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

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

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


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

Etymology and nomenclature: the word “lecithin” is derived from the greek term lekithos implying “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) utilized (conveniently) in german to describe the pure or chemical lecithin. In contemporary english, the term “lecithin” has 2 different meanings, which can be complicated. To most food mill and food chemists it refers to the natural complex mixture of phospholipids, however to a lot of regular chemists, biochemists, and pharmacists it is an insignificant term for the chemically pure phospholipid, phosphatidyl choline. In this book we will attempt to explain in which sense we are using the word. The industrial term “soybean phospholipids” may be utilized to denote the oil-free lecithin complex. (3 ).

Properties and applications

Lecithins have emulsification and lubricant homes, and are a surfactant. They can be completely metabolized (see inositol) by people, so are well tolerated by people and nontoxic when consumed; some other emulsifiers can only be excreted via the kidneys.

The major parts of commercial soybean-derived lecithin are:.

  • 33– 35% soybean oil
  • 20– 21% phosphatidylinositols
  • 19– 21% phosphatidylcholine
  • 8– 20% phosphatidylethanolamine
  • 5– 11% other phosphatides
  • 5% complimentary carbohydrates
  • 2– 5% sterols
  • 1% moisture

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

Applications include:

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

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

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

In the paint market, it forms protective finishes for surface areas with painting and printing ink, has antioxidant residential or commercial properties, helps as a rust inhibitor, is a colour-intensifying agent, driver, conditioning help modifier, and distributing help; it is a great stabilizing and suspending representative, emulsifier, and moistening agent, helps in preserving consistent mixture of several pigments, assists in grinding of metal oxide pigments, is a dispersing and blending aid, avoids hard settling of pigments, eliminates foam in water-based paints, and assists in fast dispersion of latex-based paints.

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

Dietary and business sources

Because lecithin is discovered 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 by far the most essential business source of lecithin, due to the fact that they are an exceptional source, and since such big quantities are produced. Industrial lecithin is extensively used to process foodstuff, including baking blends, candy, chewing gum, chocolate, ice cream, macaroni and noodles, margarine, whipped garnishes, and so on. It is used as an emulsifier– a substance that can blend water and oil. However, the amounts used as a food additive in such items are not enough to be a good dietary source of lecithin. (5 ).

Lecithin structure

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

Mechanism of action

Lecithin (phosphatidylcholine) is a precursor for choline. As such, it is associated with the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, and levels of lecithin correlate with levels of choline and acetylcholine. As a result, one assumed mechanism of action of lecithin is the increase in the synthesis, release, and accessibility of acetylcholine. Nevertheless, lecithin is likewise associated with complicated intracellular processes, including the policy of cellular membrane permeability. As gone over above, clients with bipolar disorder reveal transformed membrane phospholipid metabolic process, and low choline levels within the orbital frontal gray matter have been found in clients with manic symptoms. Therefore, supplementation with lecithin obviously stabilizes the membrane and modifications action capacity. (7 ).

Kinds of lecithin

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

Soy lecithin

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

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

You can likewise discover 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 choice if you wish to prevent gmos.

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

Lecithin granules

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

Alternative names

Lecithin has a lot of alternate names. It’s often described as:.

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

Benefits of lecithin

Reduces cholesterol

The most widely known advantage of lecithin is its ability to lower cholesterol. Researchers have found that soybean lecithin can add to raising hdl (great) cholesterol and reducing ldl (bad) cholesterol in blood profiles.

Soy protein offers an extra boost for people using it to treat cholesterol because of other elements that soy deals.

Enhances heart health

Lecithin that originates from soy can improve cardiovascular health, specifically if you’re currently at risk of establishing high blood pressure or heart problem. This is according to a little study in which individuals were offered soy items including lecithin additives.

Considering that soy is complicated to absorb, it takes your body longer to break soy products down. For some individuals, this works to make them feel more full after consuming it.

Aids breastfeeding moms

Some breastfeeding professionals recommend lecithin as an option for preventing frequent plugged ducts. The canadian breastfeeding foundation advises a dosage of 1,200 milligrams, four times each day, to experience this benefit.

They hypothesize that lecithin might reduce 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, however. Deal with ducts with:.

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

Assists improve food digestion

Lecithin has actually been checked in individuals with ulcerative colitis to enhance their food digestion. Lecithin’s emulsifying qualities contribute to a domino effect that improves the mucous in your intestine, making the digestion process easier and securing the delicate lining of your digestion system.

Even if you don’t have ulcerative colitis, you might want to think about using lecithin if you have irritable bowel syndrome, or another condition that impacts your gastrointestinal procedure.

Might fight dementia symptoms

Lecithin consists of choline, which is a chemical your brain uses to interact. Medical research suggests that a diet abundant in choline can cause a sharper memory and assist people with alzheimer’s.

Lipid substances that contain choline, like lecithin, might enhance the brain’s functional paths. There’s some conflicting evidence on if lecithin can be used to deal with individuals that have neurological and nervous system conditions, however research into this advantage of lecithin is appealing and progressing.

Soothes and moisturizes skin

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

There’s not a lot of proof that lecithin, when utilized alone, can treat acne and eczema– although some individuals utilize it for that. Taking lecithin capsules might theoretically improve your skin, considering that it tones and promotes other parts of your body, however we don’t understand for sure. (9 ).

Other usages

Lecithin has actually been promoted as a treatment for:.

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

It should be kept in mind that the research on lecithin’s efficiency in treating these conditions is extremely 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 applied lecithin has the capability to soften and soothe the skin. Its high concentration of fats develops a barrier on the skin that effectively seals moisture in while keeping air and other environmental elements out.

This property makes lecithin an exceptional ingredient to add to corrective creams, or for items created for mature, dry, or overworked skin. Furthermore, lecithin is commonly utilized in hair conditioners and other hair products due to its emollient homes.


Even though lecithin has a low solubility in water, it functions as an outstanding emulsifier. An emulsifier is required for items that contain both water and oil elements. According to efema, when water and oil are mixed together and intensely shaken, a dispersion of oil beads in water is formed. When shaking stops, nevertheless, the two active ingredient types begin to separate. To address this issue, an emulsifier like lecithin can be to stabilize the item.

Penetration enhancer

Lecithin can likewise be classified as a penetration enhancer. This implies 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 inside and not exposed to the water-based active ingredients. Consider a liposome as an oily ball that fends off water.

According to a post released in the global journal of toxicology, liposomes are thought about efficient in delivering other components inside their round structure and penetrating through the skin barrier.

this residential or commercial property of lecithin is likewise used 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 typically discovered in hair and skin items because of their main nutrients: choline and insotil. Choline and inositol are both important for healthy hair development, as they become part of the b complex vitamins. Lecithin supports and enhances the required amount of protein for hair growth while enhancing the texture and look of hair by including shine or appeal. Its high concentration of fats develops a barrier on the skin and hair that effectively catches and seals in moisture.

This moisturizing advantage makes lecithin perfect for persons experiencing dry, brittle hair. It includes shine, seals in wetness, and restores hair’s natural protective coating often damaged by styling, chemical applications, heat, or environmental modifications. This is frequently why we find shampoos and conditioners using lecithin to assist improve the look and structure of damaged hair. Lecithins also assist control the viscosity of liquids and aid with product absorption into the skin or hair. They are extremely conditioning and hydrating for hair conditioners and masks. Not just for conditioning and moisturizing, lecithin helps to prevent fly-away hair for our straight-haired naturals.

There are dietary supplements of lecithin and of course food sources, however if you desire the benefits of this natural-occurring ingredient, then you can take advantage of these products below that use the emulsifying and dampening power of lecithin in their solutions. (12 ).

Negative effects of lecithin

Get emergency situation medical help if you have indications of an allergic reaction: hives; problem breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Although not all adverse effects are understood, lecithin is believed to be most likely safe for most people.

Common adverse effects may consist of:.

  • Diarrhea, queasiness, stomach pain or fullness.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others might happen. Call your physician for medical advice about adverse effects. (13 ).

How to make a soy lecithin foam?

Among the most popular methods in molecular gastronomy is the creation of foams. While they are related to modernist cuisine, foams have been utilized for centuries and variety 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 culinary foams that are exceptionally light. There are several methods to make a soy lecithin foam including using isi containers. Nevertheless, we will go low tech in this short article and show you how to make soy lecithin foam with an immersion mixer.

A foam is essentially air whipped into a liquid up until bubbles are created. If these bubbles are stabilize then it is thought about a stable foam. There are 3 parts to making a stable foam: a stabilizer, the liquid, and air.

Elements of soy lecithin foams

The stabilizer

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

Soy lecithin is typically added by weight as 0.3% to 1% of the overall weight of the liquid. The quantity utilized will depend on the specific active ingredient you are trying to foam, which is why it differs so much. However, lecithin foams do not need nearly as much precision as some other modernist strategies.

The liquid

In soy lecithin lathers the liquid can be nearly any water-based liquid given that lecithin works well with both acid and base ingredients. The liquid should be very strong because it will be watered down as soon as the air is incorporated into it. Some common liquids are citrus juices, soy sauce, teas, and other tasty liquids.

The air

Normally, “normal” air is utilized with the foams but if you utilize an isi canister then the air will be nitrous oxide or whatever else you utilize to charge it. Unless you utilize an isi cylinder you will generally incorporate the air into the liquid using a whisk, immersion blender, or other blending device.

How to make soy lecithin foam

The first thing to do when making a soy lecithin foam is to liquify the lecithin in the liquid utilizing a whisk or hand mixer. This can be finished with the liquid at room temperature, or a slightly warmer temperature level similar to the temperature level of hot faucet water. Once it is combined it can stay in this state for numerous hours prior to being lathered.

The second thing to do is to make the real foam. This involves whipping the liquid till it forms a foam, normally with a whisk or immersion blender however various cooking area home appliances will work great as long as they include air into the container. When the liquid has foamed you let the foam rest for a minute to stabilize, then you can spoon it out and use it. Depending on the liquid it should last anywhere from 30 minutes up to a few hours, however the sooner you utilize it the better.

Mixing soy lecithin foam with an immersion blender

Pour the liquid and soy lecithin mixture into a broad, flat bottomed container. This helps keep the liquid shallow so when you utilize the immersion mixer it will be mixing air into the liquid far more than if the whole mixer was immersed.

Using the immersion mixer, mix the liquid up until it creates a large amount of foam. This procedure can take anywhere from 60 seconds up to a few minutes. Let the foam stabilize for a minute and after that you can use it. (14 ).


Just how much lecithin is safe to take?

There’s no recommendation nutrient intake (rni) for lecithin so check out the label of any supplements carefully. For breast-feeding, the canadian breast-feeding structure recommends 1200mg of lecithin 4 times a day.

The following groups should not take soy lecithin:.

Children under 12 years.

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

How should i usage lecithin?

When thinking about using natural supplements, look for the recommendations of your doctor. You may likewise consider speaking with a practitioner who is trained in making use of herbal/health supplements.

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

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

Shop at room temperature away from wetness and heat. (16 ).

Is there really lecithin in your lecithin supplement?

You most likely presume that when you take lecithin supplements, you are in fact getting lecithin. Nevertheless, as is the case with lots of nutritional supplements, commercial preparations vary commonly in the amount the substance that is in fact in their item.

Why such variability? Due to the fact that the suppliers of supplements were exempted by congress from adhering to any standards of manufacture, purity, or claims of advantages. How this came about is emblematic of our broken political system, but do not get me going on this.

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

Not precisely the stuff to help in weight reduction, cardiovascular health, or great liver function. In fact, in theory, they could work against all those possibly fantastic benefits. (17 ).


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

Topical diclofenac (voltaren gel).

This list is not complete. Other drugs may impact lecithin, consisting of prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and organic items. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here. (18 ).


Before using lecithin/ selenium, inform your doctor about your current list of medications, nonprescription products (e.g. Vitamins, organic supplements, etc), allergic reactions, pre-existing diseases, and present health conditions (e.g. Pregnancy, upcoming surgical treatment, and so on). Some health conditions may make you more susceptible to the side-effects of the drug. Take as directed by your physician or follow the direction printed on the item insert. Dose is based upon your condition. Inform your doctor if your condition continues or worsens. Crucial counseling points are listed below.

  • Children need medical guidance
  • Consult a doctor if you have chronic kidney disease, underactive thyroid or skin cancer
  • Do not utilize for long term
  • Have malabsorption issues, diarrhea or excess fats in feces
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Pregnant, planning to conceive or breast feeding (19 )


The impacts of hydroxylated lecithin on growth performance, serum enzyme activity, hormonal agent levels connected to lipid metabolism and meat quality of jiangnan white goslings in the various treatment groups were examined. The final body weight, average day-to-day gain, feed conversion ratio, alanine aminotransferase, malate dehydrogenase, leptin, glucose, triiodothyronine, thyroid hormone, malondialdehyde, totally free fatty acid, breast muscle water holding capacity, leg muscle water holding capacity, 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 with the cg and/or lg100. Overall, the hydroxylated lecithin concentration of 200 mg/kg improved the development performance, serum enzyme activity, hormone levels connected to lipid metabolism, and the meat quality of jiangnan white goslings. Therefore, hydroxylated lecithin can be widely used as a safe and reliable additive in livestock production. (20 ).


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