Body Ecology, Inc.

Soy Lecithin: The Risks If You Choose the Wrong Type, the Benefits If You Choose Right

Soy lecithin has many health benefits. It adds creaminess to recipes and is a source of choline, which helps dissolve fat and cholesterol and can help regulate your kidney, liver and gallbladder function.

Lecithin is an essential nutrient that is required by your body, but not made in adequate amounts. Deficiency in lecithin can cause digestive problems, forget-fullness, nausea, intolerance to fats and joint and muscle problems.

Supplementing is a great way to ensure that you have enough of this nutrient. However, there are more risks than benefits if you choose the wrong kind - and there are two keys to look for in choosing the right soy lecithin.

Key #1: GMO vs. Non-GMO

The buzzword getting a lot of attention these days is GMO (or GM, meaning genetically modified organisims) vs. non-GMO (non-genetically modified organisms).

Genetically modified foods have been changed by biotechnology to be resistant to herbicides and insects. While on the surface this may appear to be a good thing to do, the problem with GM foods is that we don't know the impact on the health of humans or the environment. And at Body Ecology we are especially concerned about the bacteria in our inner ecosystem being altered by an inserted gene.

Research is showing that the DNA fragments can be taken up by the bacteria in our gut and then transferred from this micro-organism to other microorganisms. What will be the long term effect of bacteria in our gut being modified? Does this not remind you of scientists who are operating at the same level as little babies playing with razor blades? Enough studies about the risks of GM foods have come out to cause consumers to demand non-GMO products.

Soy, along with corn, make up the highest percentage of GM crops in the market, which means the soy lecithin you are eating may be GM. Many commercial food companies use lecithin in nutritional bars, mixes, and baby foods - so make sure you check the label for non-GMO soy lecithin.

Since the labeling laws of GM foods are still undergoing debate, another way to avoid GM soy lecithin is to stay away from processed foods.

Key #2: Fermented vs. Unfermented Unfermented soy is not the health food it's purported to be. In fact, in 2002, the British government's expert committee on the toxicity of food (CoT) published the results of its inquiry into the safety of plant oestrogens (or phyto-estrogens), mainly from soya proteins, in modern food.

Their experiments and other studies have found that soy contains toxins and plant oestrogens that could disrupt women's menstrual cycles, stimulate the progression of breast cancer, damage the thyroid, lower testosterone levels and have uncertain effects on the prostate.

From a digestive perspective, soy beans, like other legumes, consist of protein and starch, making them difficult to disgest, especially when stomach acid is low. Fermenting soyfoods can reduce their harmful effects.

As demand for non-GMO products increases, food manufacturers are starting to respond, but few understand the risks of unfermented soy.

At Body Ecology, we have always been committed to your health, which is why we have found a process to ferment the non-GMO soy we use in our Vitality SuperGreen. This is just one more reason why Vitality SuperGreen is unsurpassed by any other green drink on the market.

To learn more about how fermented soy can benefit your health - including how to add soy lecithin for a delicious result in recipes, read The Body Ecology Diet book .

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  • francine

    I just got my blood test results and I am ecstatic. I lowered my cholesterol 63 points on diet and soy lecithin. Would you believe it? side effects...

  • AnnR

    Read all above and I would actually just like to know what I should ask for at my local Herbal Shop - in Tenerife. As Mark says what is okay lecithin? I have enough probs without adding to them. Digestion probs and gall bladder pain sufferer. Doing the ACV, have ground turmeric also. Ann
    PS no shipping from US etc to Tenerife (wont allow into islands)

  • Drew

    Sorry I didn't see that this was posted in 2006. You might want to just take this article down.

  • drew

    Lecithin causes heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. Do some real research next time.

  • Gordon Anderson

    Where can one get fermented soy lecithin granules?

  • SMcCandlish

    This is nonsense: "Lecithin is an essential nutrient that is required by your body". Hardly the first time I've encountered b.s. on this site, mind you, but this is a particularly bad example of just making crap up out of thin air and passing it off as fact. Various substances, like phosphatidyl choline, that are found in lecithins are required by the body, some of which can be synthesized and some of which cannot, but they all come from sources other than just lecithins. Phosphatidyl choline, to continue with that example, is a major component of ALL cell membranes, so all food you eat, vegetable or animal, contains it.

  • Jenny

    I've been reading about the wonderful benefits from choline, and lechithin is an excellent source. I've read that organic,non gmo sunflower seed lecithin is the best way to go.... I've found that NOW foods has one (although not organic) and I've found a few organic options that are the liquid (not capsule). Also look for mechanically processed(or cold pressed) vs. chemically extracted. Not sure if this is a huge issue for sunflower lecithin (vs soy) but good to be aware of.

  • JennaB

    Lecithin releases toxins to be flushed out of your body, which is why some people experience a reaction to lecithin.

  • flynn

    The article above notes that fermenting the soy decreases the negative effects. Does this mean that if my doctor has recommended that I NOT eat soy products due to my hormonal changes that I would still not want to have soy in my green drink even if fermented?
    Do you have a green drink with no soy?
    Thanks, Flynn

  • Lou

    I wanted to try Lecithin granules to reduce my cholesterol. My husband picked up some from the local health food store and I broke out in hives and my neck from my chin to the base of my neck had a 2 1/2 inch bright red stripe this morning. NEVER AGAIN. I can't believe they sell something this dangerous. I almost closed up, the allergic reaction was so bad.

  • http://lecithin question Sam Burson

    I was going to order a dietary supplement that has organically grown soy lecithin in it and I have cancer that bad for cancer?

  • mark cline

    Where can I get okay lecithin?
    thank you,

  • Robert Mitchell

    on soy lecithin

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this web site.

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