LECITHIN – Efficacy, Side Effects, Safety and Drug Interactions
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|Consumer Information and Education|
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
|What is it?|
|Lecithin is a fat that is essential in the cells of the body. It can be found in many foods, including soybeans and egg yolks. Lecithin is taken as a medicine and is also used in the manufacturing of medicines.|
Lecithin is used for treating memory disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also used for treating gallbladder disease, liver disease, certain types of depression, high cholesterol, anxiety, and a skin disease called eczema.
Some people apply lecithin to the skin as a moisturizer.
You will often see lecithin as a food additive. It is used to keep certain ingredients from separating out.
You may also see lecithin as an ingredient in some eye medicines. It is used to help keep the medicine in contact with the eye’s cornea.
|Is it Effective?|
|Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.|
The effectiveness ratings for LECITHIN are as follows:
|Possibly Effective for…|
- Liver disease. Taking lecithin seems to reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who are being fed long-term through a needle in the vein (parenteral nutrition).
|Possibly Ineffective for…|
- High cholesterol. Some evidence shows that lecithin decreases cholesterol in healthy people, but not in people who have high cholesterol.
- Gallbladder disease.
|Likely Ineffective for…|
- Problems with memory such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
|Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for…|
- Manic-depressive disorder. Early research shows that taking lecithin improves symptoms of delusions, jumbled speech, and hallucinations in people with mania.
- Dry skin, dermatitis. Lecithin is often put in skin creams to help the skin retain moisture. People may tell you this works, but there is no reliable clinical research showing that lecithin is effective for this use.
- Athletic performance. Limited research shows that taking lecithin by mouth does not seem to improve athletic performance in trained athletes.
- Movement disorders (tardive dyskinesia). Early studies suggest that taking lecithin by mouth alone, or in combination with lithium, does not appear to improve symptoms in people with tardive dyskinesia when used for 2 months.
- Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate lecithin for these uses.
|How does it work?|
|Lecithin is converted into acetylcholine, a substance that transmits nerve impulses.|
|Are there safety concerns?|
|Lecithin is LIKELY SAFE for most people. It can cause some side effects including diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, or fullness.|
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of lecithin during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
|Are there any interactions with medications?|
|It is not known if this product interacts with any medicines.|
Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.
|Are there any interactions with Herbs and Supplements?|
|There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.|
|Are there interactions with Foods?|
|There are no known interactions with foods.|
|What dose is used?|
|The appropriate dose of lecithin depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for lecithin. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.|
|What other names is the product known by?|
|Egg Lecithin, Lécithine, Lécithine d’œuf, Lécithine de Graine de Soya, Lécithine de Soya, Lecitina, Ovolecithin, Ovolécithine, Phospholipide de Soja, Phospholipide de Soya, Phospholipides de Soya, Soy Lecithin, Soy Phospholipid, Soy Phospholipids, Soya Lecithin, Soybean Lecithin, Vegilecithin, Vitellin, Vitelline.|