Question: Monique, Is soy lecithin a safe product for toddlers? If so, how much daily should be allowed? Ann Wilson
Answer: Soy lecithin is an emulsifying substance found in the cells of all living organisms. Besides being a substance that promotes the mixing of oil and water -- lecithin is widely promoted and sold as a supplement to combat atherosclerosis, improve memory and fight Alzheimer's disease. However, there is no scientific evidence to support such claims.
Soy lecithin is not a substitute for soy products because it does not include isoflavones or soy protein, the unusual compounds found in soy foods that offer significant protection against cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and diabetes.
Even though lecithin supplements are harmless, a balanced diet gives you all you need.
Some doctors recommend soy lecithin to their patients with multiple sclerosis because their immune system attacks the myelin sheath surrounding nerves. Myelin is synthesized from lecithin. It is thought that five grams of soy lecithin granules per day may help these patients.
However, I have not come across any recommendation for toddlers. I believe you would be best off providing your toddler soy foods which naturally contain lecithin.
For more information about soy,
visit the Virtues of Soy website,
For more information about raising vegetarian and vegan babies, read "Vegetarian Diets for Children: Right from the Start" at
and the book
Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care(8th edition)
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Monique N. Gilbert, BSc. has offered guidance in health, nutrition, fitness and stress management since 1989. Through her writings, Monique motivates and teaches how to improve your well-being, vitality and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and healthy stress-free living.