NUMBER OF WORDS: 522
KEYWORD: "Soya Lecithin" = 12
There is no denying the now established fact that soya is good for the health. Not only is it a good source of proteins, it also contains isoflavones genistein and daidzen, all of which contribute to its health-promoting goodness. Recent studies have also shown that soya contains a significant amount of antioxidants, which are chemical substances that help destroy disease causing free radicals.
Nearly all aspects about soybeans have already been studied to determine why this small legume is so beneficial. From tofu to miso to shoryu, soybeans have been consumed widely because it is generally considered as good for the body. But one aspect of soybeans that is only gaining some attention is the presence of soya lecithin.
Admittedly, soya lecithin is not a novel idea. In fact, the first time that lecithin was extracted from soya was in the 1930s. Until that time, the commercial industry derived lecithin from egg yolks. But soon it was discovered that the by product of soybean processing contains substances, which when synthesized yields a surprising amount of soya lecithin. Today, majority of the commercial lecithin we find sold in stores are derived from soybeans.
Soya Lecithin - Its Composition
The term 'lecithin' is a generic word used to refer to either phosphatidylcholine (PC) or a group of phosphate acids. Soya lecithin is typically the commercial kind, which consists of three types of phospholipids: phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), and phosphatidylinositol (PI). All of these phospholipids are a major component in the formation of cell membranes, along with cholesterol and glycerides.
Soya Lecithin - Its Benefits and Functions
Since its discovery in 1850 by Maurice Gobley, lecithin has been used in a wide variety of food and industrial applications. Decades later, soya lecithin was discovered and the substance became a multifunctional, flexible and versatile tool best known for its emulsifying properties.
Soya lecithin helps promote solidity in margarine and give consistent texture to dressings and other creamy products. It also used in chocolates and coatings and to counteract spattering during frying. In addition, soya lecithin boasts of a unique lipid molecular structure which makes it idea for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications and various industrial uses such as paints, textiles, lubricants, and waxes.
But while soya lecithin has many functional benefits, recent studies have been focusing on its purported health benefits. There is no arguing that lecithin, or more accurately phosphatidylcholine plays a significant role in the cell. It contributes to its structural integrity, facilitate the movement of fluids in and out, and eases cell communication. Its presence and its perceived role in brain functioning has led many scientists to surmise that lecithin may aid in brain-related disorders, including dementia, memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, and many others.
Lecithin is also said to help keep the liver healthy. By keeping fats dispersed in the water, lecithin prevents these fats from accumulating in the liver, thus helping put a stop to some of the causes of cirrhosis.
But while phosphatidylcholine and its synthesized form, choline, seem to accomplish all these, studies have failed to make a significant connection between the intake of soya lecithin and treatment of these symptoms.