Lecithin comes from the ancient Greek lekithos that means egg yolk, because this substance was obtained for the first time by the French chemist and pharmacist Maurice Gobley from the egg yolk. Lecithin belongs to the family of phospholipids and is characterized, due to its chemical composition, by the ability to keep together water and fats that normally are not miscible. Lecithin acts as an emulsifier and, for this reason, it is used in the food industry, for example to prepare sauces, creams, ice creams or chocolate, but also in cosmetics.
In addition to this, also in our body lecithin plays an important role. This substance indeed can be found in our body, it is part of the structure of the cell membrane and is synthetized thanks to another substance, the choline, introduced with food. Lecithin is used by the body in order to counteract the deposit of cholesterol in arteries by acting as a cholesterol scavenger and by bringing this cholesterol to the liver that will remove it.
In addition to this, lecithin stabilizes the cholesterol and prevents it from forming microcrystals and, thus, gallstones. Lecithin helps also the nervous system, promotes the brain function, improves memory and acts against mental fatigue. Because of the importance of lecithin, it is sometimes useful to take lecithin in the form of a supplement. In shops you can find usually soy lecithin, in the form of tablets or granules to add to the yogurt, milk, first and second courses in order to obtain the maximum benefits. These supplements may help lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, strengthen memory and the brain functions, have a protective role for what concerns the liver, are useful to lose weight because lecithin accelerate the metabolism. The indicative dose is 10 g of lecithin per day, an excessive dosage can cause stomach problems, diarrhea and nausea. Be careful also in case of allergies or during pregnancy and breastfeeding, talk with your doctor. Finally, lecithin is also an ingredient for masks for dry hair. Dissolve in 100 ml of water 20 g of lecithin and 10 g of a plant based oil that you like, for example the sweet almond oil, by heating all the ingredients on a low heat. Apply on the hair for an hour, then rinse.