Soy lecithin is a hot new trend in health supplements. This compound provides many health benefits internally and externally. However, soy lecithin could be problematic for people who are dealing with food allergies. If you have a soy allergy, it is very important that you understand how lecithin and lecithin products may affect you. This quick guide will give you more information on this important topic. Let’s get started.
What is Lecithin?
Lecithin is a fatty substance that is found in plants and animals. The type of lecithin that is often used in supplements and beauty products is often derived from soybeans or sunflowers. Because soybeans are the most common source of lecithin, those with soy allergies should be aware of how this product could affect them.
What Is Lecithin Used For?
Lecithin is used in many skincare products, and it is also used as a supplement to treat various health issues. Health benefits include:
- Lowering cholesterol
- Improving digestion
- Improving breastfeeding health
- Improving mental health
- Improving cognitive function
- And more
Lecithin is also used in skincare products to help treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, dry skin, and more.
Will Lecithin Trigger Food Allergies?
Lecithin can be a trigger for certain food allergies. Most notably, lecithin can trigger soybean allergies. If you have a soy allergy, you may not be able to use soy products such as lecithin.
Food allergies are triggered when the immune system overreacts to a certain component in food when ingested or other substances that come into contact with the skin.
Food allergies can manifest as hives, rashes, swelling, and even trouble breathing. When a food allergy manifests in respiratory distress, it can turn into a life-threatening condition.
Understanding Soy Allergies
Soy allergies, specifically, occur when an allergic person comes into contact with proteins in soy. However, you should also understand that a soy lecithin allergy is also a separate allergy as well. Lecithin is a product of soy processing. Lecithin is made of the fatty substances in soy. These substances are useful as emulsifiers in the food industry.
Just because you have a soy allergy, may not necessarily mean you will also have a soy lecithin allergy. It is important to talk with your doctor to fully understand exactly how soy and soy lecithin will affect your allergy.
Where Might I Encounter Soy?
If you have a soybean allergy, there are several different instances you should beware of soybean exposure. Soy is often a very common ingredient in Asian cooking. When you are eating Asian food, you should be sure to check the ingredients carefully. If you are eating out in a restaurant, you can talk with the staff to best understand the ingredients. Some ingredients to look out for might include soy, tofu, soybean oil, and soy flour.
More About Soy
Soy is an attractive ingredient because it has a very high protein content. This is one reason why it is often incorporated into a vegetarian diet. However, it is this protein that can trigger allergies.
Ongoing exposure to an allergy trigger can eventually start to adversely affect the immune system as a whole. During the allergic reaction, the immune system will misidentify the protein as dangerous to your health. An adverse reaction can be life-threatening if it is not dealt with quickly. This strong inflammation response could affect your respiratory system resulting in difficulty breathing.
It is recommended that you avoid all soy foods and products if you have a soy allergy. However, soy lecithin may not affect you this way. Remember, always talk with your doctor to correctly identify your allergy as either soy or soy lecithin.
Importance of Identifying Soy Lecithin Allergy
It is of utmost importance to correctly identify a soy lecithin allergy because this substance is found in many other types of products. Remember, soy lecithin is a processed by-product and the soy lecithin is then added to other products that may not be listed as using soy. This can be tricky but could be very important to your long-term health and wellness.
What Should I Do If I Think I Have a Soy Allergy?
If you think that you are allergic to soy or soy lecithin, it is very important that you make an appointment with your allergist or your primary care doctor. You will need to undergo testing to accurately pinpoint which type of allergy you have.
Undiagnosed allergies can present life-threatening problems.
What Can Be Done If I Have an Allergy?
Once your allergies have been properly diagnosed, your doctor will be able to prescribe treatment. Treatment often includes carefully avoiding triggers. You will be given a list of things that you should avoid.
Other types of treatment can include medication. Many people suffering from allergies will carry an EpiPen with them. This is a way to quickly administer medication into your system to counter act the chemicals or compounds you are reacting to.
So, is soy lecithin safe? In general, yes. But, the best way to stay safe if you have a soy allergy, or soy lecithin allergy is to do your research to identify any foods or products that may contain these substances.