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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-17 (EDT)

See Also Food Supplements

Lecithin, also known as phosphatidylcholine, is a major component of cell membranes. Biochemically, lecithin and phosphatidylcholine are the same thing. Commercially, the phosphatidylcholine content of lecithin ranges from about 20-90% with most preparations containing 20%. The remaining 80% is a mixture of other lipids. Most lecithin is produced from vegetable sources. Phosphatidylcholine is an important deliverer of choline, a component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the methyl donor betaine, and various other phospholipids. Phosphatidylcholine acts in the hepatic export of VLDL (very low density lipoprotein) and therefore is important for proper fat transport away from the liver. [1]


  • Food sources of lecithin are derived mostly from soybean, sunflower, and rapeseed with soybean being the most commonly used. Eggs also naturally contain about 68-72% phosphatidylcholine while soya contains 20-22%.[1]
  • Lecithin is commonly used as a food additive in foods requiring a natural emulsifier or lubricant such as chocolate, margarine, salad dressings, spreads, etc.
  • Lecithin is used for applications in human food, animal feed, pharmaceutical, paint, and other industrial applications.


Lecithin is believed to be beneficial in the treatment of the following conditions:

Prescribing Considerations

  • The recommended dosages have not yet been established. To determine what your specific requirements are talk to your naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional.
  • Lecithin is generally taken orally in the form of granules which are mixed with juice, milk or yogurt. Lecithin granules do not dissolve and have a bit of crunchy taste.
Note: is you put lecithin granules on hot food they will melt and you will then have liquid lecithin.


Lecithing is generally regarded as safe.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hendler Sheldon S, Rorvik David (Editors) (2001) PDR for Nutritional Supplements, Medical Economics Company Inc.