Lecithin is a vital component of each and every cell in our bodies. Lecithin helps prevent the cell membranes from becoming hard and allows them to remain healthy. Healthy cells mean a healthy body. Lecithin and other phospholipids are produced naturally in many of the body’s major organs including the heart, liver, and kidneys. As well as the heart health benefits of lecithin, there is also some evidence that it can help restore liver health and function and may be able to reverse the damaging effects of alcohol abuse.There are also promising indications that it can help improve cognitive functions like memory and learning.
One of the main advantages of Sunflower Lecithin is the extraction process; sunflower lecithin gets extracted without the need for potentially damaging chemical solvents such as acetone and hexane. Sunflower lecithin is also processed through a cold press system like the one used to derive olive oil and similar products. It is the only lecithin which is obtainable both chemical-free and raw. Sunflower lecithin is rich in choline and other essential fatty acids such as phosphatidylinositol.(2)
Studies have been done into the effectiveness of lecithin on improving digestion in people suffering from ulcerative colitis. (1)
However, even people not suffering from the condition can benefit. It may be especially useful for people with common conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
FACTS ABOUT LECITHIN
*Lecithin was first discovered by Maurice Gobley in 1850.
*It was isolated from egg yolks and the name ‘lecithin’ comes from the Greek – ‘lekithos‘ meaning the yolk of an egg.
*Lecithin is a fatty substance that occurs naturally in various foods including egg yolk, organ meats, whole grains, soybeans, and sunflower.
*Lecithin is sometimes used as an emulsifier in certain processed foods. It is often added to mayonnaise, margarine, ice cream and salad dressings to improve texture and prevent fat from separating.
*It is broken down in the body into choline, glycerol. phosphate and certain fatty acids.
*The highest concentrations of lecithin in the human body are present in the vital organs.
*Lecithin makes up approximately 30% of the brain’s dry weight and almost over 60% of the liver’s fat.
*Lecithin benefits the body in a number of ways including heart health, brain health and liver health.
*Lecithin also has potent antioxidant properties.
*Sunflower lecithin supplements are becoming increasingly popular because of the concerns over the estrogen-like effects in soy products.(2)
The linoleic acid contained in sunflower lecithin works by breaking down excess fats that accumulate in the body including cholesterol and triglycerides. When cholesterol and triglyceride levels are elevated too much, they can accumulate on the arterial walls causing a condition known as atherosclerosis. This is basically a thickening of the arteries which is likely to lead to higher blood pressure and further to heart attack or stroke. (2,3)
For the Nervous System.
Sunflower lecithin can help the nervous system to function more efficiently because of its abundant fatty acids. These fatty acids boost the strength of nerve tissue and actually improve neurotransmitter activity. Your nerve fibers consist of a complex network of sheaths which allow nerve impulses to effectively travel from one place to another. Unfortunately, the nerve system can be disrupted but sunflower lecithin can help keep these nerve functions healthy. (2)