Any of a number of waxy hygroscopic phospholipids that are extensively dispersed in animals and plants, type colloidal services in water, and have emulsifying, moistening, and antioxidant properties a mix of or compound abundant in lecithins. (1 )


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

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

People utilize lecithin for alzheimer disease and dementia, parkinson illness, and numerous other conditions, however there is no good clinical proof to support these usages. (2 ).


Lecithin is among the most complex and flexible substances stemmed from the soybean.

Etymology and classification: the word “lecithin” is originated from the greek term lekithos indicating “egg yolk.” in 1846 gobley isolated lecithin from egg yolk and in 1850 provided 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 present-day english, the term “lecithin” has two different meanings, which can be complicated. To most food mill and food chemists it refers to the natural complex mix of phospholipids, but to many 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 business term “soybean phospholipids” might be utilized to signify the oil-free lecithin complex. (3 ).

Characteristic and applications

Lecithins have emulsification and lubricant homes, 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 just be excreted through the kidneys.

The significant elements of commercial soybean-derived lecithin are:.

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

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

Applications consist of:

In the pharmaceutical market, it acts as a moistening agent, supporting representative and a choline enrichment carrier, assists in emulsification and encapsulation, and is a good distributing representative. It can be utilized in manufacture of intravenous fat infusions and for therapeutic use.

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

On farms in the european union and united 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 surfaces with painting and printing ink, has antioxidant properties, assists as a rust inhibitor, is a colour-intensifying agent, catalyst, conditioning help modifier, and distributing aid; it is an excellent stabilizing and suspending representative, emulsifier, and moistening representative, assists in maintaining consistent mixture of numerous pigments, assists in grinding of metal oxide pigments, is a spreading and mixing help, avoids difficult settling of pigments, gets rid of foam in water-based paints, and helps in fast dispersion of latex-based paints.

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

Dietary and industrial sources

Because lecithin is found in all living organisms, it is easily offered in foods. Egg yolks, liver, peanuts, corn, spinach, and whole grains are excellent dietary sources. Soybeans are by far the most essential commercial source of lecithin, because they are an exceptional source, and because such substantial quantities are produced. Industrial lecithin is commonly utilized to process food, consisting of 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 mix water and oil. Nevertheless, the quantities utilized as a food additive in such items are insufficient 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 essential in cell structure and metabolic process. Lecithins are composed 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 leads to 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 varies 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 associate with levels of choline and acetylcholine. Subsequently, one assumed system of action of lecithin is the boost in the synthesis, release, and accessibility of acetylcholine. However, lecithin is likewise involved in complex intracellular processes, consisting of the policy of cellular membrane permeability. As gone over above, clients with bipolar affective disorder expose altered membrane phospholipid metabolism, and low choline levels within the orbital frontal gray matter have actually been found in patients with manic signs. Thus, supplements with lecithin apparently stabilizes the membrane and changes action potential. (7 ).

Types of lecithin

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

Soy lecithin

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

  • Dairy items
  • Infant solutions
  • Margarine
  • Breads
  • Junk 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 much better choice if you wish to avoid gmos.

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

Lecithin granules

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

Alternative names

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

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

Benefits of lecithin

Lowers cholesterol

The most popular advantage of lecithin is its ability to lower cholesterol. Researchers have discovered that soybean lecithin can contribute to raising hdl (excellent) cholesterol and reducing ldl (bad) cholesterol in blood profiles.

Soy protein supplies an extra increase for individuals utilizing it to deal with cholesterol because of other components that soy offers.

Improves heart health

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

Since soy is made complex 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.

Help breastfeeding mothers

Some breastfeeding experts advise lecithin as a service for preventing persistent plugged ducts. The canadian breastfeeding structure advises a dosage of 1,200 milligrams, four times per day, to experience this benefit.

They hypothesize 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, however. Deal with ducts with:.

  • Application of warm compresses
  • Massage
  • Additional pumping, if required
  • Draining pipes the breast well
  • Asking a lactation specialist for more recommendations
  • Report any fever or flu-like sensations to your doctor.

Assists improve food digestion

Lecithin has been checked in people with ulcerative colitis to enhance their digestion. Lecithin’s emulsifying qualities contribute to a chain reaction that enhances the mucus in your intestine, making the gastrointestinal process simpler and securing the delicate lining of your gastrointestinal 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 digestion procedure.

May battle dementia symptoms

Lecithin contains choline, which is a chemical your brain uses to interact. Medical research recommends that a diet plan rich in choline can lead to a sharper memory and assist people with alzheimer’s.

Lipid substances which contain choline, like lecithin, may enhance the brain’s functional pathways. There’s some conflicting proof on if lecithin can be used to treat people that have neurological and nerve system conditions, but research study into this advantage of lecithin is promising and moving forward.

Soothes and hydrates skin

Lecithin remains 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 products, the type of lecithin utilized is called hydrogenated lecithin.

There’s not a great deal of proof that lecithin, when utilized alone, can treat acne and eczema– although some people use it for that. Taking lecithin capsules could theoretically enhance your skin, because it tones and stimulates other parts of your body, however we don’t understand for sure. (9 ).

Other usages

Lecithin has been promoted as a treatment for:.

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

It should be noted that the research study on lecithin’s effectiveness in treating these conditions is very restricted or nonexistent. (10 ).

How does lecithin benefit the skin?

In cosmetics and personal 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 relieve the skin. Its high concentration of fatty acids produces a barrier on the skin that effectively seals wetness in while keeping air and other environmental components out.

This home makes lecithin an exceptional active ingredient to add to restorative creams, or for products developed for fully grown, dry, or overworked skin. Additionally, lecithin is frequently used in hair conditioners and other hair items due to its emollient homes.


Although lecithin has a low solubility in water, it operates as an outstanding emulsifier. An emulsifier is required for products which contain both water and oil parts. 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 ingredient types start to separate. To resolve this issue, an emulsifier like lecithin can be to support the product.

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 solution, 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. Think about a liposome as an oily ball that repels water.

According to a short article released in the international journal of toxicology, liposomes are considered reliable in delivering other active ingredients inside their spherical structure and penetrating through the skin barrier.

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

How does lecithin aid with hair?

Lecithins are emulsifiers that are surface-active and water-loving. These fatty compounds are often 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 boosts the required amount of protein for hair development while enhancing the texture and appearance of hair by adding shine or radiance. Its high concentration of fats produces a barrier on the skin and hair that successfully captures and seals in wetness.

This moisturizing benefit makes lecithin ideal for individuals suffering from dry, fragile hair. It adds shine, seals in moisture, and brings back hair’s natural protective finish typically damaged by styling, chemical applications, heat, or ecological changes. This is typically why we discover shampoos and conditioners utilizing lecithin to help improve the look and structure of damaged hair. Lecithins likewise assist control the viscosity of liquids and help with product absorption into the skin or hair. They are extremely 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 obviously food sources, but if you want the benefits of this natural-occurring active ingredient, then you can benefit from these items below that utilize the emulsifying and moistening power of lecithin in their formulas. (12 ).

Adverse effects of lecithin

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

Although not all negative effects are understood, lecithin is thought to be most likely safe for many people.

Common negative effects may include:.

  • Diarrhea, queasiness, stomach pain or fullness.

This is not a total list of adverse effects and others might happen. Call your doctor for medical guidance about negative effects. (13 ).

How to make a soy lecithin foam?

One of the most popular approaches in molecular gastronomy is the creation of foams. While they are associated with modernist cuisine, foams have been used for centuries and variety from meringues and whip cream to bread and quiche.

With a few of the brand-new molecular gastronomy active ingredients such as soy lecithin you can now make culinary foams that are incredibly light. There are a number of methods 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 blender.

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

Parts of soy lecithin foams

The stabilizer

The function of the stabilizer is to help keep the structure of the foam. This can be carried out in many different 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 always soy lecithin. It enables the foam to last longer without considerably altering the nature of it.

Soy lecithin is generally included by weight as 0.3% to 1% of the total weight of the liquid. The amount utilized will depend on the specific active ingredient you are attempting to foam, which is why it differs a lot. Nevertheless, lecithin foams do not require nearly as much accuracy as some other modernist techniques.

The liquid

In soy lecithin foams the liquid can be nearly any water-based liquid considering that lecithin works well with both acid and base ingredients. The liquid should be really strong given that it will be watered down once the air is included into it. Some typical liquids are citrus juices, soy sauce, teas, and other delicious liquids.

The air

Typically, “normal” air is utilized with the foams but if you use an isi cylinder then the air will be nitrous oxide or whatever else you utilize to charge it. Unless you use an isi cylinder you will normally 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 blender. This can be made with the liquid at room temperature level, or a somewhat warmer temperature level similar to the temperature of hot tap water. Once it is blended it can stay in this state for a number of hours prior to being lathered.

The second thing to do is to make the actual foam. This involves whipping the liquid till it forms a foam, usually with a whisk or immersion mixer however various cooking area home appliances will work great as long as they incorporate air into the container. When the liquid has actually foamed you let the foam rest for a minute to stabilize, then you can spoon it out and utilize it. Depending upon the liquid it need to last anywhere from 30 minutes as much as a few hours, but the faster you use it the better.

Blending soy lecithin foam with an immersion blender

Put the liquid and soy lecithin mixture into a broad, flat bottomed container. This assists keep the liquid shallow so when you use the immersion blender it will be mixing air into the liquid far more than if the whole mixer was submerged.

Using the immersion mixer, blend the liquid until it creates a big quantity of foam. This process can take anywhere from one minute as much as a couple of 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 read the label of any supplements carefully. For breast-feeding, the canadian breast-feeding structure recommends 1200mg of lecithin four times a day.

The following groups need to not take soy lecithin:.

Children under 12 years.

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

How should i usage lecithin?

When considering making use of natural supplements, seek the recommendations of your medical professional. You may also consider speaking with a specialist who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.

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

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

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

Store at space temperature away from moisture and heat. (16 ).

Exists truly lecithin in your lecithin supplement?

You probably assume that when you take lecithin supplements, you are in fact getting lecithin. Nevertheless, as holds true with many dietary supplements, commercial preparations differ widely in the amount the compound that is in fact in their product.

Why such variability? Due to the fact that the suppliers of supplements were exempted by congress from adhering to any requirements of manufacture, purity, or claims of advantages. How this happened is emblematic of our broken political system, however don’t get me going on this.

Only a fraction of industrial lecithin is made up of the real thing. So, what makes up the rest? The response: fats!

Not exactly the stuff to help in weight decrease, cardiovascular health, or excellent liver function. In fact, theoretically, they might work against all those possibly fantastic benefits. (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 may affect lecithin, consisting of prescription and over the counter medicines, vitamins, and natural products. Not all possible drug interactions are noted here. (18 ).

Preventative measures

Before utilizing lecithin/ selenium, inform your doctor about your present list of medications, over-the-counter items (e.g. Vitamins, organic supplements, etc), allergic reactions, pre-existing diseases, and present health conditions (e.g. Pregnancy, upcoming surgery, and so on). Some health conditions might make you more vulnerable 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. Tell your doctor if your condition continues or worsens. Important counseling points are listed below.

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


The results of hydroxylated lecithin on development performance, serum enzyme activity, hormone levels connected to lipid metabolism and meat quality of jiangnan white goslings in the various treatment groups were evaluated. The last body weight, typical 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. In general, the hydroxylated lecithin concentration of 200 mg/kg improved the development efficiency, serum enzyme activity, hormone levels related to lipid metabolic process, and the meat quality of jiangnan white goslings. For that reason, hydroxylated lecithin can be widely used as a safe and reputable additive in animals production. (20 ).


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