AddThis Feed Button "Frequently Copied, Never Duplicated"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Correcting One of Those Cholesterol Myths

I notice from time to time that people are searching for information about keeping arteries clean and healthy. This may be associated with the rash of anti-cholesterol drug-dosing-on-a-rampage panic, or earnest queries.
Order lecithin granules through to help us continue this work.

I am not a fan of soy. It might be said that if I suggest a soy based supplement that I am ignoring my own best advice. My greatest concern about soy today are the facts that it is generally a GMO crop and it does have many negative health effects.

On the up side, a long used supplement, especially for those who have been convinced that eggs are evil, you might find some salvation in lecithin.

Lecithin is good for you in that it contains phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl inositol and essential fatty acids as linoleic acid in a tablespoon of granules. It also contains fish-oil-like, omega-3 linolenic acid. Any one of these substances is not found in a standard daily diet.

Choline & Inositol are essential for the breakdown of fats and cholesterol. And lecithin helps prevent arterial congestion, helps distribute body weight, increases immunity to viral infections, cleans the liver and purifies the kidneys.

Dr. Michael Sharon suggests that it "improves the condition of patients with neurological disorders such as tardive dyskinesia (a side effect of anti-psychotic drugs), Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease or pre-senile dementia."

It may help with improving attention span which would certainly benefit ADD/ADHD issues.

Lecithin helps in maintaining the surface tension of cell wall membranes. Without enough lecithin, the cell wall hardens. This condition contributes to premature aging of the cells. The surface tension of the cell, maintained by lecithin is also responsible for transmitting nerve impulses and messages through or from the cell.

Udo Erasmus, PhD shares some lecithin function facts -
"Lecithin helps keep cholesterol soluble. In a food like eggs, which contain a large amount of cholesterol, it is especially important that lecithin be of high quality.

"Lecithin keeps cholesterol isolated from arterial linings, protects it from oxidation, and helps prevent and dissolve gall and kidney stones by its emulsifying action on fatty substances.

"Lecithin is necessary in our liver's detoxification functions, which keep us from slowly being poisoned by breakdown products of metabolic processes that take place in our body. Poor liver function is a common forerunner of cancer. According to some healers, cancer always involves the liver. Deficiency of either Choline or EFAs can induce cancer in experimental animals, and is likely involved in causing some human cancers.

"Lecithin increases resistance to disease by its role in our thymus gland. Here, EFAs are precursors of several prostaglandins, as well as being vital as part of the ammunition made by our immune cells to kill bacteria (fatty acid peroxides are used to produce bacteriocidal hydrogen peroxide).

"Lecithin is a phospholipid that makes up 22% of both the high density (HDL) and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol-carrying vehicles in our blood. These vehicles keep cholesterol and triglyceride fats in solution in our bloodstream and carry them to and from all parts of our body.

"Lecithin is an important part of membrane phospholipids that are involved in electric phenomena, membrane fluidity, and other functions for which EFAs are responsible.

"Finally, lecithin is an important component of bile. Its function in digestion is to break food fats into small droplets (emulsify them), to increase their surface area, speeding up the digestion of fats by enzymes."

Other helpful information about lecithin is that each serving (1 tbsp.) contains:
Choline 275 mg, Inositol 168 mg, Potassium 108 mg, Linoleic Acid (omega 6 EFA) 2,025 mg, Phosphatidylcholine 1,760 mg, Phosphatidylethanolamine 1,530 mg, Phosphatidylinositol 1,070 mg, Linolenic Acid (omega 3 EFA) 260 mg.

and Lecithin
Breaks up fats and cholesterol, Excellent for a healthy heart
Contains the Highest Phosphatide concentration available (98% or more!)
Is a Rich source of GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid)
Helps the body utilize Vitamins A,D,E and K
Is Excellent for memory, concentration and recall
Cleanses liver and kidneys
Helps the body absorb nutrients

Lessen Chronic Inflammation
People whose diets supplied the highest average intake of choline (found in egg yolk and soybeans), and its metabolite betaine (found naturally in vegetables such as beets and spinach), have levels of inflammatory markers at least 20% lower than subjects with the lowest average intakes, report Greek researchers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Detopoulou P, Panagiotakos DB, et al.)

Compared to those whose diets contained <250 mg/day of choline, subjects whose diets supplied >310 mg of choline daily had, on average:

* 22% lower concentrations of C-reactive protein
* 26% lower concentrations of interleukin-6
* 6% lower concentrations of tumor necrosis factor alpha

Compared to those consuming <260 mg/day of betaine, subjects whose diets provided >360 mg per day of betaine had, on average:

* 10% lower concentrations of homocysteine
* 19% lower concentrations of C-reactive protein
* 12% lower concentrations of tumor necrosis factor alpha

Each of these markers of chronic inflammation has been linked to a wide range of conditions including heart disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and Alzheimer's, and type-2 diabetes.

In an accompanying editorial in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition entitled, "Is there a new component of the Mediterranean diet that reduces inflammation?," Steven Zeisel from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill noted that choline and betaine work together in the cellular process of methylation, which is not only responsible for the removal of homocysteine, but is involved in turning off the promoter regions of genes involved in inflammation.

"Exposure to oxidative stress is a potent trigger for inflammation. Betaine is formed from choline within the mitochondria , and this oxidation contributes to mitochondrial redox status ," Zeisel continued.

"If the association between choline and betaine and inflammation can be confirmed in studies of other populations, an interesting new dietary approach may be available for reducing chronic diseases associated with inflammation," he concluded.

Recommended daily intakes of choline were set in 1998 at 550 milligrams per day for men and 425 milligrams a day for women. No RDI has been set for betaine, which, since it is a metabolite of choline, is not considered an essential nutrient.

Practical Tip: Egg yolks are the richest source of choline, followed by soybeans. Spinach, beets and whole wheat products are primary sources of betaine. (Olthof MR, van Vliet T, et al. J Nutr)

No comments: