lecithin

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lec·i·thin

(les'i-thin),
Traditional term for 1,2-diacyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholines or 3-sn-phosphatidylcholines, phospholipids that on hydrolysis yield two fatty acid molecules and a molecule each of glycerophosphoric acid and choline. In some varieties of lecithin, both fatty acids are saturated, others contain only unsaturated acids (for example, oleic, linoleic, or arachidonic acid); in others again, one fatty acid is saturated, the other unsaturated. Lecithins are yellowish or brown waxy substances, readily miscible in water, in which they appear under the microscope as irregular elongated particles known as "myelin forms," and are found in nervous tissue, especially in the myelin sheaths, in egg yolk, and as essential constituents of animal and vegetable cells.
[G. lekithos, egg yolk]

lecithin

(lĕs′ə-thĭn)
n.
1. Any of various substances containing phosphatidylcholine and a variety of other phospholipids, extracted from soybeans, egg yolks, or other sources and used as emulsifiers in a wide range of commercial products, including foods, cosmetics, paints, and plastics.

lecithin

A phospholipid extracted from soybeans, which is believed to:
(1) Improve memory (based on lecithin’s choline, which is incorporated into acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter); and 
(2) Improve the lipid profile by increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol and decreasing LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
 
Although there is little peer-reviewed data either confirming or refuting lecithin’s efficacy for the above indications, it is widely sold in health food for these supposed effects.

lec·i·thin

(les'i-thin)
Traditional term for phospholipids that on hydrolysis yield two fatty acid molecules and a molecule each of glycerophosphoric acid and choline. Lecithins are found in nervous tissue, especially in the myelin sheaths, in egg yolk, and as essential constituents of animal and vegetable cells.
[G. lekithos, egg yolk]

lecithin

any of a group of phospholipids, composed of choline, phosphoric acid, fatty acids and glycerol, found in animal and plant tissues.

lec·i·thin

(les'i-thin)
Lecithin is a yellowish or brown waxy substance, readily miscible in water, in which it appears under the microscope as irregular elongated particles known as "myelin forms"; found in nervous tissue, especially in the myelin sheaths, in egg yolk, and as essential constituents of animal and vegetable cells.
[G. lekithos, egg yolk]
References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile, soybean lecithin produced a significant increase (P < 0.05) in the activity of total alkaline proteases, chymotrypsin, trypsin, and lipase compared with larvae fed with diets containing fish oil despite lipid level.
The relative expression of FAS and ACC1 showed significant differences (Nemenyi, P < 0.05) between oil sources, being lower in the fish fed with diets containing soybean lecithin (Fig.
Based on the results obtained during this experiment, it is considered that the replacement of fish oil with soybean lecithin at a level between 15 and 20% in the diet provides the necessary energy for optimal development, reflected in better growth performance, survival and feed conversion factor for C.
In this same sense, FCR improved significantly with the use of soybean lecithin, which was previously reported in turbot Psetta maxima (Regost et al., 2003), pikeperch Sander lucioperca (Hamza et al., 2008) and barramundi Lates calcarifer (Salini et al., 2016).
Considering the above-mentioned, soybean lecithin is a byproduct derived from crude soybean oil, from a process called degumming, which consists in separating the phospholipids from the oil, obtaining at the end a thick consistency with a high proportion of phospholipids (Daniel, 2004).
The rate of transcription of genes associated with the synthesis of fatty acids (FAS and ACC1) were statistically lower in the fish fed the diets containing soybean lecithin. In this regard, previous studies have shown that diets rich in PUFA such as DHA or EPA and a high level of ALA inhibit the expression of FAS, which have been detected in common carp Cyprinus carpio, rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss, and Atlantic salmon Salmo salar (Peng et al., 2014).
Instead, soybean lecithin contains different classes of phospholipids, among which phosphatidylcholine (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) stand out for their greater proportion, with PC generally having a greater effect in promoting the growth of fish.