▷ Choosing the Best Sunflower Lecithin Supplement (2018 Update)
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Sunflower Lecithin: Benefits and Potential Side Effects

Choosing the Best Sunflower Lecithin Supplement

Over the last decade we have seen a huge shift in the mindset of the health industry at large. This shift in mindset has come off the back of an abundance of research demonstrating that dietary fat isn’t actually bad for us at all.

In fact, there has even been research demonstrating that the consumption of certain fats can have an extremely positive impact on our health (something that would have been considered ridiculous if it was said out loud as little as ten years ago).

With that in mind, there has been the recent investment into a number of supplements that provide the body with these key fats that have been shown to improve health and function – with Sunflower Lecithin being one of the most popular.

But what are they? And more importantly, do they really work?

What is Sunflower Lecithin?

First and foremost, it’s important to distinguish that sunflower lecithin is actually a somewhat general term used to describe a number of unique fatty substances that can be extracted from sunflowers.

With this in mind, lecithin itself can come from a multitude of alternative sources, however sunflower seeds are hands down the most popular due to their unique fatty acid composition and extremely high antioxidant content.

To be a little more specific, in supplement form, sunflower lecithin provides the human body with a collection of different phospholipids (with specific emphasis on choline, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidylethanolamine) – which recent research has shown them to be extremely beneficial for health.

You see, certain types of lecithin are actually present in the membrane of every single cell within the human body. Within this, their primary role is to help maintain the quality and integrity of our cell membranes, while also controlling what goes in and out of our cells.

Moreover, sunflower lecithin is also a natural emulsifier. This ultimately means that their consumption can help reduce the presence of other fats throughout the body, while also enhancing the health of red blood cells.

What are the Benefits of Taking Sunflower Lecithin?

Given the amount of research occurring within this area at the moment, we wanted to outline where we believe the supplementation of sunflower lecithin offers the most benefits.

Does Sunflower Lecithin Lower Blood Cholesterol?

As we have already touched on briefly, sunflower lecithin has been shown to act as an emulsifier. As a result, when consumed it can assist in the removal of unwanted blood cholesterol from the body, causing a chronic improvement in cardiovascular health.

In fact, research has shown that supplementing with sunflower lecithin for as little as 4 weeks can lower levels of LDL cholesterol (or ‘bad’ cholesterol) while causing a subsequent increase in blood HDL cholesterol (or ‘good’ cholesterol).

Does Sunflower Lecithin Protect the Brain?

A number of the key phospholipoids found within sunflower lecithin have been shown to contribute to the health and function of the cells found within the brain and nervous system.

As a result, their supplementation has been shown to improve memory, boost mood, and enhance cognitive capacity, while also exhibiting a positive effect on individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

This suggests that supplementing with sunflower lecithin may offer an excellent way to enhance brain health and stave off age related declines in cognitive function.

Does Sunflower Lecithin Protect Against Cancer?

In conjunction with is impact on cardiovascular and mental health, the supplementation of sunflower lecithin also appears to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

While the exact mechanism behind this interaction remains unclear, it has been hypothesized that by increasing cell health and function, sunflower lecithin may reduce the risk of a cell becoming abnormal and tumorous.

Does Sunflower Lecithin Enhance Liver Health?

As we age its quite common to see declines in liver health, as well as the accumulation of fatty tissue on the liver itself. This typically comes with a slow deterioration of the bile ducts within the liver – all of which can have a rather negative effect on global health.

Interestingly, by helping absorb and metabolize fat throughout the body, sunflower lecithin has been shown to enhance liver health and reduce the risk of age related declines in liver function.

Does Sunflower Lecithin Boost Immunity?

And finally, there is also some early animal research to suggest that sunflower lecithin can enhance immune system function.

In this research, rats that supplemented with lecithin saw significant increase in white blood cell production. This also came with an increased number of T and B cells, which are consider to be some of our primary immune cells.

While quality human research is needed in this area, it does suggest that sunflower lecithin may have the ability to boost immunity.

Best Sunflower Lecithin Product Reviews

Considering that sunflower lecithin has an extremely positive impact on health, we wanted to give you some great options that you can begin to use immediately.

When it comes to great quality simple supplements, its hard to look past NOW.

NOW Sunflower Lecithin 1200 mg,200 Softgels

This sunflower lecithin supplement provides a potent dosage of 1200 mg per serve, giving you everything you need to enhance health and function.

This extremely popular option by Microingredients comes in power form, meaning that you can tailor your dosage however you see fit.

US Grown Organic Sunflower Lecithin Powder, Sustainable Farmed, Cold-Pressed, Soy-Free and Vegan Friendly. Non-Irradiated, Non-Contaminated and Non-GMO, 1 Pound.

This also makes it a very affordable option, which is ideal for those on a bit of a budget.

Our final option by Swanson is a fantastic choice.

Swanson Sunflower Lecithin Brain Health, Nervous System Support, Non-GMO, Soy-free, Vegetarian 16 oz (1lb) 454 gram Powder

Using the highest quality ingredients provided in scientifically supported doses, it’s no surprise as to why this option is the most popular on the market at the moment. You will not be disappointed.

Optimal Sunflower Lecithin Dosage

Now first and foremost it is important to state that there is currently no recommended dosage of sunflower lecithin – this is because, while it can enhance health, it is not considered and essential nutrient.

Research has shown that dosages between 0.5 grams and 2 grams per day is adequate to elicit a number of positive health benefits.

Moreover, while dosage of up to 25 grams per day have been successfully tolerated, this does not appear necessary in any manner. As a result, we strongly recommend you start at around 1 gram per day, and then move up to 2 grams per day if you don’t see any improvement after 4 weeks of supplementation.

Sunflower Lecithin Side Effects

Now, in conjunction with its positive effects on health, it is also important to note that some individuals have experienced side effects when supplementing with sunflower lecithin.

Firstly, some of the key compounds in this unique supplement have been shown to increase blood thickness when taken in high dosages. This may have the capacity to increase the risk of blood clotting, which may also cause a subsequent increase in heart disease risk.

Secondly, there is some animal research suggesting that the supplementation of lecithin’s during pregnancy can actually lead to behavioral defects in their children. This has been hypothesized to occur in response to the high choline content found within sunflower lecithin.

Now while these side effects are not common, they can occur. As a result we strongly recommend you adhere to a dosage of 1-2 grams per day, and cease consuming if you are in any stage of pregnancy.

Conclusion

Sunflower lecithin is an interesting supplement that contains an abundance of phospholipids – key fatty compounds that are found within the membranes of every single one of our cells.

With this in mind, their supplementation has been shown to cause large improvements in blood cholesterol levels, protect the brain and liver from declines in function, protect against the formation of cancer, and even boost immunity.

It is a seriously potent supplement.

As always, if you have had any experience using sunflower lecithin then we would love to hear about it, so drop us a comment and we will get back to you ASAP!

References

  1. Sirtori, C. R., et al. “Cholesterol-lowering and HDL-raising properties of lecithinated soy proteins in type II hyperlipidemic patients.” Annals of nutrition and metabolism6 (1985): 348-357. From:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4062245

  2. Moré, Margret I., Ulla Freitas, and David Rutenberg. “Positive effects of soy lecithin-derived phosphatidylserine plus phosphatidic acid on memory, cognition, daily functioning, and mood in elderly patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.” Advances in therapy12 (2014): 1247-1262. From:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4271139/

  3. Anderson, Laura N., Michelle Cotterchio, and Beatrice A. Boucher. “Lecithin supplements and breast cancer risk.” Epidemiology(2011): 444-446. From:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21464659

  4. Mehedint, Mihai G., and Steven H. Zeisel. “Choline’s role in maintaining liver function: new evidence for epigenetic mechanisms.” Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care3 (2013): 339. From:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3729018/

  5. Miranda, Dalva TSZ, et al. “Soy lecithin supplementation alters macrophage phagocytosis and lymphocyte response to concanavalin A: a study in alloxan‐induced diabetic rats.” Cell Biochemistry and Function: Cellular biochemistry and its modulation by active agents or disease8 (2008): 859-865. From:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18846580

  6. Benton, David, and Rachael T. Donohoe. “The influence on cognition of the interactions between lecithin, carnitine and carbohydrate.” Psychopharmacology 175.1 (2004): 84-91. From:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14760514

  7. Bell, Joanne M., and Paula K. Lundberg. “Effects of a commercial soy lecithin preparation on development of sensorimotor behavior and brain biochemistry in the rat.” Developmental Psychobiology: The Journal of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology 18.1 (1985): 59-66. From:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4038491

About the author

Sabrina Wilson

Sabrina Wilson is an author and homemaker who is passionate about a holistic approach to health. When she is not writing she can be found tooling around in her garden with the help of her appropriately named dog Digby, bicycling in the park, and occasionally rock climbing…badly. Sabrina is a staff writer for the Organic Daily Post.

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