About Lecithin

Lecithin is a waxy substance found in all body cells and in various foods. It is composed mainly of two B vitamins, phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl inositol, and the amino acid methionine.

Benefits of Lecithin

Lecithin is vitally essential to the body: 30% of the brain's dry weight, and 73% of the liver's fat are composed of lecithin. As a fatty product, lecithin aids transportation of fat throughout the body and, with cholesterol, produces bile. Lecithin has a remarkable emulsifying ability. It can help to dissolve minor gallstones, reduce the size of the fatty particles in blood, lower cholesterol levels and prevent atherosclerosis.

Lecithin reputed to be a 'brain food' as its ingredient choline is converted in the brain to a neurotransmitter, improving mental function and memory. Lecithin supplements can be useful to people engaged in mental work.

In the food industry, soybean lecithin is extensively used as an invaluable emulsifier (E322) in such foods as chocolate, confectionery, ice cream and desserts. Lecithin lowers the surface tension of water in these foods, allowing oils and fats to combine with water. In margarine, it prevents water leakage and in breads it is used to increase loaf volume, soften the crust and extend shelf-life.

Sources of Lecithin

The best natural sources of lecithin are unrefined, fresh vegetable oils, egg yolks, nuts, seeds and soybeans. Supplemental lecithin made trom soybeans is available in granule and capsule forms trom health food shops.

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