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You have come to the right place to find out more. Soy lecithin, simply put, is a mixture of phospholipids derived from the processing of soybeans and generally used as a natural emollient and has been utilized in various food and industrial applications. Soy lecithin is then the lecithin that can be derived from soybeans.
As mentioned, soy lecithin is one of the by-products of soybean processing. To produce lecithin, soybeans are kept and tempered at a consistent temperature and moisture for about a week in order to hydrate them and loosen the hull. The soybeans are then cleaned after a maximum of 10 days, cracked into small pieces and beans are separated from the hull, after which soybean oil is extracted through a careful distillation process. Once soybean oil is produced, Soya lecithin is then separated from the oil through the process of steam precipitation or centrifugation.
One of the most essential facts about lecithin that you have to know is that it is a complex mixture of phospholipids that naturally occurs in the body. Though it does have beneficial effects, lecithin is not an essential nutrient. It provides protection to the cell by facilitating the movement of fats, ions, wastes and nutrients in and out of the cell. It also keeps the cell structure strong and helps retain its shape.
One of the most popular uses of lecithin comes from its emulsifying properties. It is thus used for promoting solidity in margarine, as coating for chocolates and other food, to give consistent textures to creams and dressings, and to avoid oil splattering during frying. It has also been useful for cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications and in other industries such as textiles, paints, waxes and lubricant.
Lecithin has been used for a variety of health benefits. Soya lecithin (the commercial kind of lecithin) has been popular through the years as a supplement taken for the purpose of fighting cholesterol, supporting liver health, and promoting weight loss. Lecithin has been used by many people and has been the subject of numerous scientific studies.
Due to its use in facilitating cellular regulation, many scientists have surmised that lecithin may have significant effects in improving brain and memory function and in treating brain-related disorders including Alzheimer's, dementia, amnesia, among others.
Studies have shown that lecithin helps in the breakdown of cholesterol to small particles so that they do not tend to build up and collect in the walls of veins and arteries. Lecithin is also said to prevent fats from accumulating in the liver by keeping the fats dispersed in water.
Because it is rich in choline which increases the metabolism of fats, lecithin has been seen to be effective in weight loss. It helps in burning and in the breakdown of fats so that they do not get stored in the body, but used as a source of energy.
Lecithin is available as food supplements in food and drug stores, in the form of capsules, powder or granules. Lecithin granules have been used for decades as a treatment method for people with high cholesterol and for those who want to lose weight.