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.