soy lecithin for smoother skin. Lecithin is another ingredient found in eye medicines to treat issues with the cornea. In other words, soy lecithin provides relief for many common ailments.
High cholesterol can lead to cardiac disease, including raising the risk of a heart attack. Some researchers have shown that soy lecithin can help the liver to produce more good cholesterol (HDL) and reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. When your body creates good cholesterol, it targets that bad cholesterol in your system. For those taking cholesterol-lowering therapy (statins), these patients showed a significant change in their cholesterol levels.
In addition to the cholesterol-lowering benefits, you might want to take soy lecithin to improve your heart health. This fat can be beneficial for those already at risk for heart disease or high blood pressure.
Ulcerative colitis can be painful for those affected by the disease. This inflammatory bowel disease targets and destroys the inner lining of the colon. Soy lecithin supplements are one way to help ease some of the symptoms. The emulsifying qualities can improve the intestine’s mucous as it makes the digestion process more manageable. Soy lecithin’s protective barrier helps keep out bacteria to protect the lining of your system. In some cases, soy lecithin’s phosphatidylcholine was able to decrease the inflammation and restore the mucus barrier in the stomach area.
There is a reason that soy lecithin is one of the ingredients in skincare products. It is often used as an emollient that can add more hydration and smooth out the skin. Soy lecithin is also used to treat eczema and acne. Many people take lecithin capsules to improve the skin’s complexion as it tones and stimulates other parts of the body.
Soy lecithin has been shown to increase the immune function in animal studies. These daily supplements caused the white blood cells to attack any foreign debris in the bloodstream. For those who might have forgotten their biology lessons, white blood cells are essential to fight off infections throughout your immune system. With soy lecithin supplements, the levels of lymphocyte increased along with the white blood cells. In some cases, that cell increase was up to 92 percent.
May Fight Dementia Symptoms
Soy lecithin contains a high level of choline. This chemical is vital for your brain to communicate with the rest of the body. Some studies have shown that a diet rich in choline can help with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and increase the memory function in many patients. With a daily supplement blend, these lipid substances can improve the functional pathways in the brain.
Helps Mental Illness
One of the critical ingredients in lecithin is phosphatidylinositol. This compound occurs naturally, and it is effective in treating panic disorder. In a study with mania patients, many had reported better mental health when taking a supplement with soy lecithin. Soy lecithin also contains phosphatidylserine, and it is a phospholipid found in the cell membranes in animals and plants. These phosphatidylserines can affect the stress hormones known as (ACTH) and cortisol. Lecithin is known to reduce the brain’s responses to stress. While there have not been any significant studies, researchers are hoping that soy lecithin can even reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Aids Breastfeeding Mothers
Soy lecithin provides benefits for breastfeeding mothers. Plugged ducts can be a painful experience for any mother. Soy lecithin can help to decrease the viscosity of breast milk, and it makes the milk less likely to clog up these ducts. The Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation recommends a dose of 1,200 milligrams four times a day to relieve this painful condition.
Possible Cancer Relief
In one study, researchers saw a reduction in the incidences of breast cancer for those who took soy lecithin supplements. These supplements were mainly beneficial in reducing the risk of breast cancer for postmenopausal women. While the results are hopeful for many people, there still needs to be additional research that connects soy lecithin to the favorable treatment of breast cancer.
Soy lecithin can help with everything from your digestive system to mental health disorders. Health stores and commercial industries all know the benefits of soy lecithin. You can add these healthy fats into your diet with natural foods and supplements.
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