Lecithin is a mixture of naturally occurring phospholipids, fatty substances that are major components of all cell membranes. It is used commercially as a natural way to stabilize liquid mixtures. One of the primary phospholipids, phosphatidylcholine is present in lecithin products at concentrations ranging from 20% – 90%, depending on whether the lecithin is derived from plant or animal sources. For use in dietary supplements, lecithin is produced mainly from plants, such as soybean, which contains around 20% phosphatidylcholine 1. Lecithin is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for human consumption with the status generally recognized as safe (GRAS) (21CFR184.1400) 2.


  1. PDR for Nutritional Supplements. Montvale, NJ: Physicians’ Desk Reference, Inc, 2008.
  2. Food and Drug Administration. EAFUS: A Food Additive Database. 10-17-2008. 12-4-2008.