Cholesterol Home > Soy Lecithin Safety

Possible safety concerns with soy lecithin should be discussed with your healthcare provider prior to taking this product. As a dietary supplement, soy lecithin is not as closely regulated as medications and can be marketed without any proof that it is either safe or effective. Ask your healthcare provider about warnings and precautions with soy lecithin if you are pregnant.

Is Soy Lecithin Safe?

Soy lecithin is a food additive as well as a dietary supplement, claimed to be useful for treating a variety of different conditions. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this product if you:
  • Have any chronic or severe medical condition
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding.
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Soy Lecithin Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of soy lecithin include the following:
  • People tend to believe that soy products are either very healthy or very dangerous. In general, human studies suggest that soy consumption through a healthy diet (especially a traditional Asian diet) is probably both safe and beneficial. It is not clear if larger amounts of soy, such as those obtained through supplements or through massive dietary intake, are equally safe.
  • Soy lecithin is derived from soybean oil. Some people with soy allergies may be allergic to soy lecithin as well. However, since most people with soy allergies are allergic to the proteins in soy (and since soy lecithin contains little or no protein), many people with soy allergies can safely consume soy lecithin.
  • As dietary supplements, soy lecithin products are not as closely regulated as prescription or non-prescription drugs. They can be marketed without any proof that they are either safe or effective. Do not assume that just because a product is sold or advertised in the United States that it is safe or effective. Be sure to look for soy lecithin supplements from a reputable manufacturer. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are most reputable.
  • If you have a chronic or severe medical condition, it is always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including soy lecithin.
  • A normal intake of soy lecithin through food is probably safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, although larger amounts of soy lecithin supplements may not be safe (see Lecithin and Pregnancy and Lecithin and Breastfeeding).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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