8 Potential Health Benefits and Some Risks of Soy Lecithin
Lecithin is a yellow-pigmented fatty compound present in many plants and animal sources and is extracted from soybeans. Lecithin has been widely used as a food additive in the market. Due to its potential health benefits, lecithin has shown to be effective in treating high cholesterol, neurological disorders, and liver conditions. It also supports mental health, but it also has some of the side effects that are discussed below;
Soy lecithin is considered a healthy ingredient due to its ability to lower cholesterol. Researches have shown that a diet rich in lecithin reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases liver's production of good cholesterol (HDL). Soy lecithin intake is very beneficial for people suffering from hypercholesterolemia.
High cholesterol is a significant cause of heart disease all over the world. Soy lecithin improves cardiovascular diseases by lowering the level of LDL. It also helps to improve high blood pressure. People having heart issues should add lecithin in their diet.
Lecithin helps to improve liver health. People having a deficiency of choline are more prone to liver damage and even failure. Lecithin contains the right amount of choline, which is broken down in the liver, where it helps to absorb fat and improves liver health and muscle movement.
It is also liked to improve liver cirrhosis and prevent liver cancer. However, further studies are required for the effect of lecithin on the liver.
Ulcerative colitis is also known as inflammatory bowel disease, and it is found in people having a deficiency of phosphatidylcholine - a component of mucus in the digestive tract.
Lecithin supplements having phosphatidylcholine may help to resolve inflammation caused by ulcerative ulcers and may also aid in protecting the lining of mucus.
Studies have shown lecithin to be effective in improving the immune function. Regular intake of lecithin helps to increase the number of white blood cells and neutrophils, hence boosting the body's defence mechanism system. They also increase the macrophages in the body.
Mastitis and breast cancer
Some breastfeeding women may experience blocked ducts in which milk doesn't flow through the tubes. This condition makes breastfeeding troublesome and can even lead to mastitis. Lecithin has been proved effective in preventing mastitis. Almost 1200mg of lecithin is recommended for the prevention of mastitis.
A study conducted on studying the effect of lecithin on cancer showed that lecithin supplements were associated with lower breast cancer incidence.
Enhance cognitive function
Lecithin contains a compound name choline, which plays a significant role in the transporting of lipids. Choline improves the cognitive function in people who have Alzheimer's and other types of dementia.
Side Effects Of Lecithin
Although lecithin carries so many health benefits and is safe for consumption, it also has some side effects on the body. These may include;
Allergies - Lecithin proteins can trigger allergies and can cause rapid reactions and discomfort.
Fat buildup - Lecithin endorses the production and storage of fat in mucus cells.
Blood clotting - A study showed that daily intake of lecithin could increase platelets' activity- causing blood cell lumping.
Congenital disabilities - Soy lecithin contains a compound called genistein, which can have side effects on the reproductive system and can even cause congenital disabilities.