The Benefits and Dangers Of Soy Lecithin

Lecithin and soy lecithin are popular additives fulfilling a couple of different purposes. For baked goods and shelf products, lecithin is an emulsifier, which means it glues oil and water together; something that would not happen naturally.

It is also found as a nutritional supplement used for benefiting the heart, brain, liver and athletic performance.

Even though lecithin is everywhere, there are dangers. If you have a severe soy allergy, the trace amounts found in some of these products could cause a reaction, so you should avoid them.

Popular In Shelf Products For Consumption

Once you start looking, you will find soya lecithin or lecithin in many products you buy every day. Baby formula, baked goods, chocolate candy, egg yolks, meat products, peanut butter, margarine, powdered milk and pancake mix are just a few of the products in which lecithin is commonly used.

For Your Health

Possibly because it contains a good amount of choline, an important cell component, lecithin is often valued for its presumed health benefits. Lecithin does seem to reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who are being fed long-term intravenously. There is also some evidence that lecithin decreases cholesterol in healthy people but not in people who suffer from high cholesterol.


According to WebMD, lecithin is often taken as a supplement to help people with dementia, but there is no evidence to support its use for that purpose. There is some evidence to support its use for delusions, jumbled speech and hallucinations in people with mania.

Soy lecithin is in many skin creams to help skin retain moisture. There is no reliable clinical evidence to show this works, but people give anecdotal testimony that it does cause improvement in chronic dry skin.

Potential Dangers

Since lecithin is found naturally in soybeans and other legumes, it is associated with a soy allergy. Kaayla Daniel, PhD, asserts in her book, “The Whole Soy Story,” that soy lecithin is a waste product and contains pesticides and solvents like hexane. This danger has not been substantiated but does cause concern for many people.

Sources: WebMD, United Soybean Board
Photo: Pexels

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