If lecithin were a drug instead of a natural food, your doctor would probably be prescribing it as beneficial to the brain, nervous system, cardiovascular system, liver and other vital parts of the body. In fact, NO other nutrient does so much in so many ways to improve and preserve good health and youthful vim and vigor.
While lecithin is found in every living cell, its highest concentration is in the vital organs - the brain, the heart, the liver and kidneys. Our brain has a dry composition of 30% lecithin. It performs an astonishing range of vital functions directly affecting our health and well-being. Just what is this miracle substance and what does it do? To a biochemist, lecithin is just another name for phosphat- idyl choline since this is its most important ingredient. What it does, however, is far more complex. Briefly, here are some, but by no means all, of the benefits lecithin provides.
In the brain, lecithin choline will be transformed into acetylcholine, a vital compound for the transmission of messages from one nerve to another. This has a proven effect on memory, thinking ability and muscle control. In the blood stream, lecithin helps prevent cholesterol and other fats from accumulating on the walls of your arteries and may help dissolve deposits away that may already be there. In the liver, lecithin metabolizes clogging fat and reduces the chance of liver degeneration.
In the intestinal tract, lecithin helps the absorption of Vitamins A & D and influences the utilization of other fat-soluble nutrients such as Vitamins E & K.
LECITHIN - THE EMULSIFIER by helping to dissolve fats and cholesterol, lecithin functions as the body's emulsifier. Fats and oils are an essential part of the diet, yet they must function within the watery environment of the body. Although oil and water do not mix, a lecithin molecule can hold them together.
One end of the molecule (containing fatty acids) is attracted to the oil, and the other (containing phosphorus and nitrogen) is attracted to the water. Thus lecithin acts as a bridge between water and oil. It has the ability to keep fat-like cholesterol particles in solution while they journey through the arteries so they are unable to settle out and form dangerous deposits on the walls of the blood vessels, the consequences of which could be atherosclerosis and heart attacks.
Lecithin helps remove fatty liver deposits as well, so you can enjoy a healthier liver and a more youthful metabolic process.
LECITHIN - THE BRAIN TONIC In 1975, scientists at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) discovered that lecithin choline has a prompt effect on the brain's ability to make an important chemical for nerve signal transmission called acetylcholine. The most surprising part of the discovery was that choline is taken up by the brain directly from the circulating blood.
It had long been believed that something called the "blood-brain barrier" protects the brain from such direct influences. Only a few substances, notably alcohol and narcotics were hereto known to be able to penetrate the barrier. This means that each time you take lecithin there can be an immediate effect of the production of chemicals essential for signal-transmission in the brain.
We know all animals, including humans, show some degree of memory-loss with aging. What now looks exciting, is the possibility of prevention. Scientific studies indicate that we repress or minimize those age-related changes by long-term use of lecithin as a dietary supplement.
Do we actually need to supplement our diets with lecithin? For most people, "yes", especially older people or those with higher then normal cholesterol. The body without dietary sources is unable to synthesize an adequate supply. Small amounts of lecithin are found in many foods, but significant dietary sources are few.
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