Recently, dietary supplements are widely used. They are found in many foods. Do you often study the component composition of products? If so, you will notice that there is lecithin in butter, mayonnaise and chocolate icing. The benefits and harms of this supplement are the topic of today's conversation.
What is lecithin for?
For the first time about lecithin became known in ancient Greece. This dietary supplement was derived from egg yolk. This is where the modern name for lecithin comes from.
Lecithin is found in many foods, but today it is mainly produced from plant substances, in particular, from soybean oil. He is involved in many life support processes. First of all, scientists consider it a kind of vehicle. It is lecithin that provides fortified and mineral micro- and macronutrients to all cells of our body. Almost 17% of the human liver consists of lecithin, and this substance is also found in the brain.
Modern food industry offers under the guise of dietary supplements or emulsifiers the so-called E476 soy lecithin. What does this additive give us - benefit or harm? We will talk about this a little later, but now let's take a closer look at the component composition of lecithin. So, it is made from the following substances:
- soybean oil;
- fatty acids;
- pigments of a biological nature.
Almost 2/3 of the substances in the component composition of the additive belong to the group of phospholipids. Despite the fact that the beneficial properties and harm of lecithin to this day have not been completely studied, the researchers still argue that this additive is simply necessary for the full functioning of the human body.
Lecithin, entering the body, provokes the flow of a number of chemical reactions. The end result is the formation of beneficial and fortified micro and macro elements, in particular:
- palmint and stearic acid;
- phosphoric and oleic acids;
- arachidonic acid.
All of the above substances are necessary to maintain the nervous system, the functioning of the brain and liver. Lecithin is certainly contained in many foods, in particular, in egg yolk. There is an opinion that in order to meet the daily needs of the human body in lecithin, it is necessary to eat 2 yolks.
Let's talk about the benefits of lecithin
As already mentioned, at present the effect of lecithin on the human body is not fully understood. However, the attending specialists are convinced that with its deficiency a person begins to age faster, is prone to many ailments.
What is the use of lecithin? This dietary supplement performs many important functions in the human body, in particular:
- It improves memory, concentration and normalizes the functioning of the brain centers.
- The composition of lecithin includes acetylcholine, which, when exposed to certain nerve receptors, allows you to get rid of the harmful habit of smoking.
- Lecithin plays an important role in strengthening the nerve fibers. With its deficiency, they become thinner and die.
- Contributes to the full and easy assimilation of the fortified elements of a fat-soluble type, in particular, retinol, tocopherol, vitamins D and K.
- It performs the transport function, delivering the necessary micro and macronutrients, vitamins, amino acids to all cells of our body.
- He takes an active part in the functioning of the gallbladder. With its help, the concentration of bile is normalized, which prevents the development of gallstone pathologies.
- Contributes to the protection and restoration of damaged liver cells.
- Lecithin is important for maintaining normal cholesterol levels. Its lack can provoke the development of atherosclerosis.
- The leading body for the content of lecithin is the heart muscle. He takes an active part in the production of L-carnitine, necessary for the production of the necessary amount of energy by muscle tissues.
- Lecithin has a beneficial effect on the organs of the respiratory system. This substance is contained in the mucous coating of the alveoli, which is necessary for the full respiratory process and the enrichment of blood with oxygen.
- The normal concentration of lecithin in the human body protects the pancreas, and also contributes to the production of insulin. Indirectly, lecithin protects against the possibility of diabetes.
Lecithin is necessary for both adults and children. Some researchers believe that with a deficiency of this biologically active substance in a child, not only the physical development processes, but also the intellectual ones are inhibited.
Scientists also say that lecithin helps preserve the health of the reproductive system and protect them from the development of malignant processes. This position is due to the production of certain hormones from cholesterol, the breakdown of which involves lecithin.
Every day we get the necessary amount of lecithin from food. It can also be purchased at the pharmacy in the form of a dietary supplement. However, it is not recommended to take such a substance on your own. Only a specialized doctor can prescribe his reception. Most often, lecithin in the form of powder, tablets, capsules and in other pharmacological forms is prescribed in such cases:
- with the development of multiple sclerosis;
- to restore the full functioning of the brain centers;
- with a disorder of the nervous system;
- in case of transferring ischemic pathologies;
- in case of diabetes mellitus (to stimulate insulin production);
- with genetic pathologies, for example, Down's disease.
Some experts believe that taking this dietary supplement improves women's well-being during menopause, and also helps to restore the menstruation cycle.
Is lecithin harmful?
As you already understood, we will discuss the dangers of lecithin as an active biological additive. Doctors do not recommend it to take pregnant women in the first trimester, as well as during breastfeeding.
A diverse component composition of lecithin can provoke an allergic reaction. It is not recommended to take it in the form of dietary supplements in the presence of the following ailments:
- gallstone pathology;
Despite the safety and undisputed benefits of lecithin, its unbalanced use may still lead to side effects, such as diarrhea, nausea and gag reflexes, headache.
Commercial lecithin: the whole truth about the addition of E476
Many people have recently become interested in soy lecithin. What does this supplement bring to our body - benefit or harm? Soy lecithin is also called commercial. It is made mainly from herbal products, in particular, from soybean oil.
For many of us, soy lecithin is known as E476 food supplement. It is found in chocolate, mayonnaise sauces, margarine, spreads, butter. The mechanism of the effect of E476 on the human body is not fully understood. Nevertheless, many experts have come to the conclusion that soy lecithin is more beneficial than harm.
The useful properties of E476 include:
- participation in the splitting of complex fats;
- choleretic effect;
- stimulation of metabolic processes;
- protection of the entire body from the harmful effects of toxic elements and released radicals.
Researchers believe that soy lecithin, including that contained in chocolate, is absolutely harmless to people suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetes.
As you can see, for the full functioning of the human body requires a lot of minerals, fortified substances, micro- and macroelements, amino acids, phospholipids, etc. Virtually every cell contains lecithin. Now you know all about its benefits. The harm of this dietary supplement is insignificant, but still there is. Therefore, before taking any active dietary supplements, consult a specialized physician. Be healthy!