Soy lecithin is a fatty and protein rich food additive that is added to food to make its texture smoother or creamier. The major components of soy lecithin are soybean oil, inositol phosphatides, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylenthanolamine, other phosphatides, some free carbohydrates, sterols, and moisture .
Besides being an additive in food, it is also used by pharmaceutical companies in certain therapeutic ways
The Health Benefits of Soy Lecithin
1) Soy Lecithin extracts can help boost memory
According to a study published in the journal Advances in Therapy in 2014, extracts from soy lecithin have been proven to cause significant memory improvement in some patients. The study treated patients who complained of minor memory loss, especially elderly patients, with a brain supplement that contained 100 mg of phosphatidylserine and 80mg of phosphatidic acid derived from soy lecithin.
The study required the subjects to consume this supplement orally. The researchers who conducted the study concluded that in elderly test subjects, the supplement led to a positive influence on mood, memory, and cognition. Furthermore, the supplement stabilized daily functioning, emotional state, and general mental condition in patients with memory or cognition problems.
2) Soy Lecithin can help reduce cholesterol
According to a study published in the journal Cholesterol in 2010, a diet rich in soy lecithin can help modify cholesterol homeostasis and significantly affect lipoprotein metabolism in human beings. Patients in this study were given soy lecithin regularly to see what would happen to their cholesterol levels. These patient were already hypercholesterolemic, which means that soy lecithin was used therapeutically in the study.
The conclusions that the researchers came to at the end of the study proved that soy lecithin consumption caused a significant reduction in the amount of total and LDL cholesterol on test subjects. The researchers further suggested, based on the results of this study, that a daily intake of soy lecithin may be used as a supplemental therapeutic treatment for patients with hypercholesterolemia.
3) Soy Lecithin, as a dietary phospholipid, has general health benefits
Apart from the specialised health benefits of being good for cardiovascular health or helping with the improvement of memory, dietary phospholipids like soy lecithin carry with them a whole host of general health benefits throughout the course of life.
A study published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease in 2012 came to the conclusion that soy lecithin and other phospholipids could reduce the side effects of certain drugs, and have positive impacts in several diseases without severe side-effects. The study calls for more research to determine specific diseases and pathways that dietary phospholipids influence, but does state firmly that dietary phospholipids are good supplements.