Lecithin is a natural organic compound that is a part of all living things. Among its many purposes, the human body utilizes it as a fat emulsifier to keep fatty compounds such as cholesterol suspended, to help support cell membranes and to assist with nerve transmissions. Lecithin is normally produced by the body or derived from food sources. Some studies have indicated that taking lecithin in addition to one’s normal dietary supplements might yield beneficial effects. When deciding on which liquid lecithin is the best, consider what it was made from, the storage requirements and the purpose for which it will be used.
Although a well-balanced diet should provide adequate amounts of lecithin, many people do not eat enough of the right kinds of food to adequately supply it. There are many animal and plant choices that contain a wealth of natural lecithin. The modern on-the-go diet and the habit of constantly eating only particular quick-and-easy snacks often limit the consumption of these nutrient rich foods. This is why supplementing your intake of lecithin is important.
Typically, liquid lecithin is produced commercially from three sources: soybeans, sunflower seeds and eggs. Until the early 2000s, the primary source of lecithin was soybeans. Public concern about the genetic modification of soybeans led to the development of other organic lecithin sources, such as sunflower seeds and non-modified soybeans. Lecithin also occurs heavily in egg yolk, which makes egg yolks a perfect source for commercial production. Research has shown that people who suffer certain ailments, such as chronic fatigue syndrome and age-related immunological disorders, fare better when using egg lecithin.
Each type of liquid lecithin has slightly different storage requirements. Lecithins will oxidize when exposed to air and might break down when exposed to light. Keep them in dark, tightly sealed containers. Lecithin made from sunflower seeds can be stored at room temperature, but egg lecithin should be stored in a refrigerator at a temperature less than 39 degrees Fahrenheit (about 4 degrees Celsius). Soy lecithin should be stored in a cool area at less than 75 degrees Fahrenheit (about 24 degrees Celsius).
Lecithin does have a number of other uses as well. If a person is using it for cooking, as a moisturizing agent or for hair maintenance, one might wish to use a variety that has the most stable storage requirements. All of these considerations should be carefully weighed you are choosing the type of liquid lecithin you want to purchase. This will help reduce waste and will aid in ensuring your continued satisfaction with the product.