The Basics -
To understand the function lecithin serves in AGN Roots Grass-fed Whey protein, it’s important to view protein as simply a chain of amino acids (polypeptides). To go deeper, take a look at the back of our package and you’ll notice a tabular Amino Acid Profile which contains the names and quantities of these polypeptides. Each of these peptide structures contain both hydrophilic (soluble in water) & hydrophobic (not water soluble) side chains. This is why single ingredient whey protein doesn’t readily dissolve in water. The hydrophobic components of protein that are essentially oil based will naturally never mix with water. As a result, intact whey protein that hasn’t been denatured through processing (exposure to heat, hydrolysis, or acids) would need some support to easily mix and disperse into water. This “support” that is applied to many dairy products is known as the emulsification process and it can be applied both mechanically and molecularly. Emulsifiers are everywhere and used in many industries to allow fats to be uniformly dispersed in water (i.e. milk) and likewise for water to be uniformly dispersed in fats (i.e. butter). This is also why we use “soap and water” to wash our hands. If there is any oil on your hands, water alone would take a while to clean it off.
If the first thing you can do after opening a milk carton is to skim the cream and fat off the top, chances are your milk has NOT undergone a homogenization process (emulsification). This process involves flowing high quantities of pasteurized milk through a very small area that is no wider than the width of a hair. The pressures and velocities of this process disrupt the fat globules within the milk, forcing them to disperse into much smaller ones. This emulsion method is considered mechanical and has a shelf life; when you see old milk start to separate, this is the emulsion breaking down over time and the fats rejoining other fats and floating to the surface. Fun Fact – You can safely consume milk that has not been homogenized, however consuming “raw” milk that has not been pasteurized can be extremely dangerous.
In nature there are several organic amphiphilic agents (capable of attracting both oil and water-based components) that essentially serve as universal adaptors, capable of bringing together oil and water without the brute force of a homogenizer. “Lecithin” happens to be one of these natural agents and exists in abundance in both animal and plant tissues. It’s considered critical for the healthy function the brain, blood, nerves, and digestive system. Our bodies use lecithin to support critical processes such as metabolism and the creation of specific neurotransmitters. It is also used in general to protect the integrity of our cell membranes. Fun Fact - Lecithin is present in every single cell of our bodies.
Why Lecithin in AGN Roots Grass-fed Whey -
The very small amount of non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin within AGN Roots Grass-fed Whey allows our community of health enthusiasts access to nutrition-on-the-go without the clumps and chunks associated with mixing protein in a water-based solution without electric agitation. With the unwavering commitment that the integrity of our product was in no way sacrificed by the addition of sunflower lecithin. This was a clear choice given the benefits and given that lecithin has no ill effects. AGN Roots Grass-fed Why does not have a stance on whether there is an advantageous recovery window to consume your protein, such as immediately after working out or not. When presented with opportunity to afford our consumers the convenience of a superior Grass-fed whey product that was also available for immediate consumption at any time while maintaining the absolute integrity of our product, we seized it. As a result, AGN roots Grass-fed Whey can be mixed with a spoon or a shaker bottle on the go. As it is an unflavored, just about naked product in every sense of the word, we do encourage a blender or magic bullet be used at home with all kinds of your favorite fruits and natural or organic flavors. Spice it up, have fun with your nutrition!
Why Sunflower over Soy Lecithin -
Naturally, AGN Roots Grass Grass-fed Whey would only be satisfied with the highest quality lecithin available. Without a doubt the healthiest lecithin comes from sunflower seeds. Our Sunflower Lecithin is Non-GMO and naturally and mechanically extracted from sunflower seeds in a 100% chemical free process. Many other lecithin sources, including the more common soy-lecithin on the other hand, requires chemicals (alcohols and petroleum based) to extract from their respective sources. Soy lecithin also carries within it properties that may impact your hormones (estrogen levels) although at these quantities, that is highly unlikely. Additionally, there is a whole other facet of uncertainty around GMOs and the impacts of consuming soy. Soy lecithin is a double hitter with 75% of soy lecithin made by GMO. Another benefit of Sunflower Lecithin is that it provides a valuable source of phosphatidylcholine, which is linked to improved digestion and cognitive health. Speaking of benefits…
As a standalone supplement, Lecithin can be bought your local pharmacy. While soybean lecithin tends to come in granulated capsule form, you can buy sunflower lecithin in both powder and liquid form as well. Sunflower lecithin isn’t as common, but many prefer it, especially if trying to avoid genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as mentioned earlier.
Although there is no substitute for performing your own research; below you’ll find a summary and consensus from the many sources we’ve found over the years to be credible. If you have more research or have personal experiences to add value to our community around this topic, we would love to hear from you. We will continue to pursue the latest research to only include ingredients that are irrefutably health-affirming in our Grass-fed whey. These benefits and common claims include -
- Heart Health – Lecithin has a natural proclivity to help balance the fat levels in your bloodstream. This in theory has potential to reduce risks around cardiac issues such as atherosclerosis.
- Brain Protection – Phospholipids (the building blocks of lecithin) have been connected to brain health and the repair processes utilized by neural cells. Regular use of a lecithin supplement can result in faster neural regeneration thus protecting the nervous system.
- Liver Integrity – Lecithin supports the liver’s fat-processing functions. If you’ve ever stepped outside your normal diet and indulged in a very fatty meal, Lecithin can greatly reduce the amount of work your liver needs to do to handle the excess fat.
- Blood Pressure – You’ve probably noticed a theme, but when it comes to excess fat in your blood stream, there is no shortage of potential health risks. Less fat in your blood, the less likely your blood pressure puts strain on your cardiovascular system.
- Boost the Immune System - Research has found that this phospholipid substance speeds the healing process and stimulates the immune system. Largely due to its antioxidant effects, thanks to phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine.
In closing, we strive for pure transparency and hope we’ve provided you enough information to be comfortable with our decision to include ingredient Sunflower Lecithin in our Grass-fed Whey. The small ( < 1% ) non-GMO Sunflower Lecithin addition to our Grass-fed Whey allows for incredible practicality, via ease of mixing without needing a portable blender, for the-the-go enthusiast. Although the amount of Sunflower Lecithin per serving in AGN Roots Grass-fed Whey is miniscule compared to the suggested serving sizes expected from a supplement standpoint, the benefits start even at this low intake threshold. As far as what type Lecithin is preferred, it is obvious that a non-GMO, naturally extracted Sunflower Lecithin is the best decision, and one we stand by and support whole heartedly!