Is Lecithin Safe?

Many people may wonder, "Is lecithin safe?" Since some people are more likely to experience problems due to lecithin, warnings and precautions for the supplement should be discussed with your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have any chronic conditions, or have allergies. Supplements are not as closely regulated as medications, so be sure to look for lecithin supplements from a reputable manufacturer.

Lecithin Safety: An Overview

Lecithin is a popular dietary supplement, claimed to be useful for treating a variety of different conditions. You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking lecithin if you:
 
  • Have any chronic or severe medical condition
  • Have any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding.
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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 Lecithin Safety Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of lecithin include the following:
 
  • Lecithin is derived from either eggs or soy, depending on the type. If you have a soy or egg allergy, it may be best to avoid lecithin products, especially if it is not clear if they are made from soy or eggs.
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  • As dietary supplements, lecithin supplements 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 lecithin supplements from a reputable manufacturer. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are most reputable.
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  • 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 lecithin.
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  • A normal intake of lecithin through food is probably safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women, although larger amounts of lecithin supplements may not be safe (see Lecithin and Pregnancy and Lecithin and Breastfeeding).
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