12 doctors weighed in:

What is lecithin?

12 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alan Greene
Pediatrics
4 doctors agree

In brief: Milk duct remedy

First discovered in egg yolks, lecithin is a slippery substance that lets oil and water mix.
It's found in lots of foods. And it's added to foods (for example, to keep the cocoa powder and cocoa butter together in chocolate) and used in cooking sprays. It's also available as a supplement, often recommended for clogged milk ducts. Some swear by it. Not clear how well it works, but clear it is safe.

In brief: Milk duct remedy

First discovered in egg yolks, lecithin is a slippery substance that lets oil and water mix.
It's found in lots of foods. And it's added to foods (for example, to keep the cocoa powder and cocoa butter together in chocolate) and used in cooking sprays. It's also available as a supplement, often recommended for clogged milk ducts. Some swear by it. Not clear how well it works, but clear it is safe.
Dr. Alan Greene
Dr. Alan Greene
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Dr. Pamela Lindor
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: Lipid supplement

Lecithin is a fatty substance found in all living cells, sold as a supplement.
Good natural sources are egg yolk, soybeans, grains, wheat germ, fish, legumes, yeast, and peanuts. Although claimed to help with weight loss and other medical problems, there is little scientific evidence to support this. Ask you doctor before taking any supplement.

In brief: Lipid supplement

Lecithin is a fatty substance found in all living cells, sold as a supplement.
Good natural sources are egg yolk, soybeans, grains, wheat germ, fish, legumes, yeast, and peanuts. Although claimed to help with weight loss and other medical problems, there is little scientific evidence to support this. Ask you doctor before taking any supplement.
Dr. Pamela Lindor
Dr. Pamela Lindor
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Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Usually from soy

Typically extracted from soy - and to be avoided if soy allergic - lecithin, according to wikipedia, refers to "a group of yellow-brownish fatty substances occurring in animal and plant tissues, and in egg yolk, composed of phosphoric acid, choline, fatty acids, glycerol, glycolipids, triglycerides, and phospholipids (e.
g., phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylinositol).".

In brief: Usually from soy

Typically extracted from soy - and to be avoided if soy allergic - lecithin, according to wikipedia, refers to "a group of yellow-brownish fatty substances occurring in animal and plant tissues, and in egg yolk, composed of phosphoric acid, choline, fatty acids, glycerol, glycolipids, triglycerides, and phospholipids (e.
g., phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylinositol).".
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
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Dr. Marcus Degraw
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Plant substance

Essentially it is a collection of phospohlipids and plant material, usually from something like soy.
It is used in lots of foods and food preparation and can be used a a supplement. Most lecithin is derived from soy beans. Its use has been shown to possibly reduce cholesterol and maybe help with things like clogged milk ducts, but studies arent completely conclusive. Its very safe thoughto use.

In brief: Plant substance

Essentially it is a collection of phospohlipids and plant material, usually from something like soy.
It is used in lots of foods and food preparation and can be used a a supplement. Most lecithin is derived from soy beans. Its use has been shown to possibly reduce cholesterol and maybe help with things like clogged milk ducts, but studies arent completely conclusive. Its very safe thoughto use.
Dr. Marcus Degraw
Dr. Marcus Degraw
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Dr. Salil Gupta
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: A natural fat

Lecithin is a type of fat found in all plants and animals including humans.
It is an important part of cell membrane. It has lubricant and soap like or "surfactant" properties. Many food companies use it for dietary supplement purposes or in food preparation. There are no side effects of taking these supplement but benefits are only in few select cases.

In brief: A natural fat

Lecithin is a type of fat found in all plants and animals including humans.
It is an important part of cell membrane. It has lubricant and soap like or "surfactant" properties. Many food companies use it for dietary supplement purposes or in food preparation. There are no side effects of taking these supplement but benefits are only in few select cases.
Dr. Salil Gupta
Dr. Salil Gupta
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Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: A fatty substance

Lecithin is a non-toxic fatty substance containing lipid (fat) and phosphorous and is a common food additive.
It has a wide variety of uses in the pharmaceutical, paint, plastics, and food industries. It is an emulsifier (allows two substances to remain mixed without separating) and lubricant. Some studies suggest it may lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, but these are mixed.

In brief: A fatty substance

Lecithin is a non-toxic fatty substance containing lipid (fat) and phosphorous and is a common food additive.
It has a wide variety of uses in the pharmaceutical, paint, plastics, and food industries. It is an emulsifier (allows two substances to remain mixed without separating) and lubricant. Some studies suggest it may lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol, but these are mixed.
Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
Dr. Douglas Tzanetos
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics

In brief: A food additive

Lecithin is a substance found in plants and animals.
When used as a food additive, lecithin is usually from soybeans. It is an emulsifier when added to foods, which means lecithin helps prevent oils from separating from the non-fat ingredients in processed foods.

In brief: A food additive

Lecithin is a substance found in plants and animals.
When used as a food additive, lecithin is usually from soybeans. It is an emulsifier when added to foods, which means lecithin helps prevent oils from separating from the non-fat ingredients in processed foods.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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