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Lecithin is a mix of fats that are important to cells in the human body. It can be found in numerous foods, including soybeans and egg yolks.

In the diet, lecithin is the main source of choline, a nutrient comparable to the b vitamins. Lecithin is converted into acetylcholine, a compound that transmits nerve impulses.

Individuals use lecithin for alzheimer disease and dementia, parkinson disease, and numerous other conditions, but there is no good clinical proof to support these uses.(2)


Lecithin is one of the most complex and flexible substances derived from the soybean.

Etymology and nomenclature: the word “lecithin” is derived from the greek term lekithos indicating “egg yolk.” in 1846 gobley isolated lecithin from egg yolk and in 1850 gave it its present name (maclean and maclean 1927). In the late 1800s it was also spelled “lecithine” in english, a spelling that is still (according to kunze 1941) used (easily) in german to refer to the pure or chemical lecithin. In present-day english, the term “lecithin” has 2 different significances, which can be complicated. To most food mill and food chemists it refers to the natural complex mixture of phospholipids, however to the majority of routine chemists, biochemists, and pharmacists it is an unimportant term for the chemically pure phospholipid, phosphatidyl choline. In this book we will attempt to describe in which sense we are using the word. The industrial term “soybean phospholipids” may be used to signify the oil-free lecithin complex. (3 ).

Characteristic and applications

Lecithins have emulsification and lube homes, and are a surfactant. They can be totally metabolized (see inositol) by humans, so are well endured by humans and nontoxic when ingested; some other emulsifiers can just be excreted through the kidneys.

The significant components of business soybean-derived lecithin are:.

  • 33– 35% soybean oil
  • 20– 21% phosphatidylinositols
  • 19– 21% phosphatidylcholine
  • 8– 20% phosphatidylethanolamine
  • 5– 11% other phosphatides
  • 5% free carbs
  • 2– 5% sterols
  • 1% wetness

Lecithin is utilized for applications in human food, animal feed, pharmaceuticals, paints, and other commercial applications.

Applications consist of:

In the pharmaceutical industry, it acts as a moistening representative, stabilizing agent and a choline enrichment carrier, helps in emulsification and encapsulation, and is a good dispersing agent. It can be utilized in manufacture of intravenous fat infusions and for restorative usage.

In animal feed, it improves fat and protein and enhances pelletization.

On farms in the european union and unified kingdom, lecithin can be used as a natural fungicide to orchards of apples, peach, and grape vines.

In the paint market, it forms protective finishings for surfaces with painting and printing ink, has antioxidant residential or commercial properties, assists as a rust inhibitor, is a colour-intensifying representative, catalyst, conditioning aid modifier, and distributing aid; it is an excellent supporting and suspending representative, emulsifier, and wetting agent, assists in maintaining uniform mix of numerous pigments, helps in grinding of metal oxide pigments, is a dispersing and blending help, avoids difficult settling of pigments, eliminates foam in water-based paints, and assists in fast dispersion of latex-based paints.

Lecithin also might be utilized as a release representative for plastics, an antisludge additive in motor lubes, an antigumming representative in fuel, and an emulsifier, spreading agent, and anti-oxidant in textile, rubber, and other industries. (4 ).

Dietary and industrial sources

Because lecithin is discovered in all living organisms, it is readily available in foods. Egg yolks, liver, peanuts, corn, spinach, and entire grains are good dietary sources. Soybeans are by far the most essential business source of lecithin, due to the fact that they are an exceptional source, and because such huge amounts are produced. Industrial lecithin is extensively utilized to process foodstuff, consisting of baking blends, candy, chewing gum, chocolate, ice cream, macaroni and noodles, margarine, whipped garnishes, and so on. It is utilized as an emulsifier– a substance that can blend water and oil. Nevertheless, the amounts used as a food additive in such products are inadequate to be an excellent dietary source of lecithin. (5 ).

Lecithin structure

Lecithin, also called phosphatidyl choline, any of a group of phospholipids (phosphoglycerides) that are essential in cell structure and metabolism. Lecithins are composed of phosphoric acid, cholines, esters of glycerol, and 2 fats; the chain length, position, and degree of unsaturation of these fats vary, and this variation results in various lecithins with various biological functions. Pure lecithin is white and waxy and darkens when exposed to air. Industrial lecithin is brown to light yellow, and its consistency differs from plastic to liquid. (6 ).

Mechanism of action

Lecithin (phosphatidylcholine) is a precursor for choline. As such, it is involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and levels of lecithin correlate with levels of choline and acetylcholine. Subsequently, one presumed system of action of lecithin is the boost in the synthesis, release, and availability of acetylcholine. Nevertheless, lecithin is also involved in complicated intracellular procedures, consisting of the regulation of cellular membrane permeability. As talked about above, clients with bipolar disorder reveal transformed membrane phospholipid metabolic process, and low choline levels within the orbital frontal gray matter have actually been found in patients with manic signs. Hence, supplementation with lecithin obviously supports the membrane and modifications action capacity. (7 ).

Types of lecithin

Not all lecithin is the same. Here are the most popular ranges.

Soy lecithin

Soy lecithin originates from (you guessed it) soybeans. It’s a popular additive in:.

  • Dairy products
  • Baby formulas
  • Margarine
  • Breads
  • Fast food

You can likewise find it in a great deal of skin items.

Sunflower lecithin

Sunflower lecithin is made from dehydrated sunflowers. It’s not as common as soy lecithin, but some peeps prefer it. It might be a much better option if you wish to avoid gmos.

Another reward is that you can buy it as a powder or liquid.

Lecithin granules

Lecithin granules are typically made from soy. It has a tender texture and a mild nutty flavor. Pro tip: slip some into homemade bread or sprinkle it on salads.

Alternative names

Lecithin has a lot of alternate names. It’s in some cases referred to as:.

  • Vitellin
  • Lecitina
  • Vitelline
  • Ovolecithin
  • Vegilecithin
  • Soy lecithin
  • Egg lecithin
  • Soybean lecithin
  • Soy phospholipid (8 )

Benefits of lecithin

Reduces cholesterol

The most well-known benefit of lecithin is its ability to lower cholesterol. Scientists have actually found that soybean lecithin can contribute to raising hdl (good) cholesterol and reducing ldl (bad) cholesterol in blood profiles.

Soy protein supplies an extra increase for individuals utilizing it to treat cholesterol because of other elements that soy offers.

Enhances heart health

Lecithin that originates from soy can enhance cardiovascular health, especially if you’re already at risk of establishing hypertension or heart disease. This is according to a little study in which individuals were provided soy items consisting of lecithin ingredients.

Because soy is complicated to digest, it takes your body longer to break soy items down. For some individuals, this works to make them feel more full after consuming it.

Aids breastfeeding mothers

Some breastfeeding professionals suggest lecithin as a service for preventing persistent plugged ducts. The canadian breastfeeding structure advises a dosage of 1,200 milligrams, 4 times each day, to experience this benefit.

They speculate that lecithin may decrease the viscosity of your breast milk, making it less most likely to block milk ducts in your breast.

This isn’t implied to be a treatment for plugged ducts, nevertheless. Treat ducts with:.

  • Application of warm compresses
  • Massage
  • Extra pumping, if needed
  • Draining pipes the breast well
  • Asking a lactation consultant for more ideas
  • Report any fever or flu-like sensations to your medical professional.

Assists enhance food digestion

Lecithin has been checked in people with ulcerative colitis to improve their food digestion. Lecithin’s emulsifying qualities add to a chain reaction that enhances the mucus in your intestinal tract, making the gastrointestinal procedure much easier and protecting the fragile lining of your digestive system.

Even if you do not have ulcerative colitis, you may want to think about utilizing lecithin if you have irritable bowel syndrome, or another condition that affects your digestive process.

Might battle dementia symptoms

Lecithin contains choline, which is a chemical your brain utilizes to interact. Clinical research study suggests that a diet rich in choline can lead to a sharper memory and assist individuals with alzheimer’s.

Lipid compounds which contain choline, like lecithin, might enhance the brain’s practical pathways. There’s some conflicting evidence on if lecithin can be used to deal with people that have neurological and nerve system conditions, but research into this advantage of lecithin is appealing and moving on.

Soothes and hydrates skin

Lecithin is in the active ingredients of some skin care products. It’s used as an emollient, making skin feel smooth by restoring hydration. In most of these items, the sort of lecithin used is called hydrogenated lecithin.

There’s not a great deal of evidence that lecithin, when used alone, can cure acne and eczema– although some individuals use it for that. Taking lecithin pills might in theory enhance your skin, given that it tones and promotes other parts of your body, but we don’t understand for sure. (9 ).

Other uses

Lecithin has been promoted as a treatment for:.

  • Gallbladder disease
  • Liver illness
  • Bipolar affective disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Eczema, dermatitis, and dry skin problem

It must be noted that the research study on lecithin’s efficiency in dealing with these conditions is really restricted or nonexistent. (10 ).

How does lecithin benefit the skin?

In cosmetics and individual care items, lecithin functions as an emollient, an emulsifier, and as a penetration enhancer.


As an emollient, topically used lecithin has the capability to soften and relieve the skin. Its high concentration of fatty acids develops a barrier on the skin that successfully seals wetness in while keeping air and other environmental components out.

This home makes lecithin an exceptional active ingredient to contribute to corrective creams, or for items designed for mature, dry, or overworked skin. Furthermore, lecithin is typically utilized in hair conditioners and other hair products due to its emollient residential or commercial properties.


Despite the fact that lecithin has a low solubility in water, it works as an exceptional emulsifier. An emulsifier is needed for items which contain both water and oil components. According to efema, when water and oil are mixed together and intensely shaken, a dispersion of oil droplets in water is formed. When shaking stops, nevertheless, the two ingredient types begin to separate. To address this issue, an emulsifier like lecithin can be to support the item.

Penetration enhancer

Lecithin can likewise be categorized as a penetration enhancer. This means it has the capability to deeply permeate through the layers of skin, improving the penetration of other active ingredients.

in a water-based option, lecithin’s phospholipids can form liposomes, a round structure in which the acyl chains are within and not exposed to the water-based active ingredients. Consider a liposome as an oily ball that wards off water.

According to an article released in the worldwide journal of toxicology, liposomes are thought about effective in delivering other ingredients inside their round structure and penetrating through the skin barrier.

this property of lecithin is also made use of by the pharmaceutical market to enhance the penetration of a drug through the skin. (11 ).

How does lecithin help with hair?

Lecithins are emulsifiers that are surface-active and water-loving. These fatty compounds are frequently found in hair and skin items because of their primary nutrients: choline and insotil. Choline and inositol are both important for healthy hair development, as they are part of the b complex vitamins. Lecithin supports and improves the needed quantity of protein for hair development while enhancing the texture and appearance of hair by including shine or luster. Its high concentration of fatty acids produces a barrier on the skin and hair that effectively captures and seals in wetness.

This moisturizing advantage makes lecithin perfect for persons struggling with dry, fragile hair. It adds shine, seals in moisture, and restores hair’s natural protective covering frequently damaged by styling, chemical applications, heat, or environmental changes. This is typically why we find shampoos and conditioners making use of lecithin to help improve the look and structure of harmed hair. Lecithins also help manage the viscosity of liquids and assist with product absorption into the skin or hair. They are highly conditioning and hydrating for hair conditioners and masks. Not just for conditioning and moisturizing, lecithin assists to prevent fly-away hair for our straight-haired naturals.

There are dietary supplements of lecithin and obviously food sources, but if you want the advantages of this natural-occurring component, then you can take advantage of these items below that use the emulsifying and moistening power of lecithin in their solutions. (12 ).

Negative effects of lecithin

Get emergency medical assistance if you have signs of an allergy: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Although not all side effects are known, lecithin is thought to be likely safe for many people.

Typical adverse effects may include:.

  • Diarrhea, queasiness, stomach discomfort or fullness.

This is not a total list of adverse effects and others might take place. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. (13 ).

How to make a soy lecithin foam?

One of the most popular methods in molecular gastronomy is the development of foams. While they are connected with modernist food, foams have actually been used for centuries and range from meringues and whip cream to bread and quiche.

With some of the new molecular gastronomy components such as soy lecithin you can now make cooking foams that are extremely light. There are several ways to make a soy lecithin foam including using isi canisters. However, we will go low tech in this post and reveal you how to make soy lecithin foam with an immersion mixer.

A foam is basically air whipped into a liquid until bubbles are produced. If these bubbles are support then it is thought about a steady foam. There are three parts to making a stable foam: a stabilizer, the liquid, and air.

Components of soy lecithin foams

The stabilizer

The function of the stabilizer is to assist maintain the structure of the foam. This can be done in several ways, from baking, where the foam is supported as the flour cooks, to meringues, where the foam is supported by the egg whites. In soy lecithin lathers the stabilizer is constantly soy lecithin. It allows the foam to last longer without greatly changing the nature of it.

Soy lecithin is generally added by weight as 0.3% to 1% of the total weight of the liquid. The quantity used will depend on the specific ingredient you are attempting to foam, which is why it varies a lot. Nevertheless, lecithin foams do not require almost as much accuracy as some other modernist strategies.

The liquid

In soy lecithin lathers the liquid can be practically any water-based liquid since lecithin works well with both acid and base components. The liquid ought to be very strong considering that it will be watered down when the air is incorporated into it. Some normal liquids are citrus juices, soy sauce, teas, and other flavorful liquids.

The air

Typically, “typical” air is used with the foams however if you utilize an isi canister then the air will be laughing gas or whatever else you use to charge it. Unless you utilize an isi cylinder you will usually integrate the air into the liquid utilizing a whisk, immersion mixer, or other mixing device.

How to make soy lecithin foam

The first thing to do when making a soy lecithin foam is to dissolve the lecithin in the liquid using a whisk or hand blender. This can be made with the liquid at space temperature, or a slightly warmer temperature level similar to the temperature of hot tap water. Once it is blended it can stay in this state for several hours prior to being lathered.

The 2nd thing to do is to make the real foam. This includes whipping the liquid till it forms a foam, normally with a whisk or immersion mixer however various cooking area home appliances will work great as long as they include air into the container. Once the liquid has actually foamed you let the foam rest for a minute to support, then you can spoon it out and utilize it. Depending upon the liquid it should last anywhere from 30 minutes as much as a few hours, but the earlier you utilize it the better.

Mixing soy lecithin foam with an immersion blender

Put the liquid and soy lecithin mix into a wide, flat bottomed container. This helps keep the liquid shallow so when you use the immersion mixer it will be mixing air into the liquid much more than if the whole mixer was submerged.

Using the immersion blender, mix the liquid up until it produces a big amount of foam. This process can take anywhere from 60 seconds up to a couple of minutes. Let the foam support for a minute and after that you can utilize it. (14 ).


How much lecithin is safe to take?

There’s no referral nutrient consumption (rni) for lecithin so read the label of any supplements carefully. For breast-feeding, the canadian breast-feeding foundation advises 1200mg of lecithin four times a day.

The following groups should not take soy lecithin:.

Children under 12 years.

People who are allergic to soya, soya beans, peanuts or legumes (beans, lentils, peas), eggs and birch pollen– there is a threat of an allergic reaction (15 ).

How should i use lecithin?

When considering the use of organic supplements, seek the guidance of your medical professional. You might also think about seeking advice from a practitioner who is trained in making use of herbal/health supplements.

If you choose to utilize lecithin, utilize it as directed on the bundle or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. Do not utilize more of this item than is advised on the label.

Do not utilize various solutions of lecithin (such as tablets, liquids, and others) at the same time, unless particularly directed to do so by a health care specialist. Using various solutions together increases the danger of an overdose.

Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with lecithin does not enhance, or if it gets worse while utilizing this item.

Store at room temperature far from wetness and heat. (16 ).

Is there actually lecithin in your lecithin supplement?

You probably assume that when you take lecithin supplements, you are in fact getting lecithin. However, as is the case with lots of dietary supplements, business preparations differ commonly in the quantity the substance that is actually in their product.

Why such irregularity? Because the providers of supplements were exempted by congress from adhering to any standards of manufacture, pureness, or claims of advantages. How this happened is emblematic of our damaged political system, but do not get me going on this.

Only a portion of industrial lecithin is made up of the real thing. So, what comprises the rest? The answer: fats!

Not precisely the stuff to assist in weight decrease, cardiovascular health, or great liver function. In fact, in theory, they might work against all those potentially fantastic advantages. (17 ).


Do not take lecithin without medical advice if you are utilizing any of the following medications:.

Topical diclofenac (voltaren gel).

This list is not total. Other drugs might affect lecithin, including prescription and over the counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are noted here. (18 ).

Safety measures

Prior to utilizing lecithin/ selenium, inform your medical professional about your existing list of medications, over-the-counter products (e.g. Vitamins, herbal supplements, and so on), allergic reactions, pre-existing illness, and present health conditions (e.g. Pregnancy, upcoming surgery, etc). Some health conditions may make you more vulnerable to the side-effects of the drug. Take as directed by your physician or follow the instructions printed on the product insert. Dose is based upon your condition. Inform your doctor if your condition continues or gets worse. Crucial counseling points are listed below.

  • Children require medical guidance
  • Seek advice from a doctor if you have chronic kidney illness, underactive thyroid or skin cancer
  • Do not utilize for long term
  • Have malabsorption problems, diarrhea or excess fats in feces
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant, planning to become pregnant or breast feeding (19 )


The effects of hydroxylated lecithin on development performance, serum enzyme activity, hormone levels connected to lipid metabolism and meat quality of jiangnan white goslings in the different treatment groups were examined. The final body weight, average daily gain, feed conversion ratio, alanine aminotransferase, malate dehydrogenase, leptin, glucose, triiodothyronine, thyroid hormone, malondialdehyde, complimentary fat, breast muscle water holding capability, leg muscle water holding capability, intramuscular fat contents, relative expression levels of the sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1 and phosphorylase kinase gamma subunit 1 genes in hlg200 were improved compared to the cg and/or lg100. In general, the hydroxylated lecithin concentration of 200 mg/kg enhanced the growth performance, serum enzyme activity, hormonal agent levels related to lipid metabolic process, and the meat quality of jiangnan white goslings. For that reason, hydroxylated lecithin can be commonly used as a safe and trusted additive in animals production. (20 ).


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  5. Https://www.encyclopedia.com/sports-and-everyday-life/food-and-drink/food-and-cooking/lecithin
  6. Https://www.britannica.com/science/lecithin
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  8. Https://greatist.com/health/lecithin-benefits#types-of-lecithin
  9. Https://www.healthline.com/health/lecithin-benefits#types
  10. Https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319260#health-benefits
  11. Https://thedermreview.com/lecithin/
  12. Https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/home/lecithin-si
  13. Https://www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/lecithin#drug-side-effects
  14. Https://www.amazingfoodmadeeasy.com/info/modernist-cooking-blog/more/how-to-make-a-soy-lecithin-foam
  15. Https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/vitamins-and-supplements/supplements/what-is-lecithin/
  16. Https://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-lecithin/article_em.htm
  17. Https://thedoctorweighsin.com/lecithin/
  18. Https://www.drugs.com/mtm/lecithin.html
  19. Https://www.tabletwise.net/medicine/lecithin-selenium
  20. Https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2022.829338/full
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