Natural ways to improve our health has been the ultimate quest ever since the search for the fountain of youth began. Soy lecithin dietary supplements are one more leg in the journey. But soy is not without its side effects, especially for those with soy allergies to consider. In this article, we will look at what soy lecithin is, some of its side effects, as well as some of its benefits and uses.
What is soy lecithin?
Soy lecithin is a phospholipid extracted from soybeans. Phospholipids are where we get our organic oils, waxes, and steroids. First, the soybeans are tempered, then stored at a consistent temperature and moisture for over a week. This loosens the hull of the bean by allowing it to hydrate. Once it’s ready, the hull is removed, and the soybean oil extracted. Finally,
Lecithin is really just a generic term designating a large group of fatty substances which occur in animal and plant tissues; therefore, it can be found in natural food sources such as yeast, legumes, egg yolk, wheat germ, peanuts, and of course soybeans. But the levels are too low in these foods to cause any side effects, or excite a soy lecithin allergy.
These phospholipids are made up of choline and inositol, and they help with the flow of nutrients through cells in the body. Specifically, the movement of cholesterol, and its removal from tissues, is dependent upon the activity of a soluble enzyme known as lecithin cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT). For this reason, soy lecithin is used as a dietary supplement to lower cholesterol, aid in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and other conditions.
Side Effects of Soy Lecithin
When ingested naturally through foods, or taken in small amounts as a food supplement, soy lecithin dangers are minimal. However, soya lecithin side effects may become an issue if it is overused as a dietary supplement. Usually, these side effects will show up in the digestive system as some of the following:
• Abdominal pain, or sometimes fullness
• Loose stool
• Gastrointestinal problems
• Weight gain
• Body odor
• Bad breath
Some people with soy allergies have also shown these side effects:
• Lips, mouth, or throat swelling
• Hives, or a rash
• Difficulty breathing
It is a common assumption to believe that organic supplements would not have side effects, but anything strong enough to be used for medicinal purposes should also be considered strong enough to create side effects.
Soy Lecithin Uses
These possible side effects are not experienced by everyone who takes a soy lecithin supplement; furthermore, when taken in moderation, soy lecithin can be beneficial. It is reported to help heart health and development of the brain. It is commonly used to lower cholesterol, and it helps boost the immune system. Soy lecithin can be used as an emulsifier to solidify foods like margarine or candy bars. It is also reported to help reduce triglyceride.
The key benefit to soy lecithin is its ability to help break up cholesterol and pass it through the arteries without buildup. Hence, its regular use as a dietary supplement. But like all supplements, organic or otherwise, its full range of effects should be taken into consideration. Each body is different, so you should discuss the best soy lecithin option for you with your health care provider.
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