Soy lecithin is a popular food additive but it is also a well-known health supplement. The history behind soy lecithin can be traced all the way back to France in the 19th century. It was originally identified by Theodore Gobley, a French Chemist, back in 1846.
Lecithin is simply fatty compounds found the tissues of animals and plants. The said fatty compounds were first taken from the yolk of eggs. At present though, lecithin can be derived from a number of various sources such as marine-based sources, sunflower, soybeans, rapeseed, milk, and cottonseed. Soy lecithin’s excellent emulsifying properties, however, are what makes this a popular in-demand product for various products such as food items, medication, and health supplements.
Soy lecithin’s emulsifying properties come from its ability to break down oils, making it more convenient for mixtures or concoctions to be ingested or consumed. This further means that soy lecithin can give products a more consistent and uniform texture when added to the said food items and supplements. Generally, soybeans are the main source of soy lecithin.
The Nutritional Contents of Soy Lecithin
Soy lecithin has a number of important nutrients that can contribute to the overall health of individuals. These include 98 milligrams (mg) of Choline, 51 micrograms (mcg) of Vitamin K, 2.3 milligrams (mg) of Vitamin E, 11,250 milligrams (mg) of fatty acids of the omega-6 kind, 1,438 milligrams (mg) of fatty acids of the omega-3 kind, fat in the amount of 28 grams and calories in the amount of 214. Its main benefits mostly come from phospholipids, which are usually utilized by the cell for the production, maintenance of cell walls, and storage of energy.
A study conducted in Japan showed that the introduction of phospholipids into the cellular structure of individuals can result in restored cell membranes and the repair of damaged cell membranes as well. This process has been called lipid replacement and it can address various medical conditions such as degenerative diseases, fatigue, type 2 diabetes, and degenerative diseases.
One type of phospholipid called Phosphatidylcholine can help in the signaling of cell membranes. This phospholipid has been known to contribute to some critical biological functions within the human body and evidence suggests that the use of Phosphatidylcholine on patients with mental conditions or disorders may alleviate the symptoms of these patients. These include mental health disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.
What are the Health Benefits of Soy Lecithin?
1. Improves the levels of cholesterol
There is evidence to suggest that soy lecithin can help improve the body ’s ability to metabolize and process lipids and cholesterols and this is the main reason why individuals and patients take health supplements that have soy lecithin. Research also indicates that taking soy lecithin supplements can help improve the synthesis of good cholesterol or HDL Cholesterol while controlling the proliferation of bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol. As such, soy lecithin is being considered as a health supplement that can combat or treat increased levels of cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia.
2. Provides choline supplementation
As a major source of Phosphatidylcholine, it is safe to claim that Soy Lecithin can be a great source of choline. This choline supplementation by soy lecithin can lead to various significant health benefits such as enhanced metabolism, improved nerve function, increased liver function, better movement of muscles, and enhanced brain health and function. Research suggests that taking in the right amount of Phosphatidylcholine supplementation can lead to managed cholesterol level, improved brain and mental function, and enhanced liver function.
3. Helps enhance the body’s immune system
Researchers from Brazil were able to show the effect of soy lecithin to the body’s immune system. They introduced soy lecithin to a group of diabetic rats and it showed increased immune response through the enhanced reaction of white blood cells. Additionally, the rats who were not diabetic and were given soy lecithin showed increased white blood cell activity which may point to the possible enhanced immune system through soy lecithin supplementation.
4. Alleviates the symptoms of mental stress and physical stress
A phospholipid found in soy lecithin, phosphatidylserine, has been shown to control the levels of cortisol produced in the body during physical activity. Cortisol is a hormone that has been identified as the main hormone that can cause physical stress. This may mean that soy lecithin can have stress-fighting properties that may eventually be used to help patients who need to lessen their overall stress levels.
5. Helps improve brain health
Evidence suggests that soy lecithin supplementation may help patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may get improved moods, emotional stability and better mental health overall. Soy lecithin has also been shown to help patients with various cognitive or mental health conditions through better memory function improved emotional states, stable moods experienced throughout the day and help improve memory.
6. Helps people fight off osteoporosis
While studies are still limited, there is some evidence that suggests that soy lecithin supplementation can help patients, especially those who are genetically predisposed to having osteoporosis. This is because soy lecithin contains beneficial glycosides that can enhance bone health and density resulting in decreased risk of developing osteoporosis.