Side effects of lecithin: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews
Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews
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Lecithin Supplements: Risks and Benefits
Lecithin is a very popular dietary supplement. But what do we know about its risks and benefits?
With regard to benefits, we know that lecithin supplements are heavily promoted as a panacea for:
- Cardiovascular health
- Liver and cell function
- Fat transport and fat metabolism
- Reproduction and child development
- Physical performance and muscle function
- Cell communication
- Improvement in memory, learning, and reaction time
- Relief of arthritis
- Healthy hair and skin
- Treatment for gallstones
I have always been suspicious of promotions that promise to cure all human ailments. So it doesn’t surprise me to find that a recent review of a number of scientific papers on PubMed reveals that the researchers still refer to hoped for lecithin benefits with terms like “may,” “might,” “theoretically could” and not with “does. ” Further, most papers and credible health-related websites point out that there is a woeful lack of research about the efficacy of this particular dietary supplement.
So, I believe that, at this point in time, it is safe to say that none of the claims about lecithin have any credible evidence to back them up.
There are two possible but minor exceptions
- Lecithin is a natural emulsifier, so claims that it dissolves gallstones may be credible. However, I haven’t come across a good study documenting it. And, WebMD gives lecithin treatment of gallstones an unenthusiastic “recommendation” of possibly ineffective.
- A small study out of Tokyo recently found that high-dose (1200 mg/day) soy lecithin increased “vigor” in middle-aged women who presented with fatigue compared to a placebo. The study was funded by Kikkoman, a Japanese food producer that makes a variety of soy products, such as soy sauce and soy milk.
What is lecithin?
Lecithin is actually a mixture of different fatty substances called glycerophospholipids, including:
- phosphatidylcholine (often thought synonymous with lecithin)
- phosphatidic acid
Lecithin is found in egg yolk, meats, soy, seeds, such as sunflower and rapeseed, and some vegetables, such as corn. Soy is the source of most commercial lecithin, although sunflower lecithin is increasingly popular because of concerns about GMOs in soy and food allergy labeling regulations.
Is there really lecithin in your lecithin supplement?
You probably assume that when you take lecithin supplements, you are actually getting lecithin. However, as is the case with many nutritional supplements, commercial preparations vary widely in the amount the substance that is actually in their product.
Why such variability? Because the suppliers of supplements were exempted by Congress from adhering to any standards of manufacture, purity, or claims of benefits. How this came about is emblematic of our broken political system, but don’t get me going on this.
Only a fraction of commercial lecithin is made up of the real thing. So, what makes up the rest? The answer: fatty acids!
Not exactly the stuff to help in weight reduction, cardiovascular health, or good liver function. In fact, theoretically, they could work against all those potentially wonderful benefits.
Before we go any further, let me introduce a relatively new medical term: metabolomics. We are all familiar with the concept of genomics, meaning the study of the genome, or the total genetic content and its effect on health and disease.
Similarly, the sum total of chemicals, substrates, and metabolites in the body is called the metabolome. Metabolomics is the study of those substances in health and disease. The advantage of taking an all-inclusive approach is that it is unbiased.
The classical scientific approach is to study a specific gene or molecule, essentially ignoring everything else. This is akin to peeping through a keyhole. You see only what the hole allows you to see.
On the other hand, studying the whole genome or the whole metabolome gives a complete picture of everything that is involved in the process being studied.
For instance, for many years, only one or two genes were thought to be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes. Why? Because these were the only genes that “made sense” as targets for study. The advent of whole-genome studies demonstrated the involvement of dozens of genes in the disease. This was a complete surprise.
What’s the downside of lecithin supplements?
So, let’s return to the question at hand. If lecithin supplements don’t cause any harm, why not give it the benefit of the doubt? After all, a future study may prove its benefit.
In a paper published in Nature, Wang and his collaboratorsat the Cleveland Clinic studied the metabolic fate of lecithin. They used the metabolomic approach to look for circulating small molecules associated with coronary heart disease.
They screened blood from patients who had experienced a heart attack or stroke. Then they compared those results with the blood of people who had not had those serious cardiovascular events.
They found major differences in choline, betaine, and trimethylamine (TMA).It turns out that gut bacteria produce these metabolites from lecithin. And then they convert them to trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO).
This terminal metabolite, TMAO, is a known atherogenic substance.
That means it is involved in atherosclerotic plaque formation.
None of the metabolites appeared in the blood after the gut flora was wiped out with an antibiotic. Could it be that the gut flora in people with cardiovascular disease is different in some way from that of healthy people? We don’t know, but we do know that the physiological state of a person can determine the gut flora. For instance, the gut flora of obese people is markedly different from that of the non-obese.
Based on this study alone, we still can’t tell if these lecithin metabolites are causative factors, or whether they are just markers of the disease. This is because correlative studies can show only correlations, not cause and effect.
Lecithin is not the only culprit that leads to TMAO
Is lecithin the only culprit that produces TMAO? Red meat contains another triethylamine. This molecule, called L-Carnitine, is similar to choline and lecithin. Like them, it should be metabolized by the gut flora into MAO and then converted to TMAO in the circulation.
The same Cleveland Clinic group examined the production of TMAO by omnivores, vegans, and vegetarians following the ingestion of L-carnitine.
They found that the omnivorous humans had higher levels of circulating TMAO. The reason? Meat eaters have gut bacterial flora different than vegetarians and vegans.
It contains species that feast on triethylamines:
Confirmation that the gut microbiome is key to the production of TMAO
Let’s look at an interesting study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine by Tang and colleagues. It had two phases.
In the first phase, the investigators gave healthy participants a phosphatidylcholine challenge using a stable isotope-labeled form of the phospholipid. They then used mass spectrometry to monitor choline metabolites before and after the suppression of gut microbiota with broad-spectrum antibiotics.
They found that the phosphatidylcholine challenge increased all choline metabolites. Antibiotics suppressed the generation of TMAO metabolites. After the antibiotics were discontinued, they reappeared.
TMAO also found to correlate with cardiovascular events
In the second phase, the researchers examined the relationship between fasting plasma TMAO levels and incident cardiovascular events over a 3-year period. They studied more than 4,000 participants undergoing elective coronary angiography.
They found an independent, dose-dependent relationship between the metabolite and the risk of a cardiovascular event on the basis of the TMAO quartile. The highest quartile had 2.54 times the risk over the lowest quartile.
The bottom line when it comes to the risks and benefits of lecithin supplementation
Here is what we know about lecithin:
- The phospholipid phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) is the major dietary source of choline, an essential nutrient that is part of the B-complex vitamin family. Choline has various metabolic roles, ranging from its critical involvement in lipid metabolism and cell-membrane structure to its role as a precursor for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
- Red meat, processed meats, and egg yolk contain high levels of lecithin.
- Gut flora metabolizes phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) into three metabolites that show up at high concentrations in people who have had a heart attack or a stroke. They are choline, betaine, and trimethylamine. We metabolize those bacterial metabolites into TMAO, a known atherogenic substance.
- A large 4,000-patient study over 3 years showed a significant correlation between TMAO levels and cardiac events and stroke.
Causality vs correlation
One could argue that that the gold standard for demonstrating causality, namely a randomized, placebo-controlled study has not been done. Fair enough. But the accumulating evidence, both epidemiological and observational, and the detailed mechanistic studies provide a solid foundation for the clinical observation. This puts the onus of proof on the companies that make money off it and the “true believers” who fall for their unsubstantiated claims.
So, how does one make a decision about whether to take lecithin supplements?
Since the lecithin metabolite, TMAO, is a known atherogenic substance, I believe that until we better understand whether it actually causes atherosclerosis, the prudent approach would call for moderation.
That means limiting your intake of the foodstuffs that have high levels of lecithin.
Further, since there is no credible evidence supporting claims of health benefits, there is no reason to take high doses of lecithin in the form of nutritional supplements. If you do choose to take them, based on what we know now, you could be increasing your risk of a heart attack or stroke in exchange for no known benefit. It’s not a good trade-off, in my opinion.
First published – 01/25/2012. The author last updated it on 7/2/20 to include findings from the latest scientific studies.
Dov Michaeli, MD, PhD
Dov Michaeli, M.D., Ph.D. (now retired) was a professor and basic science researcher at the University of California San Francisco. In addition to his clinical and research responsibilities, he also taught biochemistry to first-year medical students for many years.
During this time he was also the Editor of Lange Medical Publications, a company that developed and produced medical texts that were widely used by health professionals around the world.
He loves to write about the brain and human behavior as well as translate knowledge and complicated basic science concepts into entertainment for the rest of us.
He eventually left academia to enter the world of biotech. He served as the Chief Medical Officer of biotech companies, including Aphton Corporation. He also founded and served as the CEO of Madah Medica, an early-stage biotech company that developed products to improve post-surgical pain control.
Now that he is retired, he enjoys working out for two hours every day. He also follows the stock market, travels the world, and, of course, writes for TDWI.
Lecithin: Benefits, Side-Effects, Uses, Dosage
Find out all about lecithin, including what it does, how much you might need, where to find it and who might need to supplement their diet
Written by Cheryl Freedman on December 11, 2018
Reviewed by Fiona Hunter on January 3, 2019
What is lecithin and what does it do?
Lecithin is a fatty substance found in in the cells of your body, plant and animal tissues. It’s made up of fatty acids, and in particular one type of fat molecule called phospholipids – an essential element of cell membranes.1Lecithin – which is named after the Greek word for egg yolk, lekithos – was first isolated from egg yolk in the 1850s.2 Nowadays, it’s used commercially as an emulsifier in packaged foods and occurs naturally in certain foods, including:3
- egg yolks
Lecithin is used to:4,5
- lower cholesterol
- support breast-feeding
- reduce feelings of tiredness
Benefits of lecithin
What does lecithin do in the body?
Once in the body, lecithin breaks down into choline,6 a vitamin-like nutrient that is important for a healthy liver. Choline also helps break down fat into energy that our bodies can use.7Lecithin is also found in breast milk. Some women use it to reduce the viscosity of breast milk, which helps prevent blocked milk ducts that make it difficult to breast-feed easily. However, there are no studies proving it can work for this purpose.8
It also has the following additional health benefits:
It can ease tiredness – lecithin can reduce feelings of tiredness and weakness, according to the EU’s Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products.9 Meanwhile, a 2018 study in Nutritional Journal reported that a high daily dose (1200mg) of lecithin increased energy and reduced tiredness in women going through the menopause.10
It can reduce cholesterol – scientists think lecithin may raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. In a 2009 study, those taking 500mg daily had 56% lower LDL cholesterol after two months.11
If you’re interested in taking lecithin, talk to your GP or a medical practitioner beforehand.
How much lecithin is safe to take?
There’s no reference nutrient intake (RNI) for lecithin so read the label of any supplements carefully. For breast-feeding, the Canadian Breast-feeding Foundation recommends 1200mg of lecithin four times a day.12
The following groups should not take soy lecithin:
- children under 12 years old13
- people who are allergic to soya, soya beans, peanuts or legumes (beans, lentils, peas), eggs and birch pollen – there is a risk of an allergic reaction14
What are the side-effects of taking lecithin?
Soya bean lecithin supplements are natural substances and generally regarded as safe to take. However, they can cause side-effects including:15
- stomach ache
Stop consuming soy lecithin if you notice these symptoms, and see your doctor.
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP before trying any remedies.
1. Science Direct. Lecithin
2. Encyclopedia.com. Lecithin
3. As Source 1
4. Kathryn Watson. Healthline. Lecithin Benefits
5. Drugs and Lactation Database. Lecithin
6. As Source 1
7. European Commission. EU Register of nutrition and health claims made on food
8. As Source 5
9. European Medicines Agency. Soya-bean lecithin
10. Hirose A, et al. Effect of soy lecithin on fatigue and menopausal symptoms in middle-aged women: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study
11. Mourad AM, et al. Influence of Soy Lecithin Administration on Hypercholesterolemia
12. Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation. Treatments for problems: Lecithin
13. As Source 9
14. As Source 9
15. As Source 9
5+ Benefits of Lecithin (Soy, Sunflower) + Side Effects
Fats are largely misunderstood and avoided in many diets. However, lecithin is a naturally occurring, healthy fat that may have myriad health benefits. Read on to discover what foods contain lecithin and how it affects the human body.
What Is Lecithin?
Lecithin is a naturally occurring fat found in many plant and animal sources [1, 2].
Lecithin is a term for a group of yellow-pigmented fatty substances. Lecithins generally contain groups of phospholipids, which are key structural and functional components of cell membranes in all animals and plants .
Lecithin maintains and stabilizes fat in many food products. They also provide texture to many foods and increase their shelf life. Lecithin has the ability to bind water and fat sources, making it a common additive to many desserts, chocolates, salad dressings, meat products, and cooking oils [4, 5, 6].
Popular lecithins include soy lecithin and sunflower lecithin.
Soy lecithin is extracted from soybeans.
It is composed of free fatty acids and small amounts of proteins and carbohydrates. The main component in soy lecithin is phosphatidylcholine, which comprises between 20% to 80% of the total fat amount .
Active components in lecithin include :
- Sodium oleate
Phosphatidylcholine, the main fat found in lecithin, is a source of choline, an important nutrient that is critical for 4 main purposes in the human body :
- Cell membrane structure and signaling
- Synthesis of the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is required for brain and muscle function 
- Helps the process that controls the activation and blockage of genes (uses methyl groups to mark DNA)
- Fat transportation and keeping the fats circulating in your bloodstream in balance
Choline is also very important in breaking down homocysteine .
Lecithin is a fatty compound, rich in choline, that can be found in many plant and animal sources. The most common form used in food production is soy lecithin.
Phosphatidylcholine and the Choline Pathway
Mechanism of Action
Lecithin contains fatty acids that can activate gene-regulating receptors (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors). Once activated, these receptors play a major role in energy balance and metabolic function [11, 12].
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors exist in many types of tissues such as in the heart, liver, muscle, fat, and intestine. These tissues rely on receptor activation for the promotion of fatty acid, ketone bodies, and glucose metabolism. Ketone bodies are used by the body as a source of energy [13, 14].
Natural Lecithin Sources
Lecithin is a common food additive but is also found in many natural sources.
Some vegetarian sources include [15, 16, 17]:
- Egg (yolk)
- Brussels sprouts
- Vegetable oil
Most animal sources generally provide a larger source of lecithin and choline. Some of the best animal sources include [15, 16, 17]:
- Chicken liver
- Chicken kidney
- Beef Liver
Potential Health Benefits of Lecithin
Regulations set manufacturing standards for lecithin supplements but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before using lecithin supplements, and discuss better-studied alternatives to meet your goals.
Insufficient Evidence For
Lecithin is a frequent food additive, but supplements have not been approved by the FDA for medical use due to a lack of solid clinical research. In fact, despite a relatively large body of research, lecithin has not been found to be effective for any medical purpose. The potential benefits we discuss in this section should be considered speculative at best; more research is required to confirm or refute any and all of them.
Chronic high cholesterol leads to many heart-related complications such as heart attacks.
In one study of 30 patients, participants with high cholesterol levels took 500 mg of soy lecithin daily for 2 months. After 2 months, total cholesterol levels and bad (LDL) cholesterol levels were reduced by 42% and 56%, respectively .
Soy lecithin increased liver production of good (HDL) cholesterol in a 4-week study of 65 patients. Good cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from the body, and higher levels protect against heart attack and stroke .
Larger and more robust clinical trials are required to investigate whether lecithin can really lower cholesterol.
In limited clinical studies, lecithin supplementation reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol.
2) Mental Illness
Lecithin contains a phospholipid called phosphatidylinositol, a natural compound that may be effective against panic disorder .
In a study of 6 mania patients, 5 of them experienced better mental health with consumption of pure lecithin .
A meta-analysis of lecithin reported that it was worth investigating further as complementary therapy for bipolar disorder .
Again, larger and more powerful human trials will be required to confirm or refute these benefits. There is currently not enough evidence to recommend lecithin to improve mental health; talk to your doctor about better-studied strategies with more research behind them.
Lecithin supplements were linked to improved mental health in a pilot study, but this result has yet to be further investigated in larger studies.
3) Liver Health
Cholestatic liver disease is the slowing of bile flow due to damaged or inflamed bile ducts. Mice experienced less liver damage when on soybean lecithin supplemented diet .
Individuals with choline deficiency are more susceptible to liver damage and liver failure. Choline in lecithin is first broken down in the liver, where it helps to absorb fats .
The effect of lecithin on the human liver has not yet been studied; research on this potential benefit has thus far been limited to animals.
4) Stress Response
Lecithin may improve the body’s resilience to stress. A study of 80 men and women divided into 4 groups of 20 individuals. Before exposure to a stress test, participants were given either 400, 600, or 800 mg of soy lecithin plus phosphatidylserine (another phospholipid that is commonly present in lecithin) or placebo for 3 weeks .
Interestingly, only the 400 mg group showed a decreased stress response to the stress test compared to the placebo .
These results will need to be repeated in larger and more robust human trials.
The lecithin derivative phosphatidylcholine makes up over 70% of the total fats found in the mucus layer covering the inner surface of the intestine. This layer serves as a protective barrier that helps maintain the digestive tract from bacteria .
Colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that targets the inner lining of the colon with inflammation. In colitis, there is a significant reduction in phosphatidylcholine content in the protective mucus barrier allowing bacteria to easily cause inflammation .
Supplementation of phosphatidylcholine in a study of 60 colitis patients was able to restore the mucus barrier and decrease inflammation caused by colitis .
Lecithin supplements decreased inflammation in a study of colitis patients. Larger and more robust human trials are still needed.
Animal & Cell Research (Lacking Evidence)
No clinical evidence supports the use of lecithin for any of the conditions listed in this section. Below is a summary of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide further investigational efforts. However, the studies listed below should not be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.
In one study, diabetic rats given a daily supplement of soy lecithin had a 29% increase in white blood cell activity .
Meanwhile, non-diabetic rats had a 92% increase in overall white blood cells (T and B cells) .
This potential benefit has only been studied in animals; human trials will be required to confirm and repeat it.
7) Bile Salt Injury
The liver produces bile. The gallbladder stores it to digest dietary fats such as cholesterol. When bile levels are too high, bile salts can damage cells by digesting their fatty cell membrane. Lecithin may bind to and reduce bile salt levels, protecting cells from harm [29, 30].
This benefit is speculative and has not yet been investigated in human trials.
8) Absorption of Drugs and Supplements
Improving drug absorption is a contentious area of study.
Some drugs and supplements can have improved effects if more is absorbed into the body. However, some could become toxic if the body cannot properly distribute, break down, and eliminate a drug in larger amounts .
Lecithin may help transport fat-soluble drugs and nutrients across fat insoluble cell membranes. For example, supplements such as curcumin, Boswellia serrata, green tea, silymarin, and grape seed extract have all shown enhanced absorption when delivered with lecithin [32, 33].
Talk to your doctor before supplementing with lecithin to avoid any unexpected interactions with medications or supplements you are already taking.
Lecithin & Brain Health
Some people use lecithin to improve brain health, but studies on the subject have been mixed, contradictory, or negative. For example, a meta-analysis found that lecithin supplementation did not have a significant benefit to people with dementia; according to the authors, the evidence was not sufficient even to recommend a larger trial .
People who believe that lecithin improves brain health may base their beliefs in a handful of positive studies. In one such study, phosphatidylserine (from soy lecithin) blended with phosphatidic acid improved memory, mood, and thinking ability in a 3-month study of 72 elderly patients. This same mixture also showed improved daily function, mood, and general condition in a different 2-month study of 56 Alzheimer’s patients .
However, in a study of 51 subjects, using high doses of lecithin did not improve symptoms in dementia patients .
Lecithin has been studied for potential use in brain health. Ultimately, however, lecithin has been found to be likely ineffective for this purpose.
In another study, researchers compared 3,101 previous breast cancer cases to 3,471 healthy subjects. Use of lecithin supplements was associated with reduced incidence of breast cancer .
Lecithin supplementation was also strongly associated with reduced incidence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, but not premenopausal women .
These results are promising, but additional research will be required to determine whether lecithin can consistently decrease breast cancer risk.
Lecithin currently has no clinical role in cancer prevention or treatment, but it is under investigation because of an inverse association with breast cancer.
Side Effects & Precautions
Since soy lecithin comes from soybean oil, it contains soy proteins that can trigger soy allergies. However, blood from soybean-sensitive patients showed no reaction to soy lecithin. Soy lecithin presents a low risk for people with minor reactivity to soy .
Lecithin contains Immunoglobulin E (IgE) binding proteins. When these proteins bind to the immune system’s antibodies, the antibodies trigger an allergic response which can cause rapid inflammation and digestion discomfort. Those with a soy allergy should be cautious even with other lecithin based products [39, 40].
2) Blood Clotting
A 15-day study with 60 patients showed a daily dosage of soy lecithin increased blood cell clumping (platelet adhesion) in the blood. Blood platelets are responsible for sealing damaged blood vessels. However, increased activity of blood platelets is linked to heart disease [41, 42].
3) Infertility in Men
Soy products, including soy lecithin, contain the plant hormone phytoestrogen, which acts like the human hormone, estrogen .
Researchers took pregnant rats with male fetuses and added phytoestrogens to their diet. Later in their development, the male rats had a lower sperm count and hormone imbalances [44, 45].
4) Fat Build-up
Lecithin promoted fat production and storage in mouse cells. Human liver cells started to build up fat storage when introduced to lecithin .
Some people may be allergic to lecithin, and supplementation has also been associated with blood clotting, increased estrogens, and fat buildup.
After pregnant mice had a soy lecithin-supplemented diet, their offspring later showed behavioral and biological defects, causing laziness and poor balance .
The choline in lecithin can also be a minor cause for concern during pregnancy. When choline reaches the large intestine, gut bacteria and the liver converts it into trimethylamine oxide (TMAO). High levels of trimethylamine oxide may increase the risk of heart disease [47, 48].
Lecithin was shown to increase platelet adhesion, which could reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners such as aspirin. Aspirin thins the blood by decreasing the clotting effect of platelets in the blood .
Limitations and Caveats
Many of the available lecithin studies only test animals, so some benefits may not be replicated in humans. More human trials are required; talk to a doctor before you use lecithin for its purported health benefits.
There is no established safe and effective dosage for lecithin supplements. The most common dosages used in studies range from 0.5 to 2 g/ day [18, 49, 50].
The largest dose of lecithin used in a study ranged from 20 to 25 g/day .
Lecithin is a fatty compound rich in choline and other active components. It is most often extracted from soy, though many plant and animal fats contain lecithin.
Clinical studies indicate that lecithin supplementation may play a role in cholesterol, mental health, and liver health. Most other research has been limited to animals thus far.
What Are the Dangers of Soy Lecithin Ingestion?
Soy lecithin is a common ingredient in hundreds of processed foods, including cereals, pasta, breads, soy milk and many meats. Lecithin is also available as a health supplement; proponents claim that it can benefit the heart, brain, liver and athletic performance. However, there are potential dangers of soy lecithin that could outweigh the possible benefits.
To solve the problem of disposing of the gummy waste residual generated from the soy oil refining process, German companies patented a process of vacuum drying the sludge to make soybean lecithin. Although lecithin originally had many uses, today soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier in foods and infant formulas and also as a health supplement.
In 2007, the GMO Compass reported that soy lecithin, like many food products in American supermarkets, contained genetically modified soy. Genetically modified, or GM, foods are biotechnically changed to increase yields and resistance to herbicides and insects. Some health-food advocates and scientists have concerns with the potential long-term impact from eating genetically modified food. For example, a study published in the “Journal of Applied Toxicology” discovered that mice fed GM soybean developed a decrease in pancreatic function. Although the nutrition of the soy was not altered, the study showed that as few as five days of feeding GM food caused pancreatic cellular changes, which were reversed after 30 days of non-GM foods.
A compound of soy lecithin, phytoestrogen, can produce effects on the body similar to the hormone estrogen. Soy phytoestrogens may promote an increased risk of breast cancer in adult women by altering or decreasing natural estrogen, although the direct link to cancer is inconclusive. One study reported by Cornell University examined 28 women receiving soy supplements for six months. The women were found to have an increased growth of milk ducts in their breasts, which is a leading forerunner of cancer, according to the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors in New York State. Conclusions suggest that premenopausal women may be at greatest risk, but further research is needed.
Soy and soy lecithin contain a compound called fenistein that may have a negative effect on fertility and reproduction. According to a study at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, rats that were fed soybeans containing genistein produced offspring with abnormal reproductive organs, including smaller testes, larger prostate glands and lower testosterone levels. Conclusions suggested that exposure to soy during reproductive development could have long-term detrimental effects in males, ultimately leading to reproductive abnormalities and sexual dysfunction.
Soy lecithin may affect immature brain cells leading to impeded brain development. “Developmental Psychobiology” published the results of a study on brain function in rats fed soy lecithin. Groups were divided into pregnant rats, rats in fetal development and weaned offspring. In the earliest stages, deficits in sensory motor skills, including righting and swimming abilities, were observed in the soy lecithin group. Long-term consumption of soy lecithin produced rats that were inactive physically and mentally with poor reflexes. The study concluded that soy lecithin supplementation in early stages of life may lead to behavioral and cerebral abnormalities.
Because lecithin and other dietary supplements do not need FDA approval, there is no defined recommended daily amount. In addition, different brands of supplements may vary in content, purity and strength, which makes safe and effective dosing inconsistent. Talk to your doctor about the amount of lecithin required for your condition. If you are concerned about the amount of lecithin from food you are ingesting, read labels carefully. Lecithin must be listed on labels containing soy in accordance with The Federal Food and Drug Act. However, many processed foods, including fast foods, baked goods and delicatessen and meat products, are not labeled.
Soy lecithin NSAID combo drug protects against cancer with fewer side effects, UTHealth reports — ScienceDaily
When scientists at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) applied a chemical found in soybeans to a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), they increased its anticancer properties and reduced its side effects. Findings of the preclinical study of phosphatidylcholine, also called lecithin, appear in the journal Oncology Letters.
“The results support the potential use of NSAIDs associated with phosphatidylcholine for the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer,” said Lenard Lichtenberger, Ph.D., the study’s lead investigator and a professor of integrative biology and pharmacology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
The NSAID indomethacin associated with phosphatidylcholine was studied in a head-to-head comparison with three other NSAIDs (one of them aspirin). According to the results, the combination provided superior colorectal cancer protection with less gastrointestinal bleeding. The study was conducted in a mouse model and in laboratory experiments.
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States and is expected to claim 50,630 lives this year.
NSAIDs work by decreasing the production of substances that promote inflammation, pain and fever. They are used to prevent heart disease and reduce arthritis pain. NSAIDs, notably aspirin, also guard against colorectal cancer.
“Many cancers are inflammation based,” he said. “The anti-inflammatory drugs also have the potential use for cancer therapy.”
However, when taken on a daily basis for months to years, NSAIDs can cause problems, Lichtenberger said. “The intestinal injury is worse than the stomach ulcers, for non-aspirin NSAIDs like indomethacin,” he said.
“This is our latest preclinical study on the use of phosphatidylcholine to mitigate the side effects of using NSAIDs and protect against a number of cancers,” he said.
Materials provided by University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
The 7 Most Common Soy Lecithin Side Effects (And How to Avoid Them)
The most common soy lecithin side effects and how to avoid them by choosing a quality source of soy with no contaminants.
What is soy lecithin?
Soy lecithin is a mixture of phospholipids, naturally occurring fatty molecules, that is derived during the processing of soy beans. It is often found in chocolate bars, and sometimes in ice cream, peanut butter and margerines, where it works as an emulsifier by keeping the ingredients together. It is also added to dough to make it less sticky and easier to rise.
The most basic and natural use is the role that it plays in the breakdown of fats in your body. However, not all sources of soy are equal and there are a few soy lecithin side effects that you will need to be aware of.
The main problem with soy lecithin is that is derived from soy beans. Soy beans are widely known to have one of the highest pesticide contamination levels of any crop.
During the processing of soy beans solvents are used to degum the soybean oil and this is very likely to lead to chemical solvents and contaminant in the soy lecithin. Also, if the soybeans are not organic, then soy lecithin may also contain harmful herbicides and pesticides. Many soybeans are also genetically modified, a process which as yet has not been concluded to be safe and should be avoided.
However, soy lecithin side effects are outweighed by the benefits, especially if you choose the right supplement with the right source of soy.
What are the side effects of soy lecithin?
The most important side effect is that if you have a serious soy allergy, you should avoid all products which contain it. Here are the main soy lecithin side effects to be aware of:
Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea
Changes in weight (loss and gain)
Loss of appetite
Nausea, dizziness, vomiting and confusion
Low blood pressure (which is just as dangerous as high blood pressure)
Blurred vision and occasional fainting
Now, these side effects sound severe – and some of them are – but it is worth remembering that they are almost all as a result of pesticides and chemicals applied to many soy crops. If you choose a good source of soy lecithin, you should have no problem with any of these side effects. Want to know how to avoid them by choosing a good soy source?
Recommended Soy Lecithin Product
Actually, soy is not the only source of lecithin. It can be found naturally in a number of foods. The best sources of lecithin in food are eggs and bee pollen. It can be found in wheat, peanuts and oatmeal as well, but I would personally avoid these foods as they are high in calories but low in actual nutritional value.
You can also get excellent soy lecithin benefits by choosing a health supplement which includes it as part of a total range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The best which I have found is Now Foods Non-GMO Lecithin softgels.
What are the benefits of soy lecithin?
Opinions on soy are mixed, but from my own personal experience, and those of others who have tested and experimented as I have, if you choose the right source of soy, there are considerable health benefits that you can experience.
There are three things to look for when choosing a soy lecithin supplement that you absolutely must adhere to if you want only the best quality without negative side effects.
Choose soy that follows strict guidelines for toxicity. Pesticide levels are high on many soy crops so to avoid the potential health problems these harmful chemicals cause you should always choose a manufacturer that complies with Good Manufacturing Practices for human food products as established by the US FDA, the European Commission and the World Health Organization’s CODEX.
Ensure the soy is fermented. Many soy sources are unfermented, and while this may seem like the better choice, studies have shown that unfermented soy contains toxins and plant oestrogens that could disrupt menstrual cycles, cause breast cancer, damage your thyroid, lower testosterone and cause prostate problems as well as being difficult to digest. Fermenting soy dramatically reduces these risks but still retains all the good nutrients needed to be healthier.
Check that the soy is not genetically modified. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) pose considerable health risks and unfortunately, soy is one of the crops most likely to be modified. Long term effects are unknown and there is an increased risk of hidden toxins or interactions with other nutrients that you cannot predict. There are also no label requirements so you really have no idea what you are getting. When you consider that one in four food products are GMO, you really are risking your health by choosing food which has been genetically altered. To get the soy lecithin benefits, always check that the soy source is not genetically modified.
Although the soy used in Now Foods is not officially certified as organic, it is non-GM and is also manufactured in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices for human food products as established by the US FDA, the European Commission and the World Health Organization’s CODEX.
Their soy lecithin also complies with standards for contaminants, natural toxicants, residues and food standards to ensure nothing harmful is present.
While some people will tell you only to choose organic soy beans, I would say that Now Foods are a very reputable, family-run business and that if they say their soy is contaminant free, then they will be true to their word. In fact, you can always contact them and you will receive a personal response answering all your questions. This is how I found out about their soy source.
To learn more about Now Foods and their soy lecithin supplements just click here now.
Part of the preparations:
It is a complex of phospholipids (phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylinositol) contained in soybean lecithin.Essential phospholipids are components of the liver cell membrane and are necessary not only for the formation, but also for the stabilization of the biological structure and regeneration of the liver cell membranes. In various liver diseases, lecithin reduces the cytotoxic effect of lymphocytes and hepatocyte necrosis. Irreplaceable phospholipids regulate the work of cellular mechanisms: ion exchange, tissue respiration, biological oxidation; help to improve the activity of respiratory enzymes in mitochondria, energy metabolism of cells and normalize impaired lipid metabolism.It normalizes protein and fat metabolism, has a lipotropic effect, protects the cellular structure of the liver, restores the immune functions of lymphocytes and macrophages.
Indication of the active substance
Soy Lecithin – description of the ingredient, instructions for use, indications and contraindications
Description of soy lecithin
Soy Lecithin, or E322, is a food supplement obtained from soybeans. First, the oil is extracted with hexane, then it is degummed so that the lecithin can be separated and dried.To obtain it, other raw materials are also used: seeds of cotton, sunflower, milk, rapeseed and marine raw materials. The product was first isolated in 1846 from egg yolk.
Soy lecithin is used in liquid and capsule form to enrich the diet. It is an effective emulsifier, therefore it is added to semi-finished products, food additives and medicines.
Oil does not dissolve in water. However, thanks to lecithin, the process of its emulsification takes place: it breaks down into small fragments, which gives the product uniformity and facilitates its absorption by the body.
Composition of soy lecithin
Soy lecithin consists of the following components:
90,052 90,053 choline;
90,053 fatty acids, including omega-3 and -6;
Properties of lecithin from soy
Lecithin’s phospholipids form the structure of cell membranes and are essential for energy storage. By supplying the body with an additional dose of phospholipids, it is possible to replace damaged membranes and restore their function. This therapy is called lipid replacement therapy. It eases the course of metabolic syndrome and degenerative pathologies, smoothes the manifestations of diabetes and relieves fatigue.
Two main types of phospholipids that make up membranes are phosphatidylserine and phosphatidicholine. The first is concentrated mainly in the human brain. Its supplementation helps improve brain function in the elderly and may also be beneficial for mental disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.The second is the primary form of choline.
Soy Lecithin is able to lower the level of low density lipoproteins and improve the production of high density lipoproteins in the liver. In other words, lecithin capsules help reduce the concentration of “bad” cholesterol in the body and increase the level of “good” cholesterol. They can be used in the complex therapy of hypercholesterolemia.
Taking soy lecithin supplements strengthens the immune system, improves cognitive functions, reduces the risk of osteoporosis, and alleviates the manifestations of menopause.The product helps the body to overcome physical and psychological stress.
Attention! Lecithin is actively used in cosmetology. It enhances the skin’s ability to retain moisture, which helps prevent dryness and premature aging.
Contraindications and side effects
When taken in large quantities, soy lecithin inhibits the endocrine system and can provoke an allergic reaction.The risk of side effects is minimal, but it is still worth observing the measure.
Application rules and standards
The optimal dosage of soy lecithin for adults is 1 capsule twice a day. Additive in granules can be added to non-hot food three times a day for 1 tsp.
Attention! It is recommended to drink a glass of kefir with lecithin before bedtime to calm the nervous system and make it easier to fall asleep.
Lecithin – description of the ingredient, instructions for use, indications and contraindications
Description of lecithin
Lecithin is a fatty substance.It contains phospholipids, triglycerides and some other compounds. As a natural emulsifier, it has found wide application in the food industry and cosmetology.
Properties and applications of lecithin
Lecithin is an ester. It is used in the cosmetic and food industries as a surface-active component, since it manifests itself well at the interface between the phases of different substances. It can be used to obtain stable oil / water emulsions.
The code E322 was assigned to lecithin as a food additive. It is added to chocolate to lower its viscosity in the mouth and extend its shelf life. In addition, the substance is included in the formulations of bakery, pasta, confectionery, mayonnaise, margarine.
Lecithin is a part of hepatoprotectors for the liver as an active ingredient. On its basis, a number of biologically active additives and such well-known medicines as “Essentiale Forte” and “Esliver Forte” are produced.Also, the substance is used in cosmetology.
Effect on the body and norms
Lecithin is an irreplaceable substance for humans. It is essential for healthy cell growth and differentiation. The body does not produce it on its own, so it should be supplied from the outside.
Due to its emulsifying properties, lecithin normalizes the consistency of bile, preventing the formation of gallstones. Fat-like substance protects liver cells, contributing to the restoration of the double phospholipid layer of their membranes, and also reduces the risk of developing hepatic parenchyma dystrophy.
Lecithin breaks down cholesterol, preventing its deposition on the vascular walls, reduces the concentration of low density lipoproteins and increases the content of high density lipoproteins. In addition, substance:
- normalizes blood lipid composition;
- stimulates spermatogenesis;
- prevents erectile dysfunction;
- normalizes the functioning of the pancreas:
- reduces the risk of diabetes;
- increases the elasticity of the membranes of the alveoli in the lungs;
- participates in the synthesis of carnitine;
- activates the immune system;
- promotes weight loss.
Food Sources of Lecithin
The best food sources of lecithin are egg yolks, fish roe, soybeans. From the latter, the substance is obtained on an industrial scale.
Attention! All lecithin-rich foods contain high doses of saturated fat, so they should not be overused. If it is necessary to make up for the lack of a fat-like compound, it is better to use dietary supplements.
Contraindications and side effects
Lecithin in capsules is contraindicated in case of a tendency to allergic manifestations, exacerbation of pancreatitis, cholelithiasis. The only known side effect is allergies, with itching, redness and skin rashes.
Attention! In order to neutralize the toxic metabolic products of lecithin with long-term use, it is recommended to consume more calcium and vitamin C.
Preventive and therapeutic use
Lecithin is available in the form of capsules, powder and solution. The powder is added to dishes 1 scoop 1-2 times a day. Capsules are taken in 2-3 pieces.in a day.
The recommended daily intake of lecithin is 2-3 g without taking into account the substance obtained with food. This amount will help normalize brain function, improve performance and improve well-being.
Lecithin: instruction, application, price
Lecithin – a preparation containing a substance that promotes the formation and restoration of cell membranes. It is prescribed for liver diseases, to improve the condition after a stroke and in respiratory diseases.
Active ingredient: 1 capsule contains 1200 mg of soy lecithin.
Auxiliary components: purified water, glycerin, gelatin.
Phospholipids have a significant effect on the processes of cell regeneration and detoxification, cell metabolism, are the main components of all organelles and cell membranes.
The drug helps to protect the structure of liver cells, has hepatoprotective and membrane stabilizing properties.
Lecithin promotes the transmission of impulses in nerves and muscles.
BAA helps to restore the surfactant system of the lungs, increase the amount of surfactants (surfactants) and normalize the biochemical state of the exhaled air condensate.
The active ingredient of the dietary supplement has a cardioprotective effect, has a positive effect on blood cholesterol levels, improves the ratio of lipid profile indicators, and also helps to reduce the atherogenic coefficient.
BAA is used as a prophylactic and therapeutic agent for respiratory failure syndrome (acute and chronic). The drug corrects the phospholipid composition of the surfactant pulmonary complex.
Form of issue
The biologically active additive is produced in the form of translucent, soft, oblong capsules of 1200 mg amber gelatin No. 30 (30 capsules in a plastic bottle) and No. 100 (100 capsules in a plastic bottle).
Lecithin belongs to the group of hepatoprotective / lipotropic drugs.
Lecithin is prescribed to patients who have been diagnosed with fatty liver disease (of different etiology), acute (in the recovery stage) or chronic hepatitis, gestosis (in women during pregnancy), toxic liver damage caused by diabetes or alcohol dependence of the patient. The drug is recommended for ischemic stroke, atherosclerosis, hypercholesterolemia (dyslipidemia), to improve the patient’s condition after a stroke in order to increase motor and mental activity.BAA is used as an adjunct in the treatment of chronic bronchitis, pneumonia (pneumonia), respiratory failure, BA (bronchial asthma), as well as acute obstructive bronchitis (in the recovery stage) and tuberculosis with an infectious and inflammatory focus localized in the lungs.
Lecithin is contraindicated in patients with hypersensitivity to drug components.
Lecithin capsules should be taken orally before meals. The capsules must be swallowed with water (an amount sufficient to swallow the capsule).
Lecithin is recommended for use in adults and children over the age of 7 years. Recommended dose for adults – 1 capsule 2 times a day. For children from 7 years old – 1 capsule per day. The duration of therapy with dietary supplements is determined by the doctor who is treating the patient, taking into account the course of his illness.
The drug can provoke allergic reactions in people who are hypersensitive to its components. With prolonged use of Lecithin, undesirable side effects from the stomach and / or intestines (incl.including diarrhea and nausea).
There is no information that taking Lecithin in capsule form in the doses recommended by the manufacturer may cause an overdose of the active ingredient.
There is no evidence that this dietary supplement conflicts with other medicines and dietary supplements.
When taking Lecithin, the dose indicated in the instructions must be observed. If the patient suffers from cholelithiasis or has exacerbated chronic pancreatitis, the drug must be taken with caution.In the case of long-term use of dietary supplements, in order to neutralize the metabolic end products of soy lecithin, which can harm the body, it is recommended to consume foods fortified with vitamin C and calcium, or take vitamin C and calcium in the form of vitamin and mineral preparations.
Reception by pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding
The drug is used to treat pregnant women and women during lactation only on the recommendation of a doctor, observing the dosage indicated in the instructions.In the treatment of gestosis in pregnant women, Lecithin is used as a lipotropic agent.
The drug is recommended for use in children over 7 years of age.
209 hryvnia for a dietary supplement released in the form of capsules at a dosage of 1200 mg No. 100 (100 capsules in a plastic bottle)
Lecithin capsules should be stored at a temperature that is considered room temperature, in a place protected from moisture, to which children do not have access. Shelf life of Lecithin in capsule form is 3 years.
Without a doctor’s prescription.
Lecithin. Benefits and harm – ABC of health
Lecithin is a fat-like organic substance, which is a complex of phospholipids. It is, without exaggeration, fuel for the human body. He is a building material for cell membranes. Strengthens the nervous system, is indispensable for the liver and brain. Lecithin also helps to improve lipid metabolism in the human body, to normalize the level of cholesterol in the blood.The indications for the use of this drug are very wide. It is necessary both for the development of a growing organism and for maintaining the health of people of mature age.
Lecithin for liver health
This drug is the liver’s best friend. Most of the lecithin in our body is contained in this organ – 65% of the total. Therefore, the lecithin preparation is prescribed for any liver pathologies – hepatitis, liver obesity, intoxication, cirrhosis.
In case of alcohol intoxication, lecithin will also support liver health and reduce the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal symptoms (hangovers). It activates the body’s ability to resist toxins and stimulates the production of bile, provokes active regeneration (restoration) of liver cells. Although drinkers need to treat not the liver, but the head.
In addition, lecithin is a powerful antioxidant capable of removing toxins from the body.
Lecithin against cholesterol
Since cholesterol is found in the same foods as lecithin, the benefits and harms of consuming such foods seem to be equalized. Lecithin keeps cholesterol in solution and, accordingly, prevents its deposition on the walls of blood vessels. Additionally, lecithin entering the body promotes the elimination of cholesterol that has already begun to be deposited, reducing its total level by 15–20 percent.
In addition, lecithin activates the work of enzymes to break down fats, stabilizes fat metabolism, promotes better absorption of vitamins A, D, E and K. Phospholipids activate blood microcirculation in the body. Therefore, lecithin, practically without side effects, is indispensable for the prevention of heart disease and atherosclerosis. It is also prescribed for patients during the recovery period after heart attacks and strokes.
For little geniuses
Lecithin is necessary for a child from the first days of life – primarily for the formation and development of the central nervous system. When breastfeeding, the baby receives lecithin from the mother’s milk. If, for some reason, natural feeding is impossible, the lecithin deficiency must be additionally eliminated.
Also, the child’s body is especially vulnerable to a lack of lecithin during stress.The first serious experiences begin during the adaptation period, first in kindergarten, then at school. There is a separate conversation about first-graders. During this period, lecithin is simply necessary. It stimulates brain activity, reduces fatigue. Improves memory, attention, increases stress resistance.
Lecithin in the form of a gel is best for schoolchildren. The child does not associate it with pills, on the contrary, manufacturers make it pleasant to the taste, with a fruity smell.Another option is lecithin in soluble capsules. Children rarely refuse a vitamin drink. Most often, children’s lecithin also contains a complex of vitamins necessary for a growing body.
Versatile, efficient, safe
Taking lecithin is effective in many diseases, as well as for their prevention. For example, with physical and psycho-emotional stress, constant stress, taking lecithin will help improve the general condition of the body and the nervous system.
Lecithin is able to protect the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract from harmful effects. Therefore, its reception is indicated for people suffering from gastritis, colitis and peptic ulcer disease.
In psoriasis and dermatitis, taking lecithin will significantly reduce unpleasant symptoms. Therefore, it is often used in the complex treatment of skin diseases.
Prescribe lecithin and for various female diseases, up to cancer of the uterus.Therefore, its reception is a good prevention of oncological diseases of the female genital area.
Another magical property of lecithin is the ability to normalize blood sugar levels. It strengthens the membranes of pancreatic cells, in particular beta cells, which are responsible for the production of insulin. Thus, in type 1 diabetes mellitus, lecithin reduces external insulin demand. In type 2 diabetes, it compensates for the lack of phospholipids and essential fatty acids.
Lecithin is irreplaceable for the brain. It has been proven that regular intake of lecithin can stop multiple sclerosis (the breakdown of the myelin sheath of the brain), improve brain activity in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s syndrome.
Such varied and broad indications for the use of lecithin are explained very simply – it is contained in the cells of all body systems. However, it has no serious side effects.
How does the body react to a lack of lecithin?
The nervous system is the first to suffer from a lack of lecithin.Memory disorder, constant mood swings, decreased attention, insomnia – these are the main symptoms of lecithin deficiency in the body.
In addition, if lecithin from food is not enough for a person, digestive upset begins – aversion to fatty foods, frequent diarrhea and bloating. The work of the liver and kidneys is interrupted.
Blood pressure may increase, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, heart and blood vessels, as well as joints, progress.
Natural sources of lecithin
The name of the substance comes from the Greek “lekithos”, which means “egg yolk”. Accordingly, there is a sufficient amount of lecithin in eggs, as well as in foods containing a large amount of fat – beef or chicken liver, seeds and nuts, fish, sunflower oil and meat.
Some vegetables and fruits also contain lecithin. So, there is a lot of lecithin in legumes, in particular in soybeans.The raw materials for the production of industrial lecithin are most often soybean oil, soybeans and products of its processing.
How to take?
Lecithin is included in various vitamin complexes, and is also produced as an independent preparation in the form of capsules, gels, granules, tablets, liquids. In liquid form, lecithin can even be mixed with food before consumption.
The daily dose of lecithin is 5-6 grams for an adult and 1-4 grams for a child.This is not counting the lecithin that we can get from food. It is usually consumed before or during meals three times a day. The course of treatment (prophylaxis) is on average at least three months, but it can be continued even longer, up to several years.
The final dosage and duration of administration is determined by the doctor.
There are few contraindications, but they are
To whom is lecithin contraindicated? The instructions for use state that the drug should not be used only if there is an individual intolerance.The problem is that lecithin allergies are common. Therefore, if you are susceptible to allergic reactions, try not to miss the first signs and stop taking the drug.
In addition, it is undesirable to take lecithin during pregnancy (especially in the first trimester) and breastfeeding.
Among the side effects in very rare cases, nausea and increased salivation, dizziness are noted.
Take lecithin exactly as directed.It is better if you consult with your doctor, and he will prescribe you the course of the drug that is necessary for your specific situation and for specific health problems.
Please note that the information presented on the site is for informational and educational purposes and is not intended for self-diagnosis and self-medication. The choice and prescription of drugs, treatment methods, as well as control over their use can only be carried out by the attending physician.Be sure to consult with a specialist.
Benefits and Side Effects
Various fats (vegetable or animal) and their actions are often misunderstood and avoided in many diets. However, lecithin is a natural, healthy fat that can offer many health benefits. In the article below, you can find out which foods contain lecithin and how it affects the human body.
Based on findings from 48 research studies
Cited authors such as :
- Department of Transfusion Medicine, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
- Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Institute Science and Technology Nara, Japan
- Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois, USA
- University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
- Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Nutrition, USA
Note that the numbers in parentheses (1 , 2, 3, etc.are clickable links to peer-reviewed research studies. You can follow these links and check out the original source of information for the article.
What is lecithin?
Lecithin is a natural fat found in many foods vegetable and animal . (1, 2)
Lecithin ( alpha-phosphatidylcholine ) is a term for a group of yellow-pigmented fatty substances belonging to compounds called phospholipids.Lecithins usually contain phospholipid groups, which are key structural and functional components of cell membranes in all animals and plants. (3)
Lecithin is composed of free fatty acids and small amounts of proteins and carbohydrates. The main component of lecithin is phosphatidylcholine , which accounts for 20% to 80% of the total fat. (7)
SCHEME OF PHOSPHOLIPIDE AND PHOSPHOLIPID LAYER IN THE CELL MEMBRANE
Lecithin maintains and stabilizes fat in many foods.It is added to some foods as an emulsifier that helps stabilize mixtures and prevent separation of different parts. It also helps to extend the shelf life of foods. Lecithin has the ability to bind water and fat, making it a well-known addition to many desserts, chocolates, salad dressings, meats, and cooking oils. (4, 5, 6)
Lecithin is not only excreted from its sources for addition to food, but it is also produced for many other purposes, such as medications for eye treatment (to help eye drops adhere to the cornea), or in as a moisturizer for the skin.
The most popular sources for obtaining lecithin are – soy, sunflower and chicken eggs. But lecithin is also found in foods such as seafood, meat, and dairy products.
Comparison of lecithin from soy, sunflower and egg yolk
Lecithin is obtained from several different sources, including sunflower, soybeans and egg yolks. All three products have the same wide range of health benefits, but there are several differences between them.
Soy Lecithin is the most common of these three types. However, this is not always the best option because it is made from soybeans, which are often genetically modified (GMO). In addition, soy is also highly allergenic and is considered one of the “strongest” food allergens.
Although some studies show that highly refined oils such as soy lecithin do not contain significant amounts of allergenic soy protein, this does not mean complete safety for people with soy allergies.(7)
Egg yolk lecithin is a fairly common source of lecithin. Like soy lecithin, it usually does not cause problems for people who are allergic to eggs, but it may not be suitable for people on a vegan diet or who want to limit their dietary intake of animal products. In addition, like soy lecithin, yolk lecithin also requires the use of active chemicals in the extraction process.
Sunflower Lecithin is an excellent alternative to both egg and soy lecithin because it can be classified as a non-allergic, non-GMO vegan food.In the production of lecithin from sunflower, milder extraction methods are also used without the use of harmful chemicals.
Composition of lecithin
Active components in lecithin:
- Sodium oleate
- Phosphatidylinositol (8)
lethi Phosphatidylcholine containing choline1 , the main source , an important substance that is critical for 4 main functions in the human body : (9)
- Construction of the cell membrane structure and signaling system
- Synthesis of the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine , which is necessary for the functioning of the brain and muscles ( 10)
- Assists in the process that controls the activation and blocking of genes (methyl groups are used to mark DNA)
- Fat transport and maintenance of the balance of fats circulating in the bloodstream
Choline is also very important in the breakdown of harmful homocysteine.(10)
Mechanism of action of lecithin
Lecithin contains fatty acids , which can activate gene-regulating receptors PPARs (receptors activated by peroxisome proliferators). Once activated, these receptors play an important role in energy balance and metabolic function of . (11, 12)
Role of PPARs in the body (source)
Receptors activated by peroxisome proliferators (PPARs) exist in many types of tissues such as heart, liver, muscle, fat and intestines.These body tissues rely on receptor activation to promote fatty acids, ketone bodies and glucose metabolism. Ketone bodies are used by the body as a source of energy. (13, 14)
Natural Sources of Lecithin
Lecithin is a common dietary supplement but is also found in many natural sources.
Some sources of lecithin:
- Egg yolk)
- Brussels sprouts
- Vegetable oil
Most animal sources tend to provide a larger source of lecithin and choline at the same time.
Best Animal Sources of Lecithin:
- Chicken Liver
- Chicken Kidney
- Beef Liver (15, 16, 17)
Health Benefits of Lecithin
for lecithin supplements, but are not guaranteed to be safe or effective. As a supplement, lecithin is often used for many conditions, including lowering blood cholesterol levels, treating neurological problems, or liver disease.However, it is not approved by the FDA (US) or health departments for the treatment of any of these diseases due to the lack of solid clinical studies.
Talk to your doctor before using a lecithin supplement to discuss the best additional options to help treat your condition.
Benefits of Lecithin with Insufficient Evidence
The potential benefits we discuss in this section are speculative at best.More research, including clinical, is required to confirm or refute any of them.
Reducing cholesterol levels
Chronic high cholesterol levels lead to many complications for the heart and cardiovascular system, such as heart attack.
In one study, 30 patients with high cholesterol levels took 500 mg of soy lecithin daily for 2 months. After 2 months, the level of total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) were reduced by 42% and 56%, respectively.(18)
Lecithin increased liver production of good cholesterol (HDL) over 4 weeks in a study of 65 patients. HDL cholesterol is known to help remove other forms of cholesterol from the body, and higher levels of it protect against heart attacks and stroke. (19)
Mental Illness Applications
Lecithin contains a phospholipid called phosphatidylinositol, a naturally occurring substance that can be effective against panic disorder .(20)
In a study of 6 patients with mania , 5 of them experienced better mental health after receiving lecithin. (21)
A meta-analysis of several studies using lecithin has shown that it deserves further study as a therapy for bipolar . (22)
Maintaining liver health
Cholestatic liver disease ( Cholestatic syndrome ) is a slowdown in the flow of bile due to damage or inflammation of the bile ducts.In experiments with mice, animals experienced less liver damage with this syndrome when lecithin was added to their food. (23)
People with choline deficiency are more susceptible to liver damage and liver failure . The choline in lecithin is first broken down in the liver, where it helps to absorb fat and keep the organ healthy. (24)
Increase resistance to stress
Lecithin can improve resistance of the body to psychological stress .In a study involving 80 men and women, 4 groups of 20 people were created. Before the stress test, participants received either 400, 600, or 800 mg of soy lecithin along with phosphatidylserine (another phospholipid that is commonly found in lecithin) or received a placebo for 3 weeks. (25)
Interestingly, only in the group of people who received 400 mg of lecithin , there was a lower stress response to stress compared with placebo.(25)
Reducing inflammation in ulcerative colitis
A lecithin derivative, phosphatidylcholine, accounts for more than 70% of the total fat found in the mucus layer covering the lining of the intestines. This layer serves as a specific barrier to help maintain the bacteria’s defense of the digestive tract. (26)
PROTECTIVE MECHANISMS OF A HEALTHY INTESTINAL MUCOSOUS BARRIER (source)
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the colon through inflammation.In colitis, there is a significant decrease in the content of phosphatidylcholine in the protective mucous barrier, which allows bacteria to easily cause inflammation. (26)
The addition of phosphatidylcholine to a study of 60 colitis patients allowed to restore the mucosal barrier and reduce inflammation associated with ulcerative colitis. (27)
Mastitis (inflammation of the breast tissue)
Mastitis is a common condition in breastfeeding mothers.Some sources report that lecithin can help prevent clogged ducts in the breast, which often leads to mastitis.
Other credible sources such as the American College of Cardiology report that “lecithin has not been evaluated by the FDA for efficacy, or purity. Therefore, all the potential risks and benefits of lecithin may not be known. ” The American College of Cardiology advises that women who are breastfeeding should not use lecithin without first consulting an obstetrician or doctor.(4)
But a Canadian company – The Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation recommends that women who have recurring problems with blocked milk ducts take 1200 mg of lecithin four times a day to prevent mastitis.
The action of lecithin is based on decreasing the viscosity (stickiness) of breast milk by increasing the concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids. (5) “It’s a fairly safe supplement, relatively inexpensive, and seems to work for at least some mothers,” notes the Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation.
Benefits of lecithin in animal and cellular studies (no evidence for humans)
No clinical evidence supports the use of lecithin for any of the diseases or conditions listed in this section.
The following is a summary of existing studies in animals and cells, which should serve as a guide for further research in humans. However, the studies listed below should not be construed as supporting any health benefits.
In one study, diabetic rats given a daily supplement of soy lecithin showed a increase in leukocyte activity by 29% . (28) At the same time, in rats without diabetes, an increase in the total number of leukocytes (T and B cells) was observed by 92%. (28)
Decreased bile level
The liver produces bile. The gallbladder stores it to aid in the absorption of fats from food, such as cholesterol.When the bile level is too high, the bile salts can damage the cell membrane. Lecithin can bind to bile and reduce bile levels, protecting cells from damage. (29, 30)
Improving drug absorption is a controversial area in lecithin research. Some medicines and supplements may have improved effects if more absorbed into the body. However, some of them can become toxic if the body cannot properly distribute, break down and eliminate the drug in large quantities.(31)
Lecithin may help transport fat-soluble drugs and nutrients across fat-insoluble cell membranes. For example, supplements such as curcumin, boswellia, green tea, silymarin, and grape seed extract have shown increased intestinal absorption along with lecithin. (32, 33)
Lecithin and Brain Health
Some people use lecithin to improve brain health, but the research on the subject has been mixed, conflicting, or negative.For example, one meta-analysis found that lecithin supplementation had no significant benefit for people with dementia. According to the authors, the evidence for lecithin was not enough to warrant a larger study. (34)
People who believe lecithin improves brain health may base their belief on a small amount of positive research. In one such experiment, phosphatidylserine (from soy lecithin), mixed with phosphatidic acid, improved memory, mood, and thinking ability over 3 months in 72 elderly patients.This same mixture also showed improvements in brain function, mood, and overall well-being in another 2-month study in 56 Alzheimer’s patients. (35)
However, in a study of 51 patients, the use of high doses of lecithin did not improve the symptoms of dementia. (36)
Choline , a compound vital for the construction and transport of lipids (fats) in the body, is found in lecithin, which is the main dietary source of choline.
CHOLINE RICH FOOD
Choline is believed to improve cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. But, Cochrane’s review, last updated in 2003 , found no evidence to support this theory.
On the other hand, scientists at the Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center (NDRC) believe that choline can prevent or alleviate the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Interestingly, another study found that higher levels of choline in food were associated with improved brain function .(38) Another study by the Clinical Research Center at MIT showed that choline supplementation helped improve memory function in older adults with 90,041 poor memory . (39)
Lecithin in Cancer Research
In one study, researchers compared 3,101 breast cancers with 3,471 healthy people. Receiving lecithin supplements was associated with a decrease in breast cancer incidence .(37)
Lecithin supplementation was also strongly associated with a decrease in breast cancer incidence in postmenopausal women but not in premenopausal women. (37)
These results are promising, but more research is needed to confirm lecithin’s ability to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Lecithin Side Effects and Precautions
It is important to check with your healthcare professional before taking lecithin (or any other dietary supplement).This is especially for those who are taking prescription medications, or other herbal or medicinal products, or who have any medical condition or allergies.
Children should not take lecithin because there is not enough medical research to confirm the safety of using lecithin in children.
Mild side effects of lecithin include:
- Increased salivation
- Decreased appetite
- Abdominal pain
Lecithin Since soybean oil is allergic
9000 then it contains soy proteins that can cause soy allergies.However, no reaction to soy lecithin was found in the blood of the soy-sensitive patients . Soy lecithin is believed to pose a low risk for people with mild soy allergies. (38) Lecithin contains proteins that bind immunoglobulin E (IgE) . When these proteins bind to antibodies in the immune system, the antibodies trigger an allergic reaction that can contribute to inflammation and digestive discomfort.Those people who are allergic to soy , should be careful with all lecithin-based products. (39, 40) Blood clotting
A 15-day study in 60 patients showed that soy lecithin increased blood cell clumping (platelet adhesion). Platelets are responsible for sealing damaged blood vessels, but increased blood platelet activity is associated with heart disease. (41, 42) Male infertility
Soy products, including soy lecithin, contain phytoestrogen, a plant hormone that acts like the human hormone estrogen.(43) Scientists took pregnant rats with embryos of male rats and added phytoestrogens to their diet. Later in development, male rats showed over low sperm count and hormonal imbalance. (44, 45) Increased liver fat
Lecithin promoted fat production and storage in liver cells in mice. In experiments on human liver cells, the accumulation of fatty deposits was also found when lecithin was administered.(11) Lecithin in Pregnancy
After pregnant mice received soy lecithin as a supplement in their diet, their offspring later showed problems with behavior – laziness and poor balance. (46) Choline in lecithin may also be a minor cause for concern during pregnancy. When choline reaches the colon, gut bacteria and the liver convert it to trimethylamine oxide (TMAO). High levels of TMAO may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease .(47, 48) Drug interactions
Studies have shown that lecithin increases platelet adhesion, which may reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners such as aspirin. Aspirin is known to be prescribed to thin the blood by reducing the clotting effect of platelets. (41) Lecithin Dosages
There is no established safe and effective dose for lecithin. The most common doses used in studies range from 500 mg to 2 g per day.(18, 49, 50) The highest dose of lecithin used in scientific experiments ranged from 20 to 25 g per day. (36) The information on this site has not been evaluated by any medical organization. We do not seek to diagnose and treat any disease. The information on this site is provided for educational purposes only. You should consult your doctor before acting on the information received from this site, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have any medical condition.
Rate this article Average 4.7 Total votes (28) An indication is a term used to list a condition or symptom or disease for which a drug is prescribed or used by a patient. For example, acetaminophen or paracetamol is used by a patient for a fever, or a doctor prescribes it for a headache or body aches. At present, fever, headache and body aches are the hallmarks of paracetamol.The patient should be aware of the indications of medications used for general conditions, because they can be taken without a prescription in the sense of a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. Acute viral hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, alcoholic liver diseases, liver cirrhosis, prevention and treatment of drug-induced hepatitis. An indication is a term used for a listing of a condition or symptom or disease for which a drug is prescribed or used by a patient. For example, acetaminophen or paracetamol is used by a patient for a fever, or a doctor prescribes it for a headache or body aches.At present, fever, headache and body aches are the hallmarks of paracetamol. The patient should be aware of the indications of medications used for general conditions, because they can be taken without a prescription in the sense of a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription. All forms of “liver cell damage”, as in the following cases: 1. Chronic persistent and chronic active hepatitis. 2. Liver cirrhosis. 3. Drug-induced hepatitis. 4. Alcoholic liver disease. 5. Fatty changes in the liver. 6. Autoimmune hepatitis. Lecithin is also known as lecitol, vitelline, kelecin and granulestin. Lecithin is a naturally occurring substance found in beef liver, steak, eggs, peanuts, cauliflower and oranges. Commercial lecithin products usually come from soybeans, egg yolk, or brain tissue. Lecithin has been used in alternative medicine as an aid to treat high cholesterol, certain liver problems, gallbladder disease, or certain problems in people with mania.Lecithin has also been used to prevent certain complications in people who cannot eat and are receiving nutrition through IV (total parenteral nutrition or TPN). Lecithin is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards for many plant compounds, and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs.
instructions for use, dosage, composition, analogs, side effects / Pillintrip
9000 then it contains soy proteins that can cause soy allergies.However, no reaction to soy lecithin was found in the blood of the soy-sensitive patients . Soy lecithin is believed to pose a low risk for people with mild soy allergies. (38)
Lecithin contains proteins that bind immunoglobulin E (IgE) . When these proteins bind to antibodies in the immune system, the antibodies trigger an allergic reaction that can contribute to inflammation and digestive discomfort.Those people who are allergic to soy , should be careful with all lecithin-based products. (39, 40)
A 15-day study in 60 patients showed that soy lecithin increased blood cell clumping (platelet adhesion). Platelets are responsible for sealing damaged blood vessels, but increased blood platelet activity is associated with heart disease. (41, 42)
Soy products, including soy lecithin, contain phytoestrogen, a plant hormone that acts like the human hormone estrogen.(43)
Scientists took pregnant rats with embryos of male rats and added phytoestrogens to their diet. Later in development, male rats showed over low sperm count and hormonal imbalance. (44, 45)
Increased liver fat
Lecithin promoted fat production and storage in liver cells in mice. In experiments on human liver cells, the accumulation of fatty deposits was also found when lecithin was administered.(11)
Lecithin in Pregnancy
After pregnant mice received soy lecithin as a supplement in their diet, their offspring later showed problems with behavior – laziness and poor balance. (46)
Choline in lecithin may also be a minor cause for concern during pregnancy. When choline reaches the colon, gut bacteria and the liver convert it to trimethylamine oxide (TMAO). High levels of TMAO may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease .(47, 48)
Studies have shown that lecithin increases platelet adhesion, which may reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners such as aspirin. Aspirin is known to be prescribed to thin the blood by reducing the clotting effect of platelets. (41)
There is no established safe and effective dose for lecithin. The most common doses used in studies range from 500 mg to 2 g per day.(18, 49, 50) The highest dose of lecithin used in scientific experiments ranged from 20 to 25 g per day. (36)
The information on this site has not been evaluated by any medical organization. We do not seek to diagnose and treat any disease. The information on this site is provided for educational purposes only. You should consult your doctor before acting on the information received from this site, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have any medical condition.
Rate this article
Average 4.7 Total votes (28)
An indication is a term used to list a condition or symptom or disease for which a drug is prescribed or used by a patient. For example, acetaminophen or paracetamol is used by a patient for a fever, or a doctor prescribes it for a headache or body aches. At present, fever, headache and body aches are the hallmarks of paracetamol.The patient should be aware of the indications of medications used for general conditions, because they can be taken without a prescription in the sense of a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.
Acute viral hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, alcoholic liver diseases, liver cirrhosis, prevention and treatment of drug-induced hepatitis.
An indication is a term used for a listing of a condition or symptom or disease for which a drug is prescribed or used by a patient. For example, acetaminophen or paracetamol is used by a patient for a fever, or a doctor prescribes it for a headache or body aches.At present, fever, headache and body aches are the hallmarks of paracetamol. The patient should be aware of the indications of medications used for general conditions, because they can be taken without a prescription in the sense of a pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.
All forms of “liver cell damage”, as in the following cases:
1. Chronic persistent and chronic active hepatitis.
2. Liver cirrhosis.
3. Drug-induced hepatitis.
4. Alcoholic liver disease.
5. Fatty changes in the liver.
6. Autoimmune hepatitis.
Lecithin is also known as lecitol, vitelline, kelecin and granulestin. Lecithin is a naturally occurring substance found in beef liver, steak, eggs, peanuts, cauliflower and oranges. Commercial lecithin products usually come from soybeans, egg yolk, or brain tissue.
Lecithin has been used in alternative medicine as an aid to treat high cholesterol, certain liver problems, gallbladder disease, or certain problems in people with mania.Lecithin has also been used to prevent certain complications in people who cannot eat and are receiving nutrition through IV (total parenteral nutrition or TPN).
Lecithin is often sold as an herbal supplement. There are no regulated manufacturing standards for many plant compounds, and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs.