Lecithin is a nutrient made up of a group of compounds call phospholipids. These phospholipids include phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylinositol (PI), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidic acid (PA) which are responsible for a variety of different functions in the body. They are particularly important for building cell membranes and contribute to the normal functioning of the brain, blood, nerves and other tissues. Lecithin has also been used as a supplement to help lower cholesterol, treat neurological disorders as well as liver conditions.
Read on to learn about the benefits of phospholipids.
It has been found that phosphatidylcholine concentrations are associated with memory and cognitive performance and in 2017 a study discovered the direct relation between Alzheimer’s and low PC levels. Along with these studies and early studies in mice found that PC can increase the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain – which could also improve memory – it is suggested that maintaining good levels of PC by supplementing with lecithin is important for cognitive performance.
Studies suggest that lecithin which contains phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphatidylcholine can benefit heart health as it has the ability to help to reduce cholesterol levels. It has been found that the nutrient can cut total cholesterol levels by up to 42% by increasing biliary secretion.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or cirrhosis of the liver can be caused by a high-fat diet due to its negative effect on the liver. According to studies, phosphatidylcholine can help reduce lipids that can lead to a fatty liver.
Recent research suggests phosphatidic acid (PA) plays a critical role in mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), an intramuscular pathway required for promoting muscle gains. It is said that PA responds to resistance exercise by “turning on” muscle protein synthesis, therefore supplementing with PA may have a positive impact on muscle growth and strength.
Different types of lecithin:
Lecithin can be found in a variety of foods such as egg yolk, soy beans and animal sources. Soy is often the most common ingredient to be used in lecithin supplements, however many people prefer sunflower lecithin as soybeans can be genetically modified in mass production, whereas sunflower seeds aren’t. The extraction process for sunflower seeds is also a lot gentler, as it doesn’t require harsh chemicals.
Try our Sunflower Lecithin.