NUMBER OF WORDS: 517
KEYWORD: "Benefits of Soy Lecithin" = 8
Benefits of Soy Lecithin
Before the 1930s, commercial lecithin sold in the market came mostly from egg yolk. In fact, that is how it got its name. Apparently, when French scientist Maurice Gobley first separated the compound from an egg yolk in 1850, he decided to name it after its derivation - lekithos, meaning 'egg yolk.'
However, decades later the same compound was also found in the by product of soybean processing. While soy lecithin does not have nearly as much phospholipids as egg yolk has, its 1.48 to 3.08 percentage of phospholipids is considerably higher than that of the 0.5 percent typically found in vegetable oils.
But what are the benefits of soy lecithin? What makes it so good for the body? The answer may lie in its composition.
Soy lecithin is comprised of three types of phospholipids, which are a class of fat and water soluble compounds. The phospholipids found in soy lecithin are: phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylinositol (PI), and phospathidylethanolamine (PE). The benefits of soy lecithin can be traced back to the presence of phosphatidylcholine and its synthesized form, choline.
Phosphatidylcholine, a Powerful Emulsifier
One of the main functions of soy lecithin is to act as an emulsifier inside or outside the body. Outside, it is used commercially to keep chocolates, candy coatings, margarine, butter, and a whole lot more. It is even used in the pharmaceutical industry as well as various other industries that produce materials such as paint, textile, to name a few.
On the other hand, if talking about the benefits of soy lecithin inside the body, then we have to take into account the role that phosphatidylcholine plays in the living cell. As a phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine is a major component of the cell membrane, along with cholesterol and triglyceride. It helps keep the cells and its various organelles apart from each other and facilitates many of its basic functions, including cellular signaling. In addition, it contributes to the cell's structural integrity and helps keep harmful microbes from entering the healthy living cell.
Phosphatidylcholine plays a significant role in the liver functions as well as the brain. In fact, one of the benefits of soy lecithin is to keep the fatty acids in the bile, thereby helping the liver burn fat better. It is also present in the myelin sheath that covers every single nerve cell found in the body, keeping them healthy and strong. Because of this, many scientists believe that improving brain power may be one of the benefits of soy lecithin.
Choline is the synthesized form of phosphatidylcholine. It is an essential nutrient, recognized by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1998. This means that our body cannot manufacture its own supply of the compound and must therefore depend on food to keeps its supply level adequate. Many studies have been conducted on the benefits of soy lecithin, particularly on phosphatidylcholine, which when synthesized by the body turns into choline. It is said that some of the benefits of soy lecithin may include: positively affecting brain development, improving memory throughout life, cardiovascular health, liver function, and reproductive development.