Soy lecithin: what it is and what it is used for

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Robert Maurer
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Soy lecithin is an additive ingredient, widely used in industrial preparations especially food as in creams, puddings and sauces.


To discover its presence it will be sufficient to read theproduct label where the ingredients are indicated, recognizable by the code E 322.  

Soy lecithin is also a substance sold as natural supplement precisely because it has many beneficial properties.

Let's get to know how it is chemically constituted, its composition and its benefits.


 

The chemistry of soy lecithin

Soy lecithin is a phospholipid extracted from the processing of soybeans. This substance is chemically composed of a lipophilic part that can bind to fats, and a hydrophilic part that can bind to water.

Its chemical form thus allows it to tenere both water-soluble and fat-soluble substances together, therefore water and fats which are usually elements that are difficult to emulsify with each other.

This property allows soy lecithin to become a excellent binder which is widely used, as we have already indicated, both in industrial preparations in the food sector and in the pharmaceutical, health and cosmetic fields.

 

Soy lecithin among natural emulsifiers

 


The composition of the soy lecithin supplement

Soy lecithin is extracted from a legume: soy. L'soy lecithin supplement obviously contains lecithin but also a lot Vitamin E, essential fatty acids such as omega 3 and 6, choline and minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorus. 

The presence of tocopherol, or vitamin E, causes an integration of a substance to arrive in the human body strongly antioxidant: vitamin E is capable of fight free radicals providing a very effective anti-aging and anti-tumor action, especially towards cell membranes and skin tissues.


The presence of vitamin E also serves a preserve lipid substances and therefore it is used for this purpose in the industrial field both in food preparation and for the preservation of health and cosmetic products.

The presence of choline in soy lecithin brings other health properties aimed more at improvement of brain function; it seems that choline helps in memory, mental fatigue and brain performance in general. These findings have been reported by some studies on senile dementia and Alzheimer's.

Finally, the presence of essential fatty acids gives soy lecithin other beneficial properties such as cardiovascular disease prevention and an improvement in the distribution of cholesterol.

 

Lecithin in the human body

In our body we find lecithin within the structure of cell membranes of which it is the main constituent; it also comes used by the liver to make enzymes that help to transformation and metabolization of cholesterol.


In this way, lecithin becomes essential for the cholesterol distribution process and serves for keep the amounts of bad cholesterol within normal levels.


Lecithin comes to be the scavenger of the body precisely because of its ability to cleanse fats from the bloodstream, thus managing to become an excellent ally against arteriosclerosis.

It also prevents the formation of gallbladder stones because it helps to dissolve cholesterol, preventing it from turning into microcrystals that could deposit creating problems of obstruction.

 

How to integrate lecithin in the diet

Lecithin can be taken via natural supplements which, as we have said, usually are extracts from soy; it can also be obtained from other legumes or cereals and in this case the supplements will only consist of lecithin with a different composition of vitamins and minerals depending on the vegetable of extraction. 


Lecithin can be supplemented by adding to foods 1 or 2 teaspoons of soy lecithin up to a maximum 3 grams per day. Also start to increase the rations of fruit and vegetables and in particular of Whole grains helps to increase the lecithin in our body.

 

Soy lecithin and other natural cholesterol-lowering tips

 

 

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