Latin name: Lecithinum ex soja
Soy Lecithin is a natural emulsifier and can be found in many foods, including soybeans and egg yolks. It is often used as a food additive to improve texture and prevent oxidation.
Soy Lecithin is a phospholipid that is essential for cell membranes. It helps to keep cells healthy and prevent them from becoming damaged. Lecithin is also a source of choline, which is important for liver function and brain health.
Soy lecithin is a by-product of soybean processing. It is usually made from soybean oil, but it can also be derived from other oils such as sunflower or palm kernel oil.
Soy lecithin is available in many forms, including powder, granules, capsules, and liquid. It can be used in a variety of ways, such as an emulsifier in food, a dietary supplement, or a component of cosmetics.
The safety of soy lecithin has been extensively studied and it is generally considered to be safe for most people. However, some people may experience allergic reactions to soy lecithin, so it is always best to check with a healthcare professional before taking it.
Soy lecithin has a variety of potential health benefits, including:
1. Brain health: Choline, a nutrient found in soy lecithin, is essential for brain health. It plays a role in memory and cognitive function. Some studies have shown that choline deficiency can lead to memory problems and cognitive decline (1, 2, 3).
2. Liver health: Choline is also important for liver health. It helps to break down fats and prevents buildup in the liver. This can help to protect against fatty liver disease (4, 5).
3. Cardiovascular health: Soy lecithin may help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This can help to reduce the risk of heart disease (6, 7).
4. Weight loss: Soy lecithin may help to promote weight loss by increasing metabolism and reducing fat absorption. Some studies have shown that it can help people lose weight and body fat (8, 9, 10).
5. Inflammation: Soy lecithin has anti-inflammatory properties and may help to reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, such as cancer (11, 12).
6. Skin health: Soy lecithin is often used in cosmetics and topical skin care products. It can help to moisturize the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles (13, 14).
7. Pregnancy: Soy lecithin is sometimes recommended for pregnant women. It can help to prevent stretch marks and improve the elasticity of the skin (15, 16).
8. Menopause: Soy lecithin may help to relieve some symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats (17).
Risks and precautions
Soy lecithin is generally considered to be safe for most people. However, there are a few potential risks and side effects to be aware of:
1. Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to soy lecithin. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include hives, rash, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, or tongue (18).
2. Digestive issues: Soy lecithin may cause some digestive issues, such as bloating, diarrhea, and nausea. These effects are usually mild and temporary (19).
3. Interactions: Soy lecithin may interact with some medications, such as blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering drugs. It is always best to check with a healthcare professional before taking soy lecithin if you are taking any medications (20).
4. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough evidence to know if soy lecithin is safe to take during pregnancy or breast-feeding. Therefore, it is best to avoid taking it if you are pregnant or breast-feeding (21, 22).
5. Kidney problems: Soy lecithin may worsen kidney problems. If you have kidney disease, it is best to avoid taking soy lecithin (23).
6. Thyroid problems: Soy lecithin may interact with the thyroid hormone and cause problems in people with thyroid conditions. It is best to avoid taking soy lecithin if you have a thyroid condition (24, 25).
How to take soy lecithin
Soy lecithin is available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, powder, and liquid. It can also be found in some food products, such as energy bars and protein shakes.
The recommended dosage of soy lecithin depends on the form you are taking and the reason you are taking it. It is always best to follow the instructions on the product label or consult with a healthcare professional.
When taking soy lecithin capsules or tablets, it is best to take them with a meal. This will help to reduce the risk of digestive side effects.
If you are using soy lecithin powder, you can mix it with water, juice, or another beverage of your choice. It is best to take it with a meal.
Soy lecithin is also available in liquid form. This can be taken by itself or mixed into a beverage. It is best to take it with a meal.