Harmful or Harmless: Soy Lecithin | Chris Kresser

Harmful or Harmless: Soy Lecithin

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soy lecithin, is soy lecithin bad for you
Is soy lecithin bad for you? iStock.com/sergeyryzhov

Soy lecithin is one of the most ubiquitous additives in our food supply. It’s used primarily as an emulsifier, and you can find it in everything from salad dressing to tea bags. Paleo dieters avoid the brunt of it by eliminating most processed foods, but it almost always pops up in chocolate (everyone’s favorite honorary Paleo food) and often appears in supplements.

I recommend avoiding soy as a general rule, but consuming small amounts of soy lecithin as an additive is very different from, say, eating a soy burger  topped with soy cheese or drizzling soybean oil on your salad. This article will probably be more than you ever wanted to know about soy lecithin, but I wanted to do my best to get all the facts out on the table.

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What Is Soy Lecithin?

The term ‘lecithin’ can have different meanings depending on the context, but for our purposes, it refers to a mixture of phospholipids and oil. Phospholipids are a component of the cell membrane in all plants and animals, but lecithin is most often derived from sunflower kernels, rapeseed (canola), milk, soy, and egg yolks. (1)

The specific composition of soy lecithin varies depending on its manufacturer and intended use, but on average, it contains about 35% soybean oil and 16% phosphatidylcholine. (2) Phosphatidylcholine is a type of phospholipid that is abundant in liver and egg yolks, and is the primary form of choline found in foods. (3) The remaining percentage is other phospholipids and glycolipids.

To make soy lecithin, soybean oil is extracted from the raw soybeans using a chemical solvent (usually hexane). (4) Then, the crude soy oil goes through a ‘degumming’ process, wherein water is mixed thoroughly with the soy oil until the lecithin becomes hydrated and separates from the oil. Then, the lecithin is dried and occasionally bleached using hydrogen peroxide.

There are many claims online about soy lecithin being full of nasty chemicals left over from the production process. Not surprisingly, there aren’t many credible sources describing the chemical content of commercial soy lecithin, but I have found some relevant data about the safety of soy lecithin.

Before the ‘degumming’ step where lecithin is removed, the crude oil undergoes a multi-step process to remove the hexane. (5) However, it appears that the FDA doesn’t regulate the amount of hexane residue in food products, and one paper estimated that the residual hexane concentration of soy oil is 500-1000ppm. (6) So, it’s very possible that similar concentrations remain in the soy lecithin. (For comparison’s sake, the concentration limit for hexane in pharmaceuticals is 290ppm.) (7)

According to one analysis, total pesticide residues in crude soy oil are around 400ppb. (8) Since the pesticide concentration of the oil after degumming is similar, it’s pretty likely that some of those pesticides end up in the lecithin as well.

While it’s unfortunate that soy lecithin likely contains pesticides and solvents, I would just encourage you to keep this information in perspective. We’re exposed to hundreds of chemical toxins every day in our air, water, household products, and food, and contaminants in soy lecithin will contribute only slightly to your overall toxic load. After all, we’re talking parts per million and parts per billion, and soy lecithin itself usually makes up no more than 1% of processed foods. (9)

Of course, in an ideal world, we would be able to avoid these things altogether, and I certainly recommend reducing your exposure as much as possible. It’s also a good idea to make sure your detox systems are functioning effectively. But unless you have a severe chemical sensitivity to hexane or pesticides, occasionally consuming small amounts is not worth getting bent out of shape over.

Allergies

Soy allergies are triggered by soy proteins, so whether lecithin triggers an allergic response or not depends on its protein content. One analysis found protein concentrations ranging from 100 to 1,400ppm in six different soy lecithin samples. (10) (For reference, the new FDA gluten-free labeling law requires a gluten concentration of less than 20ppm.) (11) Another analysis of six different lecithin samples found that four had sufficient protein to trigger an IgE-mediated response in people with soy allergies, while two contained no detectable protein at all. (12) However, another study performed similar testing and concluded that even if protein is present in soy lecithin, it’s not a significant allergen for people with soybean allergies. (13)

It’s clear that the source of the soy lecithin is a major determinant in whether or not it will present a problem for those with soy allergies, but if you have a soy allergy, I’d say better safe than sorry. However, because protein is present in such a low concentration, and soy lecithin itself usually makes up no more than 1% of processed foods, it’s probably not a problem for those with minor sensitivities to soy.

GMO

Most of the soy grown in the US is genetically modified, so unless the label says ‘organic soy lecithin,’ it probably came from a genetically modified soybean. You know I’m not a fan of GMOs, due to the presence of potentially transferrable DNA and potentially immunogenic proteins. However, as I discussed in the section on allergies, soy lecithin contains very little soy protein, and lecithin from some sources contains no detectable protein at all. Soy lecithin also contains very little DNA, and the DNA present is usually degraded to the extent that it’s impossible to tell whether the soy is genetically modified or not. (14) Thus, most of the risks associated with consumption of GMOs aren’t relevant for soy lecithin, and shouldn’t be cause for concern.

Phytoestrogens

Soy is the greatest food source of phytoestrogens, and one group of researchers discovered significant estrogenic activity in soy lecithin. (15) Interestingly, none of the soy lecithin they tested contained genistein, which is the predominant phytoestrogen in soy. They concluded that “a so-far unidentified estrogen-like compound” is present in soy lecithin that accounts for its estrogenic activity.

We know how problematic phytoestrogens can be, but again, the dose makes the poison. Remember, soy isn’t the only source of phytoestrogens we’re exposed to. (Did you know that flaxseed is also a significant source of phytoestrogens? In fact, one study showed that supplementation with ground flaxseed altered estrogen metabolism even more than supplementation with soy flour.) It’s definitely best to keep phytoestrogens to a minimum, and individuals dealing with cancer or fertility problems might want to avoid them more strictly. But for most generally healthy people, the small amounts of phytoestrogens from soy lecithin shouldn’t be a problem.

Toxicity

One study that has been used widely as ammunition against soy lecithin is titled “Effects of a Commercial Soy Lecithin Preparation on Development of Sensorimotor Behavior and Brain Biochemistry in the Rat.” Researchers found that soy lecithin in concentrations of 2% and 5% in the diets of pregnant and newborn rats resulted in impaired reflexes and swimming ability, along with other cognitive deficiencies.

It’s important to understand that these effects are due to choline toxicity, not soy lecithin per se. The elevated brain/body weight ratios, plus elevated acetylcholine and choline acetyltransferase levels that resulted from soy lecithin supplementation were caused by the phosphatidylcholine, and would’ve still occurred even if they had used a source of phosphatidylcholine other than soy; even egg yolks.

It would be very difficult to consume as much choline as these rats did, especially from soy lecithin. In fact, most people are deficient in choline! This is just another case of a study being misinterpreted, and you certainly don’t need to worry about soy lecithin causing developmental problems.

Therapeutic Uses

I believe I’ve covered all of the main concerns about soy lecithin, but it’s worth mentioning that soy lecithin is also being recommended and consumed as a dietary supplement. There is a growing body of research supporting its use for improving blood lipids, reducing inflammation, and treating neurological disorders. (16) For instance, one study found that after 2 months of supplementing with 500mg of soy lecithin per day, total cholesterol levels fell by 42% and LDL levels decreased by 56%. (17)

However, most of these studies involve supplementation with a purified form of soy lecithin, which usually contains less soy oil and more phosphatidylcholine than the commercial soy lecithin that shows up in foods. Additionally, isolated phosphatidylcholine is often referred to as ‘lecithin’ in scientific contexts, so some studies supplementing with ‘soy lecithin’ are really just supplementing with phosphatidylcholine.

So once again, it’s not the soy lecithin; it’s the choline. Luckily, you can derive all the benefits of phosphatidylcholine supplementation just by increasing your consumption of choline-rich foods like egg yolks and liver.

So, What to Do?

The only people who need to make a point of avoiding soy lecithin are those with severe soy allergies or chemical sensitivities, and of course, those who notice that they personally react badly to it. And if you don’t have a soy allergy, almost all of the remaining concerns about soy lecithin (pesticides, solvents, and GMOs) can be completely eliminated by purchasing products that contain organic soy lecithin.

But for the vast majority of the population, even conventional soy lecithin isn’t worth worrying about one way or the other. If it’s just as easy for you to avoid it as it is to consume it, then do so. (For example, Enjoy Life is one popular brand of chocolate that is soy-free.) Ultimately, I think most people can just enjoy their occasional chocolate treat without worrying about whether it contains soy lecithin.

374 Comments

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  1. Although a direct link to heart attack has not been made, researchers recently showed that intake of phosphatidylcholine, a major component of lecithin, temporarily raises blood levels of the compound TMAO. This is of concern because a 3-year study by the same researchers showed that people with the highest blood plasma levels of TMAO — above 6 µM (micromoles) — were 2.5 times as likely as those with the lowest levels (under 2.5 µM) to suffer a heart attack or other major adverse cardiovascular event (Tang, New Eng J Med 2013). TMAO is produced from the choline in phosphatidylcholine by the actions of microbes in the gut and enzymes in the liver. TMAO appears to advance atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by reducing the normal clearing of cholesterol.

  2. The chocolate you recommend has a fair amount of sugar, as do most of the others recommended here. Isn’t that one of the toxins you recommend avoiding? I gave up on commercial chocolates, almost all are cooked for days and are sweetened with sugar. I used to eat a fair amount of dark chocolate and it would make me break out and not feel good. Now I make my own with raw organic cacao powder, and it’s great.

  3. Could you explain then why Japanese women (and men) live longer than anyone else in the world and regularly consume soy ?

  4. While I can’t vouch for the safety of soy lecithin for those with IgE allergies, my young son has a significant IgG sensitivity/allergy to soy (delayed reaction). He eats no soy products, not even lecithin. If he has even minute amounts of soy lecithin, his symptoms of facial redness, digestive problems, and insomnia start up again. He has no reaction to sunflower lecithin.

  5. If you want to use lecithin for something you’re making, sunflower lecithin has more choline and is organic, soy-free, and non-GMO through Lekithos (mysunflowerlecithin.com)

  6. My 2 chocolate cents: In my experience/to my taste, the best widely available chocolate without soy lecithin is Green and Black’s organic 85% bar. It’s the only G&B bar I’ve found that doesn’t have soy lecithin. I prefer it to the Lindt lineup as well as to many smaller market “specialty”/”gourmet”/”whatever word makes you think they’ll be better than they are” chocolate bars that seem to always underwhelm the taste buds after the wallet has been emptied for them.

  7. Chocolate eaters – try Lindt Excellence! The packet says ‘May contain traces of soya lethicin’ but it is certainly not listed as an ingredient. 85% and 90% cocoa (a bit of an acquired taste) have less sugar and salt than the normal 70%. I do get a headache but it must be the cocoa itself causing it, not soya in
    this instance.

    • Kris,
      Well done! Thank you for posting about the soy lechithin. I always find your insights on these matters valuable. A distinctive approach with logic and intent to provide a level headed solution is a worthwhile endeavor! I have found myself reflecting many times on your work and have applied many changes in my famiies life and health based on your perspective! So many thanks are in order.
      Which lead me back yet to you once again today, regarding the phosphlipids. Particularly with the Vit C combo with phospholipids for my husband who suffered a heart attack in Aug 2013 at the tender age of 43 last year! Long story and journney since then. To date he is only on a couple of the menagerie of script meds that were originally handed to us as the “standard protocol” . He is no longer type 2 diabetic and would have to contribute that fact much to you!
      However he is still struggling with arterial plaques requiring stent placements. So I know we have SO FAR but still just missing the mark and lacking something! I suspect its the vitamin C, just my gut feeling considering his cholesterol levels should not warrant the continuing blockages forming. Also, he was on metoprolol which the diabetic journals had an article outlining that is evident that this bp med actually worsens arterial plaques! Argh!! So, am hoping that was our nasty coulperate!
      BUT, I just can’t afford that sort of gamble and continuing with diet modifications, supplements, and food prep methods ect. Trying to ensure we enable his body to heal! I can no longer look at a plate of food and just see food, I see a combination of potentially benefical nutrients and or potentially chemical laden, nutrient robbing toxins! Often feel like the mad scientist preparing smoothies and meals for targeted nutrition! Lol. All this has taught me so much and thanks to your work, enabling me to make strategic choices!
      My thoughts were this though, Regarding the Phospholipids and vit C…. I know that coconut oil facilitates absorption of just about anything good or bad! But could it be that the the MCT can also be a suitable form of phospholipids with the Vitamin C as well?
      Thanks for any input you may have to offer!
      Ary

  8. Hi Chirs! I avoid all soy as much as possible and also avoid soy lecithin as much as possible. I have to make my own chocolates with coconut oil to get my fix. I take sunflower lecithin due to the lack of a gall bladder. I know soy inhibits thyroid hormones. Does soy lecithin inhibit them as well?

  9. Just to weigh in on the chocolate issue. There is a GF/DF/SF chocolate available called Stone Ground from Needham, Mass. It is my absolute favorite chocolate. I take no money from them (or anyone else) to promote this chocolate. I buy it. I eat it.

  10. Actually, this is not “more than you would ever want to know about soy lecithin.”. This detail is EXACTLY why we come to you for guidance in our respective journeys to optimal health and happiness! Thank you!

  11. Chris, I’m wondering about the sweetener Stevia when it comes to Hormonal disrupters. I had read somewhere several years ago that Stevia also can effect hormones. But have not been able to find that article. Do you know anything about that? Or was that just an advertising scare from the sugar company to keep people from buying and using Stevia as a sweetener.

  12. Great article Chris. I enjoy reading most of what you write. I get this question a lot from my patients and you did a great job summarizing the major concerns and questions. Re: soy food allergy, what test do you recommend? I’ve used Cyrex labs in AZ before, but they check for close to 20 other food sensitivities and cross reactivities to gluten. Is there another you would recommend if a pt just wanted to check for soy? Thanks in advance.

  13. Chris, I’m floored by your recent recommendations. First, radioactive fish. Now GMO soy! You are spreading half truths. This is unacceptable. How much did it cost to buy you off?? I will be unsubscribing from this fantasy you think is helpful/healthy information.

    • Right, Silas. The radioactive fish-GMO soy lecithin lobby bought me off! Makes sense.

      My recommendations have always been evidence based. I dislike hysterical web claims that are based only on hearsay and lead to unnecessary stress and overly restrictive approaches to diet and supplements.

      Show me credible, peer-reviewed evidence that contradicts anything written in any of these articles, and we can have a real discussion.

      • Chris, thank you for being one of the most level-headed figures in the paleo community. I’m so sick of passionate people who half the time don’t know the basis for what they’re so passionate about. And the lashing out at others like the above commentator just shows the immaturity. Anyway I’m so glad you posted this as it’s been difficult for me to find a good protein powder for my husband’s work out recovery drink. (I’m sure I could get some backlash about that). But regardless, thanks so posting relevant posts and sticking to the facts. Well done.

      • Chris, you are such a great source of health info because you are evidence/science based. You understand methodology and view research critically. I think the above criticism is misguided. I hope Silas will continue to come to your website and at some point realize that you are true to the science.

      • I made a quick search again and I’ve found a westonaprice page about it.

        http://www.westonaprice.org/soy-alert/soy-and-the-brain
        http://www.livestrong.com/article/524606-what-are-the-dangers-of-soy-lecithin-ingestion/

        In another page I’ve read that as I wrote I remembered soy lecithin increased brain shrinkage in Hawaii Men’s Health Study but there’s no references.

        http://www.totalityofbeing.com/FramelessPages/Articles/FeedingYourBrain.htm

        So such makes me enough cautious about soy lecithin to not consume any gmo soy, but I’m not very sure about non-gmo or organic soy lecithin because probably the lecithin in the studies is mostly gmo soy lecithin. I did not check if there were studies from countries that forbid gmos in human food such as EU countries…

      • Chris –
        This response of yours has won you a follower in me, to replace of the paranoid nutrition-purist who thinks the radioactive fish lobby and pro-GMO lobby paid you off. I would love to see the data you’ve seen about lecithin studies. Are there safer brands than others for those of us who use it for liposomal solutions, homemade chocolates, an other stuff?

  14. I appreciate the article. However, I did want to mention “accumulation.” Although soy lecithin in minute amounts from one product in one day may have no consequence, has anyone considered the idea that there may be an accumulation effect when digesting multiple products per day with small amounts of soy lecithin? And if it is not expelled from the body, how does it accumulate within the body and is there a means for chelating it’s toxic effects?

    • i wouldn’t worry too much about a little bit of soy lecithin here or there. i add a TBSP of it to every large meal to help emulsify the fats for better digestion and absorption. 🙂

  15. Thanks Chris, I am always stressing about products containing any kind of soy. Not that I won’t still avoid it if possible but the stuff is in everything and if you are in a bind…but I will eat the chocolate I like with a little more enjoyment!

    As far as therapeutic uses: Is reducing total cholesterol even a concern anyway?

    • Not necessarily. Non-HDL cholesterol and the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol are more important.

  16. Years ago I wrote to Boca Burger asking them about GMOs and they wrote back saying that even the organic burgers had GMO soy in it. Its everywhere now.

      • Perhaps but in Australia at least if at least 75% (I think, don’t quote me on that) of the ingredients are organic then the product can be labelled “organic”. So for example, Green & Black’s chocolate is labelled “organic” but if you read the list every ingredient is organic EXCEPT for the soy lecithin. Which pisses me off so I don’t eat it. For the cost I can buy one without the crappy fillers so why would I settle?

        • Krissy, how annoying! In the USA now, the organic label means 95% organic, only things labeled “100% Organic” really are. The standards have been relaxed and the government is trying to relax them further – by ruining organic altogether it seems.

          Anyway, there are youtube videos showing how, but you really can make your own chocolate with honey, cacao (cocoa) powder, and cocoa butter. Very cool! You can even flavor your treats with organic essential oils such as cinnamon, orange, peppermint (my favorite) etc.
          Have fun!

  17. I’ve understood that the cocoa butter is removed and then sold for good money to the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. It’s replaced by cheap soy lecithin and vegetable oils. The considerations are purely economical (profits/bottom line), nothing to do with taste (which is inferior to cocoa butter), quality or health. Personally, I think it sucks. I want to eat a superior product that is ‘whole’ and includes cocoa butter for taste, mouth feel AND health. Rather eat less and pay more (a fair price) than eat a more processed and fragmented product with inferior substances. There are some very good chocolates around without soy lecithin, such as Kallari, Theo and Alter Eco – they also all happen to be fair trade, which doesn’t surprise me: integrity all the way. (Not affiliated!).

    As for soy lecithin: for some mysterious reason (maybe the solvents, then?) I cannot tolerate it, whereas little amounts of soy sauce or tofu are no problem.

    • I agree with those chocolate recommendations. It’s becoming easier and easier to find chocolate without any soy added. I also recommend the brand Sacred Chocolate (not affiliated in any way!), as their quality is unparalleled in the business (but also pretty pricey). You’d think that with all the affordable soy-free chocolates out there, more companies would catch on, because of the fact that soy-free eliminates so many issues (GMO, potential allergies).

    • Agreed Lou! I just tried Eating Evolved Primal Dark Chocolate after seeing Chris Kresser’s giveaway a few weeks ago.It’s soy-lecithin free and organic (and also Fair-Trade I believe). Love their 85% cacao. For me it’s worth it to get higher quality chocolate without the fillers.

    • Just wanted to drop a plug for my current top-favorite chocolate, Panama 80% dark chocolate by Equal Exchange. No soy or other additives/preservatives, Fair Trade, $4-or-under per bar, and only ~8g of sugar per 9-square serving (24 squares per bar; total 9g net carbs and 5g fiber per serving). So rich and creamy, amazing with a handful of hazelnuts or macadamia nuts or just by itself, and rich enough that a couple of squares at a time is plenty satisfying. (Not affiliated, just a fan of good food who’s worked their way through all of the more affordable additive/milk-free fair trade chocolate options at the local healthy grocery stores.)

    • You can make your own chocolate, it’s very easy. There’s a recipe for raw chocolate on the Quirky Cooking website.

    • Make your own chocolate. I buy raw cocoa from Vitacost.com and have found many recipes specifically using raw cocoa. All cocoa beans are dried in the hot sun, but most processing involved much more heat which breaks down many of the good enzymes in the cocoa bean. Raw cocoa has most of them intact along with even more antioxidants. Yoga Mama (the blog) has a video recipe for chocolate drops that is raw and instant energy.

  18. I supplement with lecithin and use it to make liposomal Vitamin C and glutathione; so I buy only organic sunflower lecithin made without hexane. Trace amounts delivered directly to my cells via liposomal transport daily would not be an acceptable risk in my view.

    • Do you mind posting your recipe/protocol here. I am also looking into that for DS with Autism but haven’t figured a way out.

      Thanks in advance.

      • To make liposomal vitamin c and glutathione you need to mix 1 tablespoon of ascorbic acid in 1/2 cup of distilled water in a blender for 1 min; mix 3 tablespoons of organic sunflower lecithin granules in 1 cup of distilled water in blender for 1 minute; then pour both into a sonic cleaner and stir with wooden spoon for 6-8 minutes.

        Follow the same instructions to make liposomal Gutathione sulfhydryl

        I tablespoon equals 1 gram of liposomal vitamin C.

        You can buy liposomal vitamin C and Glutathione, but it is much more expensive.

        • Any specific brand material you use or anything that is available.

          With the sonic cleaner, what is it? Can you link the actual product you use.

          Thanks again.

          • Hello,

            I’ve used quite frequently a product called liponano C and liponano glutathione, available at supplementclinic.com. Not cheap, but I think worth it.

          • Noel,

            I have found Swanson to trigger sensitivities and quality issues for me before.

            Also, their lecithin does not appear to be organic, nor does it claim no hexane (unless I’m missing something).

            (I am on the spectrum and heavy metal poisoned, with lots of sensitivities.)

            I get my sunflower lecithin for liposomal C here: http://www.mysunflowerlecithin.com/100-organic-liquid-sunflower-lecithin/

            For autism, look into a hair test, the works of Andrew Hall Cutler, and “frequent dose chelation”(google it). Please be very careful with chelation and supplements as a lot of autistic people are mercury-toxic, and a lot of doctors prescribe supplements and chelation protocols which end up damaging the poisoned person more.

            Don’t ever agree to any IVs of chelating agents, glutathione, or ALA. All drag mercury around.

            Also, be aware that mercury does not show up directly in 75%+ of cases. The body stores it, so autistic children tend to actually have unusually *low* levels of hair mercury.

            There are methods of determining, through statistical analysis of a hair mineral test, whether mercury is inducing deranged mineral transport.

            Look into it. 🙂

            Good luck,

            X

            • By the way, also avoid glutathione in general, NAC, MSM, clay, and chlorella if you have a chance of being metal-toxic.

              Low-dose, frequent oral chelation has helped tremendously with many autistic kids, and many have lost their autism diagnosis to date.

          • Oh, also; for making liposomal ANYTHING in a jewelry cleaner, USE A GLASS CONTAINER, OR OTHER INERT CONTAINER.

            DO NOT USE THE TANK DIRECTLY.

            Otherwise, you risk encapsulating nickel/metal from the stainless tank while sonicating and giving yourself chronic nickel poisoning.

            Regarding glutathione, there is some debate over whether it’s overused for all ills, even when inappropriate, but I do not know quite enough to lay out the arguments.

            ..save for that metal-poisoned people should not take glutathione unless there is a true cysteine deficiency and things like NAC don’t work. It will messily drag heavy metals about in the body (This is due to the lone SH, sulfhydryl, group – molecules with 2 -SH groups are considered chelators, chemically, and bind tightly enough that a decent percentage of metal is able to be carried to excretion. Glutathione holds weakly to metals with its 1 -SH group, and this causes what is basically lots of loose picking up and dropping-somewhere-else of metal molecules. You do NOT want to redistribute heavy metals if you’re poisoned – this is one of the main causes of getting a lot worse.)

            • (On a final note, if you have “silver” amalgams or strange mental and overall symptoms, there’s an >50% chance you’re metal-poisoned and should learn how to interpret a hair test correctly for toxicity.

              Same goes for autoimmunity, lyme, Parkinson’s, cancers (yes, really; cancers are often found to have extremely high levels of mercury.), and other degenerative/incurable health problems.

              Do be careful if you decide to replace your mercury (“silver”) -containing amalgams.

              Improper removal can cause even more exposure to mercury through the vapors.

              http://iaomt.org/ has resources for safe amalgam removal.

              Metal poisoning’s a lot more common than most folks tend to be aware of, and this is well documented. Some subsection of the population is more vulnerable to accumulating heavy metals. Generally, if one is chronically ill, or has some incurable condition, this vastly increases their likelihood of being in the vulnerable subsection.

              X

        • Hi,

          Where do you buy the Glutathione sulfhydryl?
          And what is the difference between plain Glutathion and Glutathione sulfhydryl?
          Have you been using these self made liposomal products for some time? What is your experience with the home made version?
          Many thanks for your reply.

    • I would love to hear whats in your lypo c recipe.
      I’ve only found recipes with soy lecithin dry.

      Thanks

  19. Chris, as a breastfeeding mother who recently had problems with plugged ducts and ran the risk of mastitis, I discovered that lecithin is recommended as a dietary supplement to minimize the risk of milk clogging up ducts. Of course the only lecithin I could get my hands on was, you guessed it, soy lecithin. Now the recommendation is to up to 1600 mg per day and this is obviously superior to any amounts there may be in chocolate. What do you think about this usage? Do you think I’m just better off continuing to eat several eggs a day?

    • I have this same question as I have also been taking lecithin to prevent future plugged ducts after having a few intense bouts of mastitis during Breastfeeding. Chris will you please comment on this ? Thank you !

    • I too am wondering about soy lecithin and plugged milk ducts. I just took the plunge and went soy/dairy/gluten free last week and woke this am with a plugged duct,. Soy lecithin (in addition to heat, more frequent nursing etc) has been a huge help the few times this has happened in the past. Now I’m on the fence about taking it. Would searching for some sunflower lecithin be a better choice?

      • Soy lecithin was not recommended when I was nursing (now 7 years ago), but I would avoid it because of the phytoestrogens. Plugged ducts can often be cured with hot water bottles on the affected area, gentle massage and drinking lots of water. Also, try having the baby nurse more frequently and start him or her on the affected side until the blockage clears. If the baby doesn’t fully empty one side you can pump the excess if you are worried about repeat blockages. Good luck.

        • But the lecithin works! I don’t know if it was soy, but it had an orange label and it was from a natural foods coop. I only needed to take two-three doses in one day (with coconut oil, hot compress, nursing, massage, etc) and the plugged duct was gone the next day.

        • Cabbage leaves – yes, stick a cabbage leaf in your bra. I don’t know why it works, but it helped me when I had some sort of breast feeding “clogged” or engorged issue.

      • Hi Nicole, rather than using soy try cayenne pepper tincture for this will unplug the ducts as well as heal ulcers, purify blood, heal digestion, great for wounds, all digestive disorders, liver, kidney, and the list goes on and on. Soy can’t say this. Also be sure if u do get a cayenne pepper tincture it’s at the least 40,000 heat units (he). Proferably 90,000. The hotter the more healing however starting out 40,000 3-5drops 3x a day would be awesome to start out with and see what great health benefits come to your from cayenne rather than soy.. (be sure it’s a tincture of pure cayenne and not mixed with paprika for that takes away from the healing qualities) God Bless:jason

        • Hi Jason,

          I’ve heard about the wonders of cayenne pepper tincture but don’t really know much about it. Can you use it if you’ve had your galbladder removed?

          Many thanks for your reply.
          With kind regards,
          Gabi

    • The homeopathic remedy “Phytalacca decandra” is very helpful for plugged ducts and mastitis. It helped me many times over my approximately 18 years of nursing five children and it helped the friends I recommended it to as well. I am not very into homeopathy but there are some remedies so effective that I do recommend them.

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