Granulated Lecithin

By: Damien Fowler

Used for decades as a treatment for high cholesterol, lecithin granules contain all the phosphatides that are found naturally in cell membranes. Which phosphatides? The important ones. Each tablespoon of lecithin granules - that is, about 7.5 grams - has about 1700 mg of phosphatidyl choline (roughly 98%, more than most lecithin sold in pill form or powdered), 1000 mg of phosphatidyl inositol, and about 2,200 mg of essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid. All these compound elements have functions that could contribute to the health of our body.

Now, to discuss each one of them.

Phosphatidyl Choline (PC)

We start first with phosphatidyl Choline, which many will tell you, is perhaps the most important compound that can be found in lecithin granules, and no wonder, considering how PC is the active ingredient in lecithin.

The main function of PC in lecithin granules is to break down fat deposits in the body. In fact, when you see lecithin granules sold in counters as an aid to weight loss, you know that the ingredient responsible is PC. Because of this wonderful function of PC, lecithin granules are valuable not only in weight loss programs but also in the prevention of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

When PC enters the body, it is immediately broken down into choline, a substance that scientists have discovered as an essential nutrient, which means that we can't live without it. To prove this, several studies have shown that within 30 days of a choline deficient diet, indications of liver problems will manifest.

Phosphatidyl Inositol (PI)

Unlike phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl inositol, or PI for brevity, is not purely a phospholipid. The substance contains an alcohol, inositol, with a ring structure, which acts as a substrate for a large number of enzymes involved in cell signaling - the process by which a cell converts one kind of signal or stimulus to another, such as when your stomach tells you brain that you are already full, or when the epidermis of your hand signals your brain that the pan is hot when you try to touch it.

The biochemical process of cell signaling is essential because without it, you would have no idea how to react to danger. You wouldn't know for instance that there is a fire somewhere when you smell smoke and hence, won't be able to take any precautions to avoid getting in harm's way.

Besides playing a significant role in cell signaling, PI in lecithin granules also generally aids in maintaining the integrity of the cell structure, sharing much of PC's functions.

Linoleic Acid (LA)

Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid of the omega-6 family that is important to human health. It is found in cooking oils and processed foods as well as LA-containing supplements like lecithin granules. Once LA in lecithin granules enters the body, it is converted to GLA or gamma-linoleic acid, another omega-6 fatty acid that is needed for normal brain function, growth and development, bone health, stimulation of skin and hair growth, regulation of metabolism, and maintenance of reproductive processes.

According to PowerPak, "The omega 6 LA comprises 7% to 9% of our daily caloric intake, while the omega 3 LNA makes up about 0.7% of energy. It is therefore estimated that the dietary ration of LA to LNA ranges from 10 to 20:1."
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