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Lecithin is a mixture of fats that are essential to cells in the body. It can be found in lots of foods, consisting of 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 substance that transmits nerve impulses.

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


Lecithin is one of the most intricate and versatile compounds originated from the soybean.

Etymology and nomenclature: the word “lecithin” is stemmed from the greek term lekithos indicating “egg yolk.” in 1846 gobley separated lecithin from egg yolk and in 1850 offered 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 (conveniently) in german to describe the pure or chemical lecithin. In present-day english, the term “lecithin” has 2 various significances, which can be complicated. To most food mill and food chemists it refers to the natural complex mixture of phospholipids, but to most regular chemists, biochemists, and pharmacists it is an unimportant term for the chemically pure phospholipid, phosphatidyl choline. In this book we will attempt to discuss 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 residential or commercial properties, and are a surfactant. They can be totally metabolized (see inositol) by human beings, so are well endured by humans and nontoxic when consumed; some other emulsifiers can only be excreted through the kidneys.

The significant components of industrial 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% moisture

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

Applications include:

In the pharmaceutical industry, it acts as a wetting agent, stabilizing representative and a choline enrichment carrier, assists in emulsification and encapsulation, and is a good distributing representative. It can be used in manufacture of intravenous fat infusions and for healing usage.

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

On farms in the european union and joined kingdom, lecithin can be applied as an organic fungicide to orchards of apples, peach, and grape vines.

In the paint market, it forms protective coverings for surfaces with painting and printing ink, has antioxidant homes, assists as a rust inhibitor, is a colour-intensifying representative, driver, conditioning aid modifier, and distributing help; it is an excellent supporting and suspending representative, emulsifier, and wetting representative, assists in keeping consistent mix of several pigments, helps in grinding of metal oxide pigments, is a dispersing and mixing aid, prevents difficult settling of pigments, eliminates foam in water-based paints, and helps in fast dispersion of latex-based paints.

Lecithin likewise may be used as a release representative for plastics, an antisludge additive in motor lubricants, an antigumming agent in fuel, and an emulsifier, spreading agent, and antioxidant in fabric, rubber, and other markets. (4 ).

Dietary and business sources

Because lecithin is found in all living organisms, it is easily available in foods. Egg yolks, liver, peanuts, corn, spinach, and entire grains are great dietary sources. Soybeans are without a doubt the most important commercial source of lecithin, since they are an excellent source, and due to the fact that such big amounts are produced. Commercial lecithin is widely utilized to process food, including baking mixes, candy, chewing gum, chocolate, ice cream, macaroni and noodles, margarine, whipped garnishes, and so on. It is utilized as an emulsifier– a compound that can blend water and oil. However, the amounts utilized as a food additive in such items are not enough to be an excellent dietary source of lecithin. (5 ).

Lecithin structure

Lecithin, likewise called phosphatidyl choline, any of a group of phospholipids (phosphoglycerides) that are very important in cell structure and metabolic process. Lecithins are made up of phosphoric acid, cholines, esters of glycerol, and 2 fatty acids; the chain length, position, and degree of unsaturation of these fatty acids differ, and this variation results in various lecithins with different biological functions. Pure lecithin is white and waxy and darkens when exposed to air. Commercial lecithin is brown to light yellow, and its consistency varies from plastic to liquid. (6 ).

System 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 associate with levels of choline and acetylcholine. Consequently, one assumed system of action of lecithin is the boost in the synthesis, release, and accessibility of acetylcholine. However, lecithin is also involved in intricate intracellular procedures, consisting of the guideline of cellular membrane permeability. As talked about above, patients with bipolar affective disorder expose modified membrane phospholipid metabolic process, and low choline levels within the orbital frontal noodle have actually been discovered in patients with manic signs. Therefore, supplements with lecithin apparently supports the membrane and modifications action potential. (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 items
  • Baby formulas
  • Margarine
  • Breads
  • Fast food

You can likewise discover it in a lot of skin products.

Sunflower lecithin

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

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

Lecithin granules

Lecithin granules are normally made from soy. It has a tender texture and a moderate nutty flavor. Pro idea: sneak some into homemade bread or sprinkle it on salads.

Alternative names

Lecithin has a great deal of alternate names. It’s sometimes described as:.

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

Advantages of lecithin

Reduces cholesterol

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

Soy protein offers an additional increase for individuals utilizing it to deal with cholesterol because of other parts that soy deals.

Improves heart health

Lecithin that originates from soy can improve cardiovascular health, especially if you’re currently at risk of establishing hypertension or heart problem. This is according to a little research study in which individuals were given soy products including lecithin ingredients.

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

Help breastfeeding moms

Some breastfeeding experts advise lecithin as a service for preventing persistent plugged ducts. The canadian breastfeeding structure recommends a dose of 1,200 milligrams, 4 times daily, to experience this advantage.

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

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

  • Application of warm compresses
  • Massage
  • Bonus pumping, if needed
  • Draining pipes the breast well
  • Asking a lactation specialist for more suggestions
  • Report any fever or flu-like feelings to your doctor.

Assists enhance digestion

Lecithin has been checked in individuals with ulcerative colitis to enhance their food digestion. Lecithin’s emulsifying qualities add to a domino effect that improves the mucus in your intestine, making the digestion process simpler and protecting the delicate lining of your digestive system.

Even if you do not have ulcerative colitis, you might 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 communicate. Clinical research study suggests that a diet rich in choline can cause a sharper memory and help people with alzheimer’s.

Lipid compounds which contain choline, like lecithin, might improve the brain’s practical paths. There’s some conflicting proof on if lecithin can be utilized to treat individuals that have neurological and nervous system conditions, however research study into this benefit of lecithin is appealing and moving forward.

Soothes and hydrates skin

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

There’s not a great deal of proof that lecithin, when used alone, can treat acne and eczema– although some individuals utilize it for that. Taking lecithin pills could theoretically improve your skin, because it tones and promotes other parts of your body, however we do not know for sure. (9 ).

Other usages

Lecithin has been promoted as a treatment for:.

  • Gallbladder disease
  • Liver illness
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Eczema, dermatitis, and dry skin conditions

It ought to be kept in mind that the research study on lecithin’s efficiency in treating these conditions is really limited or nonexistent. (10 ).

How does lecithin benefit the skin?

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


As an emollient, topically applied lecithin has the capability to soften and soothe the skin. Its high concentration of fats produces a barrier on the skin that successfully seals wetness in while keeping air and other environmental aspects out.

This residential or commercial property makes lecithin an exceptional component to contribute to restorative creams, or for items developed for mature, dry, or overworked skin. Additionally, lecithin is commonly used in hair conditioners and other hair items due to its emollient homes.


Even though lecithin has a low solubility in water, it operates as an excellent emulsifier. An emulsifier is required for products that contain both water and oil components. According to efema, when water and oil are blended together and vigorously shaken, a dispersion of oil beads in water is formed. When shaking stops, however, the two component types start to separate. To resolve this issue, an emulsifier like lecithin can be to stabilize the item.

Penetration enhancer

Lecithin can also be categorized as a penetration enhancer. This indicates it has the capability to deeply penetrate through the layers of skin, improving the penetration of other active components.

in a water-based solution, lecithin’s phospholipids can form liposomes, a spherical structure in which the acyl chains are inside and not exposed to the water-based ingredients. Think of a liposome as an oily ball that wards off water.

According to an article released in the international journal of toxicology, liposomes are considered efficient in delivering other ingredients inside their round structure and penetrating through the skin barrier.

this residential or commercial property of lecithin is also utilized by the pharmaceutical industry to boost 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 often found in hair and skin products because of their primary nutrients: choline and insotil. Choline and inositol are both important for healthy hair development, as they belong to the b complex vitamins. Lecithin supports and improves the required amount of protein for hair growth while improving the texture and appearance of hair by including shine or appeal. Its high concentration of fatty acids develops a barrier on the skin and hair that successfully records and seals in moisture.

This moisturizing advantage makes lecithin best for individuals experiencing dry, fragile hair. It adds shine, seals in wetness, and restores hair’s natural protective finish typically harmed by styling, chemical applications, heat, or ecological changes. This is frequently why we find shampoos and conditioners making use of lecithin to help improve the appearance and structure of harmed hair. Lecithins likewise assist control the viscosity of liquids and aid with product absorption into the skin or hair. They are highly conditioning and moisturizing 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 naturally food sources, but if you want the benefits of this natural-occurring active ingredient, then you can take advantage of these products below that use the emulsifying and moistening power of lecithin in their solutions. (12 ).

Negative effects of lecithin

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

Although not all adverse effects are known, lecithin is believed to be most likely safe for the majority of people.

Typical adverse effects may include:.

  • Diarrhea, nausea, stomach discomfort or fullness.

This is not a complete list of adverse effects and others might occur. Call your medical professional for medical recommendations about adverse effects. (13 ).

How to make a soy lecithin foam?

Among the most popular techniques in molecular gastronomy is the production of foams. While they are related to modernist cuisine, foams have actually been utilized for centuries and variety from meringues and whip cream to bread and quiche.

With a few of the new molecular gastronomy components such as soy lecithin you can now make culinary foams that are incredibly light. There are a number of ways to make a soy lecithin foam including utilizing isi cylinders. However, we will go low tech in this post and reveal you how to make soy lecithin foam with an immersion blender.

A foam is basically air whipped into a liquid up until bubbles are created. If these bubbles are stabilize then it is considered a stable foam. There are three parts to making a stable foam: a stabilizer, the liquid, and air.

Elements of soy lecithin foams

The stabilizer

The role of the stabilizer is to help maintain the structure of the foam. This can be carried out in many different methods, 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 enables the foam to last longer without significantly altering the nature of it.

Soy lecithin is usually added by weight as 0.3% to 1% of the overall weight of the liquid. The quantity utilized will depend upon the particular ingredient you are trying to foam, which is why it differs a lot. However, lecithin foams do not need almost as much precision as some other modernist methods.

The liquid

In soy lecithin foams the liquid can be almost any water-based liquid since lecithin works well with both acid and base components. The liquid must be very strong considering that it will be watered down as soon as the air is included into it. Some normal liquids are citrus juices, soy sauce, teas, and other flavorful liquids.

The air

Usually, “regular” air is used with the foams however if you use an isi container then the air will be laughing gas or whatever else you use to charge it. Unless you use an isi canister you will normally incorporate the air into the liquid utilizing a whisk, immersion mixer, or other mixing gadget.

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 utilizing a whisk or hand mixer. This can be done with the liquid at room temperature level, or a somewhat warmer temperature similar to the temperature level of hot faucet water. Once it is combined it can remain in this state for a number of hours before being foamed.

The 2nd thing to do is to make the actual foam. This involves whipping the liquid up until it forms a foam, generally with a whisk or immersion mixer however numerous kitchen devices will work great as long as they include air into the container. As soon as 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 on the liquid it ought to last anywhere from thirty minutes up to a couple of hours, however the sooner you use it the better.

Mixing soy lecithin foam with an immersion blender

Pour the liquid and soy lecithin mix into a large, flat bottomed container. This assists keep the liquid shallow so when you use the immersion blender it will be mixing air into the liquid much more than if the whole mixer was immersed.

Using the immersion mixer, mix the liquid till it develops a big amount of foam. This procedure can take anywhere from one minute as much as a couple of minutes. Let the foam stabilize for a minute and then you can utilize it. (14 ).


Just how much lecithin is safe to take?

There’s no recommendation nutrient intake (rni) for lecithin so read the label of any supplements thoroughly. For breast-feeding, the canadian breast-feeding foundation suggests 1200mg of lecithin 4 times a day.

The following groups must not take soy lecithin:.

Kids under 12 years.

Individuals who are allergic to soya, soya beans, peanuts or vegetables (beans, lentils, peas), eggs and birch pollen– there is a danger of an allergy (15 ).

How should i usage lecithin?

When considering the use of natural supplements, seek the guidance of your medical professional. You might likewise think about speaking with a specialist who is trained in using herbal/health supplements.

If you select to utilize lecithin, use it as directed on the package or as directed by your medical professional, pharmacist, or other doctor. Do not utilize more of this item than is advised on the label.

Do not utilize different formulas of lecithin (such as tablets, liquids, and others) at the same time, unless particularly directed to do so by a health care specialist. Utilizing different formulations together increases the risk of an overdose.

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

Shop at space temperature level far from wetness and heat. (16 ).

Is there truly lecithin in your lecithin supplement?

You most likely assume that when you take lecithin supplements, you are in fact getting lecithin. However, as is the case with numerous dietary supplements, business preparations vary extensively in the amount the substance that is actually in their product.

Why such irregularity? Because the suppliers of supplements were exempted by congress from adhering to any requirements of manufacture, pureness, or claims of benefits. How this came about is emblematic of our broken political system, but don’t get me going on this.

Just a fraction of commercial lecithin is made up of the genuine thing. So, what comprises the rest? The answer: fats!

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


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

Topical diclofenac (voltaren gel).

This list is not total. Other drugs might affect lecithin, consisting of prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and natural products. Not all possible drug interactions are noted here. (18 ).

Safety measures

Prior to using lecithin/ selenium, notify your medical professional about your current list of medications, over-the-counter items (e.g. Vitamins, natural supplements, etc), allergies, pre-existing diseases, and present health conditions (e.g. Pregnancy, upcoming surgical treatment, etc). Some health conditions may make you more prone to the side-effects of the drug. Take as directed by your medical professional or follow the instructions printed on the product insert. Dosage is based on your condition. Inform your doctor if your condition persists or intensifies. Crucial counseling points are listed below.

  • Children need medical guidance
  • Speak with a medical professional if you have chronic kidney disease, underactive thyroid or skin cancer
  • Do not utilize for long term
  • Have malabsorption problems, diarrhea or excess fats in feces
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant, preparing to become pregnant or breast feeding (19 )


The effects of hydroxylated lecithin on development performance, serum enzyme activity, hormonal agent levels associated with lipid metabolic process and meat quality of jiangnan white goslings in the various treatment groups were assessed. The final body weight, typical everyday gain, feed conversion ratio, alanine aminotransferase, malate dehydrogenase, leptin, glucose, triiodothyronine, thyroid hormone, malondialdehyde, free fatty acid, breast muscle water holding capability, leg muscle water holding capability, intramuscular fat contents, relative expression levels of the sterol regulative element-binding protein-1 and phosphorylase kinase gamma subunit 1 genes in hlg200 were improved compared to the cg and/or lg100. Overall, the hydroxylated lecithin concentration of 200 mg/kg improved the development performance, serum enzyme activity, hormone levels related to lipid metabolism, and the meat quality of jiangnan white goslings. For that reason, hydroxylated lecithin can be widely utilized as a safe and reliable additive in animals production. (20 ).


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  14. Https://www.amazingfoodmadeeasy.com/info/modernist-cooking-blog/more/how-to-make-a-soy-lecithin-foam
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  16. Https://www.emedicinehealth.com/drug-lecithin/article_em.htm
  17. Https://thedoctorweighsin.com/lecithin/
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  19. Https://www.tabletwise.net/medicine/lecithin-selenium
  20. Https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2022.829338/full
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