When most people think of soy and how it is possibly dangerous, they think of how it has the ability to affect hormone levels as well as contribute to problems with the thyroid etc.
As Dr. Josh Axe notes, the reason soy is unhealthy is because it contains some of the following:
- Denatured proteins – when heated, proteins and enzymes are destroyed in the manufacturing process, which is one causative factor of the all-too-common soy intolerance or allergy.
- Goitrogens – known to cause hypothyroidism and thyroid cancer.
- Hemagglutinin – red blood cell clotting agent that can cause a decrease in oxygen in your blood cells.
- High phytic acid – shown to reduce the mineral content in our bodies.
- Phytoestrogens/isoflavones – human estrogen imposters linked to infertility and breast cancer.
- Trypsin inhibitors – chemicals that slow down pancreatic enzymes and interfere with protein digestion.
Because so many people know this about soy, they assume all soy is unhealthy.
This causes a lot of people to flip over food, read the label, and see the words “soy lecithin” and assume the food is automatically unfit for consumption..
Well that’s not entirely true.
Soy lecithin is still soy, but it doesn’t have the same exact chemical structure as soy.
That’s because lecithin has been altered (not genetically) to help separate the fatty parts away from the rest of the soy molecule.
Lecithin actually refers to the waxy, fatty substance found in many plant and animal tissues and is commonly used as an emulsifier in food products (as well as beauty products and even in industrial applications).
Lecithins can come from eggs, Canola, sunflower, cottonseed and more.
The reason soy lecithin appears so frequently in food products is because it is an affordable option as well as having the unique ability to give foods a smooth, even texture.
The surprising news is soy lecithin can actually have some pretty amazing health benefits.
Soy lecithin has been found to be helpful with the following conditions:
- High Cholesterol
- Liver disorders
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Gall bladder problems
- General Anxiety
- Skin disorders (Eczema)
In fact lecithin is quite helpful in helping to regulate cholesterol.
The Journal of Cholesterol writes:
“One soy lecithin capsule (500mg/RP-Sherer) was administrated daily. One-two months before the treatment beginning, blood samples were collected for total lipids and cholesterol fractions analysis. The results showed a reduction of 40.66% and 42.00% in total cholesterol and of 42.05% and 56.15% in LDL [bad cholesterol] cholesterol after treatment for one and two months, respectively. A significant reduction in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol concentrations was observed during the first month of treatment, suggesting that the administration of soy lecithin daily may be used as a supplemental treatment in hypercholesterolemia.
That’s pretty impressive.
Not to mention it contains the element choline which is extremely helpful at helping the vital methylation process.
Methylation is the process by which your body converts certain methyl groups (nutrients like folate, B6, B12, methionine) into their end stage and usable form.
Interferences with methylation can cause a host of medical problems. So the fact lecithin can help out with methylation is a huge reason not to turn away from it.
As far as scientists are able to determine there is more evidence that leads them to conclude soy lecithin is more helpful than it is harmful.
The only caveat to the use of soy lecithin is you should avoid using it unless you know it’s organic.
As most all soy seen in food products is GMO it’s advised you look at the label and make sure it’s organic and Non-GMO project verified.
If you find that, and then make sure that you’re not eating lecithin by the handful you’re likely to be just fine.
One thing lecithin can’t do is help fix other problems in your diet.