Egg yolk lecithin is a mixture of phospholipids, mainly phosphatidylcholine (PC), and its physiological effects are mainly related to the function of PC. It is a milky-white or pale yellow powder or waxy solid with a slight odor and a slightly greasy feel when touched. It is soluble in ethanol, ether, chloroform, or petroleum ether (boiling range 40-60℃), but almost insoluble in acetone and water. It is very sensitive to heat, and can be easily hydrolyzed under acidic, alkaline, and esterase conditions. It is forbidden for people who are allergic to protein or egg yolks. It is used as an emulsifier, liposome membrane material, and in the food industry. According to most reports, PC can inhibit serum triglycerides and total cholesterol while increasing high-density lipoprotein.
Egg yolk lecithin benefits include relieving blood coagulation and clearing blood lipids, and replacing saturated fatty acids in arterial cell membranes with unsaturated fatty acids to prevent hardening of artery walls and repair damaged cell membranes, thereby preventing arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction, and cerebral hemorrhage.
The choline in PC can increase the choline content in blood and brain, which is the precursor of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, and can improve memory and learning ability. According to reports from the US FDA, PC has certain effects on neurodegenerative diseases such as tardive dyskinesia, presenile dementia, Friedreich's ataxia, and levodopa-induced movement disorders. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain high concentrations of PC in the blood for a long time, and the high PC content in egg yolk lecithin can meet this requirement.
The choline in PC is a necessary nutrient for maintaining normal liver function. If choline is lacking for 1-2 weeks, liver function will be abnormal, but this can be restored by supplementing with PC, which can also improve ethanol-induced liver damage. This is because PC can promote the synthesis and regeneration of lipoproteins, thereby protecting the membranes of liver mitochondria, microsomes, and lysosomes from damage, improving membrane permeability, and ensuring the functions of liver glycogen metabolism, protein metabolism, and waste excretion. The high PC content in organic egg yolk lecithin can have this effect.
Phospholipids are one of the main components of cell membranes in the human body, and they are the basic guarantee for the membrane to perform its functions. In the alveolar cavity, there exists a pulmonary surfactant composed of phospholipids and proteins, among which PC accounts for 70%, and it is a physiological active substance that maintains the respiratory function of the lungs. Lack of PC can cause alveolar collapse, loss of expansion and contraction function, and sufficient PC is an effective substance to improve lung function and increase hypoxia tolerance. Egg yolk lecithin contains a certain amount of arachidonic acid (AA), which is not present in other phospholipids, and therefore also has various functions of AA.