What Is Soy Lecithin?

Overview

Soy lecithin is a substance that is extracted from soybeans. It is known for its use as a stabilizer in various food applications and as a dietary supplement.

Composition

Soy lecithin comprises a few different compounds. It contain three types of phospholipids called phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine and phosphotidylinositol; as well as fatty acids, carbohydrates and triglycerides.

Emulsifier

Soy lecithin is often used as an emulsifier, which means that it provides solidity in food items such as candy bars and margarine.

Health Benefits

Soy lecithin is known to contain a lot of the nutrient choline, which the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences has identified as one that can be taken daily for heart health and brain development. Thus, some people use it as a supplement.

Side Effects

Intake of soy lecithin could cause side effects such as abdominal pain, nausea and diarrhea. Also, some people may be allergic to the substance.

Predominance

Soy lecithin is the predominant type of lecithin used today. It has supplanted egg lecithin, which debuted in commercial manufacture and use in the mid-20th century.

References

  • The Facts About Soy Lecithin
  • What Is Soy Lecithin and Why Is It Found In So Many Products?
  • EMedTv; Soy Lecithin
Keywords: soy lecithin, emulsifier, types of dietary supplements

About this Author

Anjus Chiedozie has written articles in a variety of subjects such as music, scientific research and history. His work has appeared in "Georgetown Research College News" and The Washington Post-owned "Express." Besides writing at Demand Studios, Chiedozie works full-time as a copy editor at a newswire company.

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