Lecithin is a substance made of fatty acids and is naturally found both in the body and in sunflowers. It works as an emulsifier that suspends fats and oils, to prevent them from mixing with other substances.
While most commonly known to support healthy cholesterol levels, sunflower lecithin has also been found to support overall health, and it supports the function of several systems within the body, and promotes overall men’s health and vitality.
Lecithin is made of fatty substances known as glycerophospholipids and can be found in your tissues as well as several food items such as egg yolk, meats, and corn.
Up until recently, lecithin from soy was most commonly used for supplements. Because of concerns over GMOs in soy, sunflowers have become the more popular source for this beneficial compound. Unlike soybeans, sunflowers are not genetically modified, and extraction of lecithin from sunflowers does not involve harsh chemicals.
Once inside the body, a component of lecithin is broken down in the liver into choline. Choline supports metabolic health and promotes normal energy and also makes up two of the phospholipids that construct cell membranes. Choline also produces the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which helps support memory, mood, muscle control, liver health, and nervous system function.
Research has found that lecithin from sunflowers can provide benefits throughout the body.
Certain enzymes in the body influence the growth of prostate cells. Sunflower lecithin helps support the activity of these enzymes in a way that promotes the healthy growth of prostate cells.
Sunflower lecithin helps support cardiovascular health by helping to promote and maintain healthy HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Maintaining normal cholesterol levels supports healthy circulation and arterial health.
Your liver is responsible for making all the cholesterol that your body needs. Consuming high levels of cholesterol through food, can result in excess cholesterol around the liver. By helping support healthy cholesterol levels, lecithin can promote proper liver function. Lecithin is also broken down in the liver to make choline, so healthy liver function can support overall health.
Lecithin has been found to play an important role in cell signaling. Cells communicate by releasing chemicals that alter the membrane of another cell, and a domino effect occurs as a message is transferred. Maintaining levels of lecithin help support cellular communication processes.
Choline, a product produced by the breakdown of lecithin, is used by the body to make acetylcholine. This important neurotransmitter helps maintain brain health and function by supporting memory processing, mood, and muscle health.
The emulsifying properties of lecithin help support mucus production in the intestines, which promotes healthy digestion, proper nutrient absorption, and regular bowel movements.
You can find sunflower lecithin in supplement form in most health food stores, and the compound is available as a powder, granules, soft gels, and liquid.
There is no Recommended Daily Allowance for lecithin supplementation established by the US Food and Drug Administration but standard supplement doses up to 100mg per day is considered safe for adult consumption. You can find sunflower lecithin in supplement form and should discuss your health and current medication with your doctor before starting a lecithin supplement.
Avoiding lecithin that comes from soy can help reduce the risk of unwanted immune responses and occasional digestive discomfort. Lecithin also promotes blood clotting, so should not be taken if you are taking any blood-clotting medications. Additionally, lecithin, when introduced to liver cells, can accumulate, so only take lecithin as advised by your doctor.
Lecithin is a beneficial compound found naturally in the body and can be extracted from sunflowers, for additional health support. As a fat-based compound, care must be taken with supplementation but when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, lecithin supplements can support your prostate and whole-body health.